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ASU Prof to Head National Physics Groups

June 01, 2012

Dr. Toni Sauncy of the Angelo State University physics faculty has been named interim director of the national Society of Physics Students (SPS) and the Sigma Pi Sigma physics national honor society, effective Aug. 1.

Both SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma are components of the American Institute of Physics’ (AIP) Education Division.  Sauncy will replace Dr. Gary White, who is leaving AIP for a temporary appointment as a program officer with the National Science Foundation. 

As interim director, Sauncy will oversee the daily operation of SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma, including the production of AIP’s education publications – the Journal of Undergraduate Research in Physics, The SPS Observer and Radiations.  She will also support outreach and service activities for society chapters, physics departments, AIP member societies and the public.  As a member of the Education Division, she will also assist in strategic planning, work closely with key volunteers and member societies in developing new education activities, and support AIP’s presence in the science/physics education arena.  While employed by AIP, Sauncy will take a one-year unpaid leave of absence from ASU. 

Currently a tenured professor in the ASU Physics Department, Sauncy has served as national SPS president since 2009.  She has a history of proven leadership, having served on numerous collegiate and professional association committees, including the American Physical Society and American Association of Physics Teachers.  She is also well known for her dedication to students and has mentored more than 40 student research projects, which have resulted in more than 50 presentations at regional, national and international professional physics meetings and conferences. 

As the faculty advisor for ASU’s award-winning chapter of SPS, Sauncy was named the 2007 Outstanding Chapter Advisor, and has been a member of the SPS National Council since 2005.  She also leads Angelo State’s SPS Peer Pressure Team, which travels around Texas giving physics demonstrations to elementary and middle school classes, and has received numerous awards from the national SPS for physics outreach.  She is also a past president of the ASU Faculty Senate, and received the 2010 ASU President’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Leadership/Service. 

Sauncy holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, a master’s degree in physics and a doctorate in applied physics, all from Texas Tech University. 

More information on AIP is available online at