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2010 SPS Leadership Scholarship Recipients
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Left: Robert Call, and right: Christopher Faesi, recipients of the 2010 SPS Outstanding Leadership Scholarships

Outstanding Leadership Scholarship
Award amount: $3,500 | Award Information

Herbert Levy Memorial Scholarship
Award amount: $2,000 | Award Information

Future Teacher Scholarship
Award amount: $2,000 | Award Information

Leadership Scholarships
Award amount: $2,000 | Award Information

Robert CallRobert Call—Outstanding Leadership Scholarship
Utah State University, Logan, UT
I will be a senior majoring physics at Utah State University in fall 2010.  During the 2009-2010 school year I was the president of the USU SPS chapter and in the coming year I will be vice-president or the USU chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma.  Along with my SPS activities I am part of the USU Rotaract Club – a service club for college students.  As a freshman at USU I became involved with undergraduate research and have been doing it ever since.  During summer 2009 I was an intern at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the condensed matter and materials division.  Currently I am working on a project at USU growing carbon nanotubes on metals, particularly copper.  I intend to pursue a Ph.D. in Physics (perhaps condensed matter).  My goal is end up researching alternative energy technologies.

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Christopher FaesiChristopher Faesi—Outstanding Leadership Scholarship
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Christopher Faesi is a senior majoring in Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics at Indiana University in Bloomington. SPS has been an exceptionally important influence in his undergraduate education, and attending the 2008 Sigma Pi Sigma Quadrennial Congress at FermiLab was a motivating experience that inspired him to first become SPS chapter president in spring 2009, helping to revitalize the Indiana University SPS chapter, and then Associate Zone Councilor for Zone 8, a position he has held since fall 2009. He was inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma in April 2009, is a two year recipient of the Indiana Space Grant, and was awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in spring 2010, as well as receiving numerous other academic awards. His research interests are diverse, and he has worked in particle physics (the ATLAS experiment) as well as stellar astronomy during the past two years. He was a summer intern at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, where he modeled the conditions in the dust shrouds of giant, dying stars, and worked at Cornell University in summer 2010 conducting a spectroscopic near-infrared variability study of young stellar objects (YSOs) to try to understand the mechanisms by which they accrete mass in the early stages of star formation. He will author a senior honors thesis this year studying Lithium abundance of certain open star clusters, with the intent to characterize a trend with metallicity that may shed light on the Big Bang abundance of Lithium. After graduating in spring 2011, Chris intends to pursue graduate study leading to a PhD in astrophysics. Chris also plans to continue his SPS affiliation long into the future, with the hope of instilling the sense of community in other young prospective scientists that is so pivotal to scientific progress. A former professional ballet dancer, he also enjoys music, playing guitar, running, Tae Kwon Do, reading and speaking French, and hiking.

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Pavel ChvykovPavel Chvykov—Herbert Levy Memorial Scholarship
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
I am presently starting my last year of undergraduate study at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, double majoring in honors Physics and Math. I have just come back from a year study abroad at Oxford University, which turned out to be an invaluable eye opening experience, culturally as well as academically. Throughout my undergrad, I have worked in multiple physics labs as well as some theoretical centers in order to get a feel for the modern active areas of research. From this experience, I decided that I will next go for a PhD in experimental physics, with the focus on some aspect of quantum physics. After that, I will most likely stay in research for a while, although I am not yet certain of what topics I would like to pursue.

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Jessica ScheimerJessica Scheimer—Future Teacher Scholarship
University of California-Davis, CA
I recently graduated UC Davis with honors, earning my Bachelor of Science in Physics and minor in Economics. As an undergraduate, I served as co-president of my local SPS chapter, which gave me the opportunity to lead many outreach trips to local underprivileged classrooms. Currently, I am working for the Young Scholars Program through the UC Davis School of Education. I serve as a mentor for high school students who have come to the university for the summer and conduct scientific research in labs on campus. I facilitate the research process while providing a guided transition to college life and independent living. In the fall, I will enter the School of Education at UC Davis in order to earn a secondary teaching credential and my masters in education so that I may ultimately go on to teach high school physics.

