Programs & Awards  
2010 Outstanding Chapter Awards
Award Info & Previous Recipients
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2010 Outstanding SPS Chapters
Chapters listed in no particular order within the zone. Comments provided by Zone Councilors.

Zone 1
Trinity College
Started a tradition of offering a Trinity College Annual SPS Physics Fair. Largest event of its kind organized by a group of College students for the Hartford area.
Zone 2
Adelphi University

Excellent outreach programs and strong interaction with alumni

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Several outreach programs and informational sessions on careers and graduate school.

The College at Brockport SUNY

Hosted “An Evening of Physics” event, as well as various social and outreach activities.

Union College

Extensive outreach, community service, and social activities.

Ithaca College

Active outreach program and variety of social activities.

Zone 3
Rowan University
St. Peter's College
Drexel University
Juniata College
Zone 4
Towson University
You have a very active chapter and your students are involved in not only physics outreach but also outreach activities across campus. The numerous and varied activities of your chapter are too many to list and it is good to see that your chapter is growing. Keep up the excellent work.
Virginia Tech
Your chapter is very active. It is great to see that your chapter organizes outdoor activities and makes the most of the natural beauty that is found in your area of Virginia. Chez-Robeson is a great idea (I would have loved to see the “proton cakes”). You have a very larger, active chapter. Keep up the great work.
Northern Virginia Community College
You have a very active chapter and your students are involved in physics outreach as well as other worthwhile charity events. Your members have an exciting opportunity to collaborate with Brazilian Universities on a project to plan, design, and build a solar/electric power vehicle. Keep up the great work.
Randolph College
You have an active chapter and your students are involved in excellent outreach activities. Your annual organization of the Science Festival is extremely noteworthy and it has a great turnout.
Zone 5
North Carolina State University
The North Carolina State University SPS chapter did an outstanding job of providing opportunities for their SPS members to interact with each other, with others on their campus, with their local audience via off-campus outreach events, and with a national audience via student presentations. They are to be commended for sponsoring many exceptional outreach events including an astronomy open house at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science and educational demonstrations for classrooms.
University of North Carolina, Asheville
The UNC-Asheville SPS chapter did an outstanding job of providing opportunities for their SPS members to interact with each other, with others on their campus, with their local audience via off-campus outreach events, and participating in National SPS events. They are to be commended for sponsoring many exceptional outreach events including participation in Science Olympiad and promoting interest in physics through the SuperSaturday program entitled “Physics is Phun.”
Zone 6
University of Florida

By far the most active chapter this year in the zone. They were active in nearly everything across the board. Members presented research at several professional meetings, and were active with the National SPS. The chapter hosted several speakers including alumni, and recruiters. Many great activities were held to keep members active, such a twist on the old LN2 ice cream by making Dippin’ Dots, and weekly Coffee Time. Several activities were held with other campus organizations such as the Undergraduate Astrophysics Society. Also promoted interest in STEM with high school students by hosting a Department of Energy Regional Science Bowl.

Florida Institute of Technology

FIT had some of the best and most creative activities for its members – from an Incredible Edible Race, to MacGyver Competitions, and Fun with Microwaves – the chapter made great efforts to keep members active and interested in the chapter. They also had great interactions with the community and department with support of a Relay for Life team and hosting the annual department picnic.

Zone 7
Cleveland State University
Cleveland State University has put together an excellent series of on-campus talks by students, alumni, and other guests, of particular noteworthiness in a commuter culture. They sent several students to present research at diverse national meetings, showing a commendable commitment to fostering a sense of professional connections.
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University continues their incredibly creative ideas for on-campus meetings, drawing regular attendance at 26 weekly meetings despite the constraints of a commuter culture. They sent students to both zone meetings as well as national meetings, fostering a sense of professional development. SPS Chapters wanting ideas for activities and how to increase involvement should check out EMU’s Chapter.
Grove City College
Grove City College has a very dynamic Physics Club, particularly for a small college. The plethora of opportunities given for the members to speak about research and summer internships is particularly commendable.


