Programs & Awards  
2008 Outstanding Chapter Awards
Award Info & Previous Recipients
Follow SPS on: Twitter Facebook YouTube Photobucket The Nucleus Email and Share

2008 Outstanding Chapters in Alphabetical Order
Comments provided by Zone Councilors

Abilene Christian University

There is impressive involvement beyond the local chapter, and it seems that the faculty at ACU are involving their undergraduate students in an impressive amount of advanced research activity. The students take responsibility for outreach in tutoring local children which is a great way to have positive PR for physics in their community.

Adelphi University

Great outreach! Major events included trips to Cloumbia, Lab for kids—for underrepresented minorities, papers co-authored by SPS members.

Angelo State University

Overall health is outstanding! Very impressive outreach and national involvement. The SPS at Angelo State is an integral part of the physics program and continues to grow and evolve as student and departmental needs change. Three of the SPS National interns were from Angelo State. Held a Sigma Pi Sigma Induction ceremony.

Augustana College

Augustana College makes a great impression in their community through their many outreach activities.

Boston University

Participated in major conferences. Developed an "SPS model curriculum" Nice website! Very active and growing. Very active participants in the S08 Zone meeting."PhUNK!" (Physics undergrads for new knowledge) - a brand new class created by the students and adopted by the faculty. 

California State University-Chico

Chico has been a very active chapter for many years.  They have numerous chapter meetings, some of which are casual and social, others that are very informative and interesting.  They put in numerous volunteer hours with tutoring and have raised thousands of dollars for scholarships.

California State University-San Bernardino

San Bernardino members have been able to share internship experiences with their chapter members and also helped host a Physics and Engineering career day, in which undergraduates can see what is available to them once they finish their studies.  Most impressive, though, is that they have just established a Sigma Pi Sigma chapter and inducted 13 members, which is a huge accomplishment. 

Central Washington University

CWU cites a ‘tightly integrated group of people’ as a secret to their strength. It allows them to work together well, and results in being able to successfully accomplish a range of projects and events that serve their department and community.

Coe College

Coe College continues to have outstanding outreach programs, student publications and involvement in professional meetings, and SPS involvement.

College of Wooster

Wooster bills themselves as the “most active academic club on campus,” and they certainly stay busy.  This past year was full of awards – from SPS National (Marsh White and Blake Lilly Awards) and from Nanobowl.

Colorado School of Mines

School of Mines has really done a great job of revitalizing their chapter.  In the short time they had for the 2007-08 academic year, the chapter not only hosted speakers, but also incorporated community outreach.  They are clearly becoming an important part of their local science community.

Denison University

Denison shows excellent participation for a small program.  Their outreach and commitment to student research is to be commended.

East Central University

ECU utilized the SPS SOCK & Toy kit and engaged in other outreach. Both the Zone Councilor and Associate Zone Councilor for Zone 12 are from ECU. Also held a Sigma Pi Sigma induction.

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan continues their excellent tradition of impressive Chapter Reports. They held weekly meeting with diverse activities, outreach within their department and to schools, excellent interaction with other disciplines.

Elon University

Stellar participation in regional AAPT meeting; excellent outreach including Science Day event for 5th graders, Natural Science Center exhibits, and Myth Crushers event. Service event launching pumpkins with trebuchet is quite novel! Established Sigma Pi Sigma chapter to boot!

Florida Institute of Technology

Solid chapter and growing! Participated in Zone meeting, 1 member presented research at other professional conference, several fun group activities that strengthen sense of community, strong outreach events for K-12 and general public.

Florida International University

Very impressive, all-around chapter participation in physics, K-12, and general public activities & events! Also received the "Club of the Year" Award by FIU Student Organization Council.

Green River Community College

Green River is employing the secret to a strong chapter with a small department; strong ties among the students, interaction with other chapters, active outreach, and well attended off campus activities.

Gustavus Adolphus College

Gustavus Adolphus College has many meetings that include speakers, business and social events. Highly involved in community service.