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Alexander BarnesAlexander Barnes—Leadership Scholarship
Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA
Alex Barnes recently graduated from Juniata College with a degree in Physics and a minor in German, and during his junior year he studied physics abroad in Germany and traveled throughout Europe. While at Juniata he served as the SPS President and helped plan and participate in multiple physics demonstrations for the local community, such as “Mall Physics” and “Physics Phun Night.” He will be attending the University of Connecticut to pursue a doctorate degree in Physics with the intent to study either atomic, molecular and optical physics or condensed matter physics. This summer he has been preparing to move to Connecticut and has also gone backpacking in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

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Alexander ChartrandAlexander Chartrand—Leadership Scholarship
Mount Union College, Alliance, OH
I am about to start my senior year at the University of Mount Union. A native of Chardon, Ohio, I took interest in science at a young age and further immersed myself in science when I joined the Chardon Science Olympiad team. I currently hold the office of Vice President of the Mount Union Society of Physics Students chapter. After graduation, I hope to attend graduate school and teach physics at the college/university level.

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Brad DinardoBrad Dinardo—Leadership Scholarship
Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA
My name is Brad Dinardo and I am a senior physics and mathematics major at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. I was the Vice President of the Juniata College chapter of the Society of Physics Students and am the current President. I originally became interested in physics when I was in the first grade—I had a strange fascination with tornadoes and hurricanes and how they worked. To this day still would like to someday study them. Over the past three years I have conducted research in the areas of quantum optics at Juniata College, condensed matter physics at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and currently I am doing research in astrophysics and cosmology at the University of Arkansas with the Arkansas Galaxy Evolution Survey where I am measuring the mass of Super Massive Black Holes at the center of spiral galaxies by examining the spiral arm pitch angles of those spiral galaxies. I enjoy everything about physics and I want to go to graduate school researching something in particle physics or Bose-Einstein Condensates. I want to eventually end up being a professor at a college or university. When I am not doing physics or math I am usually either playing sports, trying to get on Jeopardy and Who Wants to be a Millionaire, trying to chase tornadoes, or going crazy about the Oakland Raiders.

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Daniel DominguezDaniel Dominguez—Leadership Scholarship
Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
My name is Daniel Dominguez and I am about to begin my senior year as Physics major at Texas Tech University. I am the elected President of the Society of Physics Students for the 2010-11 year and hope to continue to make our SPS chapter the exceptional school organization it is on track to be (we’re shooting for SPS Chapter of the Year next year). I have been studying under TTU Physics professor Dr. Luis Grave de Peralta for the last three semesters performing Quantum Optical experiments that exploit the nature of entangled photons. I could not have imagined myself working on such esoteric experiments many years ago when I first decided I wanted to be physics major. My interest in physics was brought upon by none-other than Bill Nye “The Science Guy”, but it was not until I got wind of the existence abstract physical phenomena, like black holes and quantum mechanics, that my interest in physics became a passion. I plan to pursue physics to a PhD level, continuing to research mysterious phenomena either in Quantum Optical or Astrophysical fields. Aside from school I like to live a diverse life to keep myself challenged and to never have a dull moment. My hobbies include: playing guitar and piano, telling my friends about the crazy thing I leaned in physics class (they think I make it all up), sketching/painting, running, competing in triathlons, participating in chess competitions, martial arts (karate and taekwondo), and of course video games.

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Joshua FuchsJoshua Fuchs—Leadership Scholarship
Rhodes College, Memphis, TN
Joshua Fuchs is a senior studying physics at Rhodes College, where he is a Jack Taylor Physics Fellow. In 2009, he received the Society of Physics Students Outstanding Student Award for Undergraduate Research. He is a member of Sigma Pi Sigma and Mortar Board. Joshua has been involved with his local SPS chapter since his freshman year and has been an officer since his sophomore year. For the 2009-2010 academic year, he served as Associate Zone Councilor for Zone 10. During 2009, he was a NASA International Year of Astronomy Student Ambassador, organizing various astronomy outreach events in Memphis reaching over 1,600 people. He was a member of a Rhodes research team that conducted an experiment on binary, electrostatic orbits on NASA’s Weightless Wonder aircraft. In August 2009, Joshua presented the results of this research at the International Conference of Physics Students in Croatia. He recently completed an internship at Rocket Lab, a private aerospace engineering company based in Auckland, New Zealand. Joshua has taken part in REU programs at the Maria Mitchell Observatory and the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawai’i, which have influenced his decision to study astrophysics in graduate school.

