UAF undergraduate physics society receives top honors

 In Physics

By Meghan Murphy

The University of Alaska Fairbanks chapter of the Society of Physics Students has won an Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Office for its 2016-2017 accomplishments.

This is the second award for the UAF chapter of undergraduate students, having received the first in 2000-2001. Less than 10 percent of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally receive the award each year.

The 2016-2017 student officers were then-president Georgeanna Heaverly, vice president Riley Troyer, secretary Chris Eckerson, treasurer Sean Counihan and pubic relations officer Kahn Overcast.

“I’m honored to have been a part of the UAF SPS and in helping build the group into an outstanding chapter,” said Troyer, the current president. “SPS has allowed me to share and explore my passion for physics in a community of like-minded people and I hope to see UAF students experience those same benefits for many years to come.”

The SPS is a professional association for undergraduate students and operates within the American Institute of Physics, an umbrella organization for professional physical science societies. Membership is open to anyone interested in physics and related fields.

“This SPS chapter is made up of a remarkable group of students,” said physics professor David Newman, who advises the UAF chapter. “On their own initiative, they developed and participated in a wide range of activities which have benefited the entire Fairbanks community including the university, the physics department and the physics students. I am extraordinarily proud of all of them.”During 2016-2017, students in the UAF chapter of SPS hosted star-gazing events for the community. They conducted a wide variety of physics activities for more than 1,200 people at CNSM’s annual Science Potpourri. The students also visited public schools and attended college events to interest people in physics and educate them about physics careers and research.

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