Hartnell Community College

Hartnell has been a very impressive chapter, especially for being a two-year college. They have done many fantastic things at their college and in their community, including outreach efforts to grades K-12 and volunteering. They have also created a scholarship endowment to award deserving members a scholarship. 

Ithaca College

Activities included a tour of SI-STM laboratory, summer research presentations, SPS picnic, SPS hosted open house of Clinton Ford Observatory, and tutoring 70% of department SPS members.

Juniata College

A model chapter that other chapters, old and new, active and inactive, should look to for inspiration and guidance. They are extremely involved with outreach to the local community including tutoring, demonstrations, and the “Physics Phun Night”. This chapter has also participated in the Pennsylvania State finals of the Science Olympiad. They clearly work hard at getting involved with all areas of physics as well as trying to spread their excitement to others.

Louisiana Tech

Hosted Spring 2008 Zone 10 meeting, Coordinated Halloween in the Park outreach event with ACS.

Mesa State College

Mesa State’s chapter has been very outreach focused, and I am proud to be associated with the high value they have placed on scientific citizenship. Hosted the Zone 14 meeting.

Millikan University

This is a growing young chapter that is sharing its excitement about physics with children in the community.  Nice photos, good website and First Sigma Pi Sigma Induction.

North Carolina State University

Great zone and regional involvement! Superior alumni interactions—keep up the good work!

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University SPS members have consistently demonstrated outstanding efforts to engage their student audiences with physics “magic shows” and robotics competitions.  They set an great example as a leader in their community for science outreach.”

Ohio Wesleyan

Ohio Wesleyan demonstrates a great commitment to student research and SPS programs. Received SPS Undergraduate Research and Marsh White awards, had good student research participation, and hosted Friday lunches with faculty.

Old Dominion University

ODU SPS has a large, passionate membership, which will contribute to their continued excellence. Great activities like Q&A sessions with eminent physicists and the pumpkin drop.

Randolph College 

RCSPS looks like a very healthy chapter that is growing and maturing very nicely. Very active both academically i.e. attending and presenting at conferences, but also socially, with projects like the human-sized hamster wheel. Many guest speakers, outdoor activities, and outreach.

Rhodes College

Received Undergraduate Research Award for NASA Microgravity experiment, Performed a barrel crushing demonstration as a football half-time show.

Rowan University

An extremely active chapter whose outreach programs help foster in younger students the curiosity absolutely necessary for scientific research and advancement. One of the most impressive things was that students participated in or presented at approximately 39 professional meetings. Also conduct frequent outreach at the high school and elementary levels throughout the state, and completed over 120 hours of tutoring in physics, mathematics, and related subjects.

Seattle Pacific University

SPU leadership did a good job of keeping activity consistent despite leadership turnover. They are another great example of a small department getting the most out of its members. They have worked together to be active on multiple fronts, including outreach, social events, and undergraduate research.

Simmons College

A young chapter with amazing potential. Very creative thinking—nice to link physics with the environment. Undergraduates presented research at regional, national and international conferences. Participated in significant outreach and retention initiatives.

Southwestern OK State University

Involved in a lot of outreach both on and off campus, and submitted an Undergraduate Research proposal.

St. Louis University

St. Louis University has definitely stepped up their activity this year and the leadership appears to be trying very hard to revitalize the group. Great job with the pumpkin launches, food outreach, and Rubens tubes for the masses, and more!

St. Mary's University

Most impressive!  You are doing a great job getting students involved in local community outreach. The report indicates a thriving community in this department

SUNY Brockport

Active in national SPS-voting etc. Events coordinated with other clubs (Rocket shoot), faculty seminar presentations, great involvement from students.

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is becoming a top chapter in Zone 14, with their undergraduate research award, their notable lecture series and their outreach events. UCCS has made effort to grow their chapter which is commendable.  I can really appreciate how difficult it is to get involvement at a smaller institution!  

University of Maryland

UMD SPS is a very large and active chapter.  Both of which qualities make it an excellent chapter. I like the activities and outreach. Tour of the Institute for Research in Electronic & Applied Physics.