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Joshua GiltinanJoshua Giltinan—Leadership Scholarship
Towson University, Towson, MD
I was born in 1987 and grew up a suburb of Baltimore. In 2006 I graduated from Perry Hall High School and began attending Towson University. I began as a Computer Science major and then became a dual Physics and Computer Science major in my sophomore year with a minor in Mathematics. That year I also became involved in SPS and was elected to the position of Secretary for our chapter for my junior year. In my senior year I was elected to the position of Vice President and we hosted the SPS region 4 zone meeting. For my fifth year I have been elected to the position of President for my chapter. We have been increasing our numbers every year and our goal is to have a larger campus presence every year to make SPS the best science club at Towson University. I have been studying applied Physics and in the Summer of 2009 I participated in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program. I worked on the Raman Spectroscopy of Carbon Nanostructures. In the summer of 2010 I returned to the program to research in the field of microscopic robotics. I plan to apply to graduate schools to continue my research in the field of microrobots to earn a PhD.

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Alec HerrAlec Herr—Leadership Scholarship
Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA
Alec Herr is a junior at Coe College (Cedar Rapids, IA), originally from Saint Paul, MN. He is majoring in physics, with a minor in mathematics, and is planning on attending graduate school to study physics. Alec was the historian for Coe’s Physics Club in 2009-2010, and is the Associate Zone Councilor for Zone 11 for the 2010-2011 academic year. He has been actively involved with planning and promoting outreach and other events, for the student body. He helped with Coe’s signature outreach event in 2008 and 2009, the Playground of Science, which brought over 1,500 students and family members each year to the college for demonstrations in six areas of science. Furthermore, Alec has completed two summers of NSF-funded research, studying physical and optical properties of vanadate and borate glasses, and presented his work at the 2009 All Iowa Glass Conference. In the summer of 2010, he went to the University of Warwick, in the United Kingdom, to continue his research on glass, using solid-state NMR spectroscopy.

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Michael Huff Michael Huff —Leadership Scholarship
Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA
I am a senior at Coe College pursuing a degree in Physics, Mathematics, and Asian Studies. I first realized that I wanted to do physics when I found out that nuclear fusion held the possibility of becoming an economic and clean energy source. I am currently spending the summer at Los Alamos National Laboratories working on projects that directly affect several fusion reactors that may come to fruition in the future of America’s energy crisis. I will graduate this coming May and continue on to graduate school in Electrical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, or Plasma Physics.

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David JacomeDavid Jacome—Leadership Scholarship
Saint Peter's College, Jersey City, NJ
David Jacome is an experimental plasma physicist born in Manta, Ecuador. Jacome obtained his Bachelor of Science S.B. in Physics with a minor in Mathematics, "Licenciado en Física y Matemáticas" from Saint Peter’s College (New Jersey) in May 2010 under the supervision of Jose Luis Lopez. Over the past 4 years, he has worked with many organizations like the Society of Physics Students, American Physical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Chemical Society, and American Society of Mechanical Engineering. He has served as President of the Saint Peter’s College Society of Physics Students Chapter since August 2007 till February 2010. Other appointments have been at the National Society of Physics Students Council serving as Associate Zone 3 Councilor from August 2009 till May 2010. As Zone 3 Councilor he was charged with voting for a new Society of Physics Students diversity statement. The statement was voted and approved by Council in September 2009. He has been awarded four research distinctions at Saint Peter?s College (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), Sigma Pi Sigma Quadrennial Congress Artwork Honorable Mention for ?Homogenous DBD? (2008), Outstanding Student Honorable Mention Award (2009), SPS Outstanding Chapter Award (2009), Associate Councilor Service Award (2010) and proudly accepting the SPS Leadership Scholarship Award (2010).

