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Undergraduate Physics at FSU

Undergraduate Awards

Department Awards

Each year the department recognizes its most active and able undergraduate students via two or three awards which are bestowed annually at a Special Departmental Colloquium usually held toward the end of the Spring semester.

The first of these is induction into Sigma Pi Sigma (S P S ), the National Honorary Fraternity of the Society for Physics Students. For induction, students must have completed 90 hours of course work, maintained a 3.00 GPA, and have demonstrated a strong and hopefully abiding interest in Physics. We are pleased to list here, the names of inductees for the past and current year.

ΣΠΣ (04-05)
      Edward B Atkinson Taeyjuana Y Curry Robert C Harris Alexander B Kiss Rhiannon T Meharchand
      John G Oberlin Stephen W Padgett Nicholas M Sanchez Danielle F Stroup Benjamin J Thayer
      Jose R Valery Drew A Wehmeyer Bedford L West Brian M Zagorski
ΣΠΣ (05-06)
      David R Arthur Timothy W Backus Amy M Crisp James L Custer Aric W Pell
      Michelle E Perry Anton A Souslov Robert E Throckmorton Elizabeth Wingfield
ΣΠΣ (06-07)
ΣΠΣ (07-08)
      Shawn Havery Alexander Long Randall McClellan David Page Keenan Pepper
      Anna Woodard
ΣΠΣ (08-09)
      Nicholas Fitzsimmons David Page Amy Rouinfar Bernadette Cogswell Maksim Levental
      Alison Pawlicki Christopher Segal David Morris Sean Kuvin Rutger Dungan
ΣΠΣ (09-10)
      Chad Arce Morgan Askins Brandon Bryant Kristen Collar Mathew Denagy
      Steven Dolly Henry Doster Anthony Hazel Steven Honeywell Mathew Hoza
      Jocelyn Mandalou

The second of these is the Guenter Schwarz Memorial Scholar Award, which is given to an outstanding physics major who has additionally demonstrated a keen interest in the areas of music, literature, art, dance, and/or student government. Dr. Schwarz was a past faculty member who had a special interest in the arts and made significant early contributions to the undergraduate program in Physics at FSU. There is a modest financial honorarium attached to this award.

Recent recipients of this award include:

Juliette Victoria (03-04) – Degree in Music.
Jose Valery (04-05) – Classical Guitar.
Keenan Pepper, Alexander Long, Shawn Havery (07-08).
Jared Doster (09-10) – Organ.

Our third award, the Dirac-Hellman Award, was recently endowed by Dr. Bruce Hellman, a former student of Paul A.M. Dirac, one of the founders of modern physics, and a former Florida State University faculty member. The purpose of the award is to recognize an exceptional piece of theoretical work performed by either an undergraduate or a graduate student. The Dirac-Hellman Award carries a $250 honorarium.

Recent recipients of this award include: Myunggi Yi, Volkan Sevim (2008), Tzvetalina Stavreva (2009)

Starting Spring 2003, the Lynn Shannon Proctor award is given to a rising junior/senior woman student in physics. This award is given in honor of Ms. Proctor who was majoring in physics at the time of her death.

2003:  Stacy Pouliot
2004:  Lisi Goodlet
2005:  Danielle Stroup
2006:  Rhiannon Meharchand
2007:  Amy Crisp
2008:  Bernadette Cogswell
2009:  Alison Pawlicki
2010:  Amy Rouinfar

National Awards

In addition to departmental awards, undergraduate physics majors at Florida State compete successfully for awards and scholarships at the national level. For example, a number of our students are Merit Scholar Finalists who receive scholarships from the state of Florida to support their undergraduate work. The record of our students in the competition for the prestigious national Goldwater Scholarship is one that the Department of Physics is particularly proud of. These scholarships are for juniors and seniors committed to research in the sciences or mathematics. Only two hundred and fifty of these are awarded nationally each year. The stipends may be as high as $7,500 per year. Florida State students have received 13 of these awards since 1990. Nine of them have been physics majors.

Goldwater Scholarship Winners
      Michael Owens 1990     Mark Beeman 1991     James Thompson 1993
      Will Huttner

Darren Oldsen

1995     Gabriel Bouch 1996     Minesh Bacrania 1998
      Johan E. Gonzales 1999     Daniel Roberts 2000     Christina J. White 1999-2000
      Keola Wierschem 2001    

Will Huttner, Darren Oldsen, and Gabriel Bouch also majored in mathematics while Minesh Bacrania also majored in meteorology. We hope that this record will be extended in the future.

Keenan Pepper received Honorable Mention in the Goldwater competition in 2007.