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

This chapter clearly is committed to reaching and mentoring women in physics. Additionally, their FOCUS outreach endeavor demonstrates great initiative and focus on bringing science to the community.

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

The University of Minnesota has really grown with many outreach events and presentations at professional meetings

University of North Carolina-Asheville

A chapter to be emulated! Incredibly active chapter with extensive research efforts (NCUR, astronomy events, zone and national meeting participation, etc.), and even more extensive and creative outreach efforts (pumpkin carving, LN2 ice cream parties, star parties, olympiad, SOCK, etc.).

University of Rochester

Weekly lunches with faculty, SPS involvement with documentary for history channel, events in collaboration with other organizations (fundraiser, Bill Nye) tutoring, mentoring robotics team, tour of Ginna Nuclear Power Plant

University of Southern Mississippi

This chapter visited 10 high schools with Absolute Zero and the Conquest for Cold outreach, and was easily the leader in Absolute Zero publicity efforts nationwide. Remarkable! Inducted 12 new members of Sigma Pi Sigma.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

UW-Platteville continues to be a powerhouse of SPS involvement. They participated in Zone meetings, applied for and received many awards, and participated in the Nanobowl.

University of Wisconsin-River Falls

UW-River Falls is the Starship of our Zone 9 chapter fleet. Their involvement with the university and community is fantastic, and their outreach efforts are exemplary.

Universidad de las Américas Puebla

The newly created Universidad de las Americas Puebla SPS chapter from Mexico is doing great things in the physics community and is an outstanding example of what a really dedicated and hard-working chapter can do. With their national conferences, internationally renowned speakers, and science scholarships for struggling physics students, this is a chapter that all other SPS chapters should look up to.

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

U of A Fairbanks has managed to overcome its relative isolation to have a very active year. Without having the advantages of the Pacific Northwest colleges to go to regional meetings and interact with other chapters, they have kept their program strong by maintaining ties with their campus and community and keeping members active and involved.

University of Central Florida

Year of activities and speakers are very commendable. Strong chapter membership of 25 students and counting; hosted Zone meeting with 2 members presenting research; 8 presentations by 4 members at other professional conferences; very active physics seminars and public lecture series.

University of Louisville

This group has a long record of outstanding effort. They have a large and growing membership and have a strong record of outreach to the campus and community.

University of Oregon

U of O has an outreach program that reached students of different ages and backgrounds, as well as the general public. They have also taken advantage of their position as a research university by organizing talks by current professors discussing their research and touring the labs. Students have the opportunity to feel connected both to the current state of science and its future.

University of Texas at El Paso

The UTEP SPS chapter really cares about their community. From performing Physics Circuses for hundreds of students, judging science fair projects, providing math and physics tutoring, and generally educating the public about various physical phenomena like Lunar Eclipses- this is a society that every science teacher in the city should learn about.

Utah State University

During the year SPS members Keith Warnick & Cade Perkins were coauthors on four refereed publications. Twenty-three members made thirty-four presentations at various scholarly venues, including the APS Four-Corners meeting, CEDER, NCUR, USU Student Showcase, and Utah’s annual “Posters on the Hill” presentation for state legislators.

Virginia Tech

VPI&SU has a large and very active membership. The AZC for zone 4 is from VA Tech and takes an active role in planning events, like zone meetings. An excellent chapter in many ways.

Washington University, St Louis

Grew chapter from scratch, with the physics department paying for SPS memberships. Way to invest in physics majors!.Hosted a zone meeting.

Selection Criteria

SPS Outstanding Chapters, selected by Zone Councilors and Associate Zone Councilors, are determined by carefully reviewing the information, photos and supporting material presented in the annual Chapter Reports.

Criteria include:

  • The chapter's involvement in local, zone and national SPS meetings and other professional meetings
  • Participation in SPS programs
  • Outreach efforts to the grades K-12 or the general public
  • Participation in community service
  • Contributions to student recruitment and retention
  • Participation in social events, and
  • Interactions with the department's alumni


   Home  |  Search   |   Site Map  |   Privacy   |   Contact SPS