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2010 SPS Outstanding Chapter Advisor
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Dr. DJ Wagner, Grove City College, PA
Slideshow | Grove City College SPS Chapter website

  DJ Wagner, Grove City College
  2010 SPS Outstanding Chapter Advisor Dr. DJ Wagner, Grove City College, PA.

While there are many truly excellent SPS Advisors, this past year's top awardee, the 2010 SPS Outstanding Chapter Advisor winner, is Dr. DJ Wagner at Grove City College of Pennsylvania. In her nomination letter her students wrote extensively about her exceptional leadership, which is now in its 10th year. Here is just one example: 

"Having 25 students travel to FermiLab for the SPS Congress at minimal cost, and pulling off a multi-zone meeting with over 100 attendees, were both huge learning experiences for us, and definitely would not have happened without her guidance and encouragement. She is always excited about physics and her enthusiasm is contagious."

Dr. Wagner is a familiar face at SPS events, conducts physics education research with the help of several undergraduate research assistants, and is an enthusiastic handbell ringer.

SPS President Toni Sauncy presented Dr. Wagner the award by at the American Association of Physics Teacher’s (AAPT) winter meeting in Jacksonville, FL, January 8-12, 2011. While at the meeting, Dr. Wagner and her students, Adam Moyer and Sam Cohen joined AAPT faculty and SPS members from Angelo State University, Jamestown Community College, and University of Illinois, in presenting physics discovery stations to 75 children from Eugene J. Butler Middle School in Jacksonville. Named in honor of recently deceased AAPT icon Betty Preese, this Science and Engineering Experiences for Students (SEES) event is a tradition that SPS has supported for about a decade by providing discovery stations, thanks to great advisors like DJ Wagner, Toni Sauncy, and their students.

A truly successful SPS chapter requires leadership, organization, a broad spectrum of activities, and enthusiastic student participation. In determining the recipient of the award, the Award Committee considers the leadership, student leadership development, support, and encouragement provided by the Chapter Advisor to create and sustain a successful program. The award consists of a plaque and an honorarium totaling $5,000, with $3000 going to the Chapter Advisor, $1000 to the Chapter, and $1000 to the recipient’s physics department.

All SPS Chapter Advisors are eligible for nomination for the award provided their chapter has received an Outstanding Chapter Award within the preceding two years during their tenure as SPS Chapter Advisor. In order to be considered for an Outstanding Chapter Award, a chapter must have submitted an annual report.

Click on photo to enlarge
DJ Wagner, the 2010 SPS Outstanding Chapter Advisor, displays her certificate. SPS President Toni Sauncy (at far right) presented the award at the recent Jacksonville AAPT meeting; also shown are SPS staff members Gary White and Lydia Quijada. Photo by Karen Jo Matsler SPS Program Coordinator Kendra Rand and students from Eugene Butler Middle School explore the science of rolling at one of the SEES physics stations. Photo by Matthew Payne, AAPT Eugene Butler Middle School Assistant Principal Andrea Talley looks on as her students explore the vibrant colors produced by the interactions of polarizing filters and transparent adhesive tape at another physics station developed by SPS chapter at Angelo State University. Photo by Matthew Payne, AAPT Travis Barnett, an undergraduate at Angelo State University, helps middle school students discover 'What’s So Special About a Laser'. Photo by Matthew Payne, AAPT
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