Aside from his positions in SPS, David has served on the Student Senate as Senator and co-chair of the Elections and Information Technology Committees. For his leadership efforts, he has received numerous leadership awards. David was inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics) in 2009, thereafter into Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics) and Order of Cross Keys (Activities and Academics) in 2010. Jacome has conducted research at both Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC). His work involved installing a "Python Graphical User Interface for Control of the Levitated Dipole Experiment" whose research lead to a publication in Nature. His current research interests are in the study of capillary electrode discharges (CPE) for large volume ozone (O3) generation for water purification processes. Since coming to St. Peter’s, he has been an active supporter of science outreach program working with students at all levels worldwide. He is CEO/founder of Physics Connection, a group focused on getting students involved in science outreach and global communications. Physics Connection strives to get students involved in the science fields and Engineering. Some hobbies include tennis, professional billiards, flying airplanes, listening to orchestra, and playing the violin. He currently attends Stevens Institute of Technology pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and also Saint Peter’s College (New Jersey) finishing a Dual Masters of Business Administration/Master of Science in Accountancy. Upon graduation in 2012 from Saint Peter?s College and thereafter from Stevens Institute of Technology, he plans to continue his research efforts in hopes of getting more students involved in science. He is grateful to the Society of Physics Students Staff, particularly to Drs. Gary White Jose Lopez, Wei-Dong Zhu, Leonard Sciorra, Eugene Cornacchia, and to his mother Yolanda Jacome for all the support given over the years which has opened many doors for him towards becoming a successful person in life.

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Jessica JohnstonJessica Johnston—Leadership Scholarship
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
I originally came to Utah from California as a professional ballet dancer with Ballet West and subsequently stayed in Salt Lake City to pursue a career as a physician and research professor. I am currently entering my junior year as a physics major at the University of Utah. This coming year holds much excitement as I prepare to take the MCAT and apply to various M.D./Ph.D. programs around the country. These next two years of my undergraduate education will hopefully be a time of refinement and extended learning as I look ahead to new areas of research in graduate school. I will continue my research in Dr. Jordan Gerton’s nano-optics lab as well as remain involved in my university’s chapter of SPS—specifically giving tours of my lab to local Boy Scout troops, and serving as secretary for Alpha Epsilon Delta, the pre-medical honor society. Though my courses and research will demand much of my time, I am looking forward to my time away from campus. In addition to academics, I love to spend time volunteering with Capernaum, a local outreach to children with disabilities and their families, being a student leader at my church and college ministry, and taking advantage of Utah’s outdoor beauty through hiking, backpacking, and skiing. Since coming to Utah, I have also been blessed with numerous opportunities to serve the less fortunate in Swaziland, interact with the diverse cultures of South Korea, France, and Turkey, and lead young adults through the mountains of southwest Colorado as a backpacking guide. I am thrilled to be a representative of SPS as I continue to pursue my education in physics and medicine.

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Tracy LawsonTracy Lawson—Leadership Scholarship
University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL
Tracy Lawson completed her BS in Physics with a minor in Mathematics at the age of 20 from the University of West Florida. While an undergraduate student, she performed research on the Properties of Liquid Crystals near their Phase Transitions and still continues this research, presented the research at the Women in Physics Conference in 2009 at the University of Nebraska, worked for the physics and mathematics departments as a tutor, wrote curriculum for local high school physics teachers, and was the President of the local Society of Physics Students. Currently, Tracy is a graduate student studying for a MS in Mathematics from the University of West Florida. She is employed as a tutor for both the physics and mathematics departments and will be teaching college algebra in the spring semester. Tracy is a volleyball official for the Florida High School Athletic Association and is an active member and leader in her church. Tracy’s future plans are to obtain a PhD and become a university professor.

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Edward LochockiEdward Lochocki—Leadership Scholarship
Rutgers University, Cambden, NJ
I am a rising senior majoring in Physics and Math at Rutgers University. I started attending SPS meetings during my freshman year and have worked my way up through the ranks; I will be our chapter's President during the 2010-2011 year. My main work with SPS has focused on developing our chapter's website into a place where Rutgers physics majors (or anyone else who loves physics) can share resources and advice, but I also helped add a new activity (SPS Movie Nights) to our usual repertoire of faculty lectures and barbecues. I am currently working in an experimental condensed matter lab that focuses on scanning probe microscopy of multiferroic materials, and I hope to continue my condensed matter studies in graduate school, although I do not yet know where I will be going. Outside of physics-related activities, I like to spend my time biking, running, reading, taking pictures, and listening to music.

