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Physics Student Group Wins National Award

January 09, 2017

For the 15th straight year, Angelo State University’s chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has received an Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Council for the chapter’s activities during the 2015-16 academic year.

The Outstanding Chapter Award is the highest possible honor an SPS chapter can achieve, and only 61 chapters out of more than 700 nationwide received the award this year. Criteria for the award include a chapter’s involvement in local, zone and national SPS meetings, outreach efforts to grades K-12 and the public, community service, contributions to student recruitment and retention, social events and interactions with alumni. 

The ASU chapter’s activities are spearheaded by its Peer Pressure Team and include the annual “Physics Road Tour” conducted every summer since 2005. The program features fun and educational physics demonstrations at public schools throughout the region and has won multiple grants and awards from the SPS National Council and American Physical Society. In 2016, the Physics Road Tour visited multiple school districts in central and eastern Texas and Louisiana. 

ASU chapter members also participate in ASU Science Days and summer orientation programs, march in the Homecoming parade, host a food drive every November, and conduct numerous other public outreach and community service activities. Students also present professional papers at regional and national conferences each fall and spring semester. 

The student president of Angelo State’s SPS chapter is José Duran of San Angelo. The SPS faculty advisor is Dr. Trey Holik, assistant professor of physics. 

Formed in 1968, the national SPS operates within the American Institute of Physics, which also oversees the Sigma Pi Sigma national physics honor society. The SPS exists to help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional physics community. The national office is located in College Park, Md. More details are available at www.spsnational.org.