Philip W. Mason
I grew up on small family farm in rural Gorham, Maine in the 1970’s. Farm life instilled in me a strong sense of values, including resilience, responsibility, and the necessity of team-work. When I graduated high school, I attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, starting off in mechanical engineering before switching to physics, and graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1991. From there, I went to Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, earning my masters and finally a PhD in physics in 1998 with my dissertation “An Optically Detected Magnetic Resonance Study of Point Defects in Wide Band-gap Semiconductors.” I have, over the course of my career, put those degrees to good use at various high-tech companies including a five year stint at the Bell Labs Division of Lucent Technologies.
And for many of the last fifteen years, I have suffered with serious mental health issues.
I have had numerous in-patient and out-patient treatment sessions and have learned about human frailty and gained a better understanding of the human condition. This has taught me to have more compassion for the world. I have also come to learn that my mental illness is not my fault, for there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. I have come to accept it, have received medical care for it, and am now going through the process of healing from it. It is a very emotional recovery at times, and I now have hope for a much brighter future.
I am now able to love who I am and want to share that sense of hope and love with the rest of the world.