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Peter NguyenPeter Nguyen—Leadership Scholarship
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Peter Nguyen will be a senior in the Honors College at the University of Florida. He is a Physics and Astronomy Major with minors in Mathematics and Music Performance. He was the President of the UF Chapter of SPS for 2009-2010 and was re-elected to the position for the 2010-2011 term. During his time in office he revitalized the club – creating the first club shirts in over 5 years; increasing membership and participation; and planning and co-hosting more activities with UF’s Undergraduate Astrophysics Society, which included trips to visit Kennedy Space Center, watch Space Shuttle launches, and to the off-campus Rosemary Hill Observatory and other observing sites, as well as a joint Public Forum for the school and community entitled, “Life in the Universe.” He also expanded the outreach programs, most notably hosting a Department of Energy Regional Science Bowl for high school science and math students across the state (and in the process becoming the youngest person ever to do so). He is also the Zone 6 Associate Zone Councilor for 2010-2011. Aside from physics and astronomy, Peter is interested in computer vision and is cultivating that interest this summer as he has the past four summers with the Air Force Research Laboratory. After graduating, he intends to earn a Ph.D. in astrophysics. In his free time, Peter enjoys reading, playing trumpet, and astro- and landscape photography.

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Judith OlsonJudith Olson—Leadership Scholarship
Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
Judith Olson is currently pursuing both physics and music degrees at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. She is very actively involved in her local SPS chapter, and has served as both treasurer and president of her institution's chapter. This upcoming year, she will be the SPS Associate Zone Councilor of Zone 2. Judith also helps organize department events and services, like Frisbee matches, movie and bowling nights, and tutoring for lower level physics courses. This summer she is an intern at the Institute for Experimental Physics at Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf. In the future, Judith plans to attend graduate school and hopes to become a professor of physics.

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Resha ParajuliResha Parajuli —Leadership Scholarship
Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR
My name is Resha Parajuli and I am an International student from Kathmandu, Nepal going on to my senior year at Henderson State University. I am a Physics major with a Maths and Studio Art minor. I have been involved in SPS at Henderson as the secretary, and will be serving as the Vice President starting Fall 2010. In SPS, I have participated and organised various outreach projects from Star Parties to Physics Circus. Going out to the open grounds with a telescope at night, learning about “things” that otherwise seem mundane and mechanic, simply quantum physics, and wondering about the mystery of the vast cosmos are things that fascinate me most. Besides Physics and Astronomy, I like to paint, travel, write and read a lot. Art, science and literature are what keep me moving forward, and SPS has always been a ground for me to learn, explore and discover my passion. After completing my Undergraduate studies at Henderson State University, I plan to go to Graduate school for Astrophysics, and carry out research as a theoretical Physicist.

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Lance PetersenLance Petersen—Leadership Scholarship
Utah State University, Logan, UT
This summer I have been working on a rayleigh scatter lidar system that has been known in the surrounding area as "the green beam". The system has been out of operation for the past 6 years and we are now working on upgrading it to a system that will be approximately 30 times more powerful than the earlier version, making it one of the most sensitive lidar systems in the world. This should allow us to make measurements at heights that have not yet been reached by this technique. I plan to continue on this project through the next school year, hopefully leading to publication of our first results around the time I graduate in May. After graduation, I intend to continue my education with a PhD in physics.

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Kristen RecineKristen Recine—Leadership Scholarship
Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
Kristen Recine discovered physics through her love of astronomy. She is a senior physics major and astronomy minor at Dickinson College, and hopes to continue her education in astrophysics in graduate school. She has served as president, vice-president, and webmaster of the Society of Physics Students and is the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. Kristen is currently a summer intern at the Space Telescope Science Institute. Outside of her studies, Kristen practices martial arts and plays the piano.

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Kyle WeigandKyle Weigand—Leadership Scholarship
Augustana College, Rock Island, IL
I am really looking forward to my senior year at Augustana, as it looks like I will be able to get my hands on some cool advanced courses, some more research in the optics lab, and perhaps an independent study. I’m also looking forward to helping SPS at Augustana grow and hopefully get some younger students excited about science! I hope to be accepted into a graduate program in physics, and I will be applying to quite a few schools around the country. I see graduate school as a great opportunity to learn and do good work, but also a chance to experience a new part of the country for a few years! I’d like to acknowledge Dr. Cecilia Vogel, chair of the Augustana Physics Department, for nominating me for this award as well as Dr. James van Howe for the research and learning opportunities he has always challenged me with. The SPS Leadership scholarship is a wonderful opportunity; I am excited and honored to have been chosen!

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Alexander BarnesAlexander Barnes—Leadership Scholarship
Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA
Bio to come

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