Zone 8
University of Louisville
The University of Louisville had yet another impressive and excellent year, with lots of outreach, student research, trips, and social activities. The chapter is clearly in great shape, and is a model to the Zone. Great Newsletter!
Indiana University
Not content to be excellent in just one area, Indiana University excels in a multitude of arenas, with a commendable variety of programs offered throughout the year, in addition to hosting a well-received Zone 8 meeting.
Millikin University
Millikan University’s impressive activities spanned the spectrum of local outreach, participation in science-related events, travel to meetings or institutions, and collaboration with other groups on every level.
Zone 9
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
The SPS chapter at UW-River Falls is absolutely the best of the best in the nation. The extent of chapter activities and outreach efforts is fantastic.
Augustana College
Augustana’s SPS chapter continues supporting students participation in professional meetings. Great to see youthful exuberance in the club.
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
The SPS chapter at UW-Platteville again demonstrates exceptional effort in reaching young people for science through their Physics if Phantastic and STEM programs.
Michigan Technological University
Michigan Tech’s SPS club does a great job of reaching a wide audience in their effort to share an excitement for science. MTU’s club is truly an outstanding chapter.
Zone 10
Henderson State University
Henderson State chapter deserves recognition for their extensive outreach activities made possible by the Marsh White award received two consecutive years.
Rhodes College
Rhodes chapter deserves recognition for being extremely active on campus events and outreach, and for student participation in several professional meetings.
University of Southern Mississippi
Southern Miss chapter deserves recognition for hosting their first zone meeting and for continuing to be very active in middle and high school outreach.
Zone 11
Coe College
Coe College SPS is by far the most active and vibrant chapter in Zone 11. Their contributions to the physics discipline and to the world around them are outstanding.
Augsburg College
Augsburg College SPS is very active and provides a great venue for both social and academic networking among members, as well as a link to the community at large.
Zone 12
East Central University
“Lecture on Apollo 13 near disaster by JC High Eagle Elliott, he’s amazing the one who calculated the actual return trajectory to get them back and he lives in Oklahoma!” So there are speakers in your area that can wow your students.
Southwestern Oklahoma State
Allowed HS seniors to come to events as recuiting tool- good idea! “Banquet and Sigma Pi Sigma induction builds pride in being a member”
William Jewell College
“Shipped and packaged optics for six lab stations to Centro Universitario Reg. in Honoduras. “. The sent old unused equipment (optics rails, mirrors, and lenses) to poor university w/out any equipment in optics to Honduras. We can all do such a thing!
Zone 13
Angelo State University
Extensive outreach, wide involvement with national programs (president and AZC!). Probably one of the most active chapters in the country, if not the most active.
Texas Tech University
An active chapter that involves its members in research, service and outreach, and the national SPS community.
Abilene Christian University
An amazing level of involvement with the professional physics community.
Southwest Texas Junior College
This bustling chapter’s activities included Star Parties, Physics Olympics events, road trips to regional physics meetings, physics demonstrations, tutoring and more… astounding!
Zone 14
Colorado School of Mines
An extremely active chapter that met all metrics one can possibly think of. Great job! Hope to see more from you next year.
Zone 15
Utah State University
One of the largest and most active SPS Chapters in the nation.
Idaho State University
Continued excellence in public service, social activity, and scholarship
Zone 16
Northern Arizona University
Zone 17
Central Washington University
Central Washington University has a strong commitment to SPS. In addition, seven members were inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma.
Portand State University
As a young chapter, Portland State University is off to a great start.
Green River Community College
Green River Community College continues to one of the strongest chapters of SPS in Zone 17.
Zone 18
Univ of California, Davis

Davis did an outstanding job hosting the Zone meeting. There was the spaghetti tower building ice-breaker/social on Friday night followed by telescope viewing on the roof of the science building afterward. The next day (Saturday) was also well organized with Dr. Raymond Chiao as a keynote speaker. The Davis SPS club also did a physics day Phon-a-thon to make contact with Freshman physics majors at UC Davis to get these students involved and active. They also applied for a Marsh White award to help with community outreach.

California State University, Sacramento

The Sac State club had a well organized chapter meeting schedule with guest speakers on dark matter, laser cooling, radio astronomy, LHC physics and medical physics. They also had regular social event – ice cream or pizza parties, and a field trip to the Exploratorium in SF. They attended the Zone meeting at UC Davis and also applied some SPS national awards. Three of the SPS members gave presentations at local CCs in an attempt to recruit students.

California State University, Chico

CSU Chico had many chapter meetings. Most of these involved a speaker. They also had their 22nd annual Pumpkin Drop as part of their K-12 outreach. They had 9 members attend the Zone meeting in UC Davis. They induced 3 members into Sigma Pi Sigma at their Graduates Gala Dinner. As part of retention and recruitment they had about 35 hours of tutoring per semester.


Selection Criteria

SPS Outstanding Chapters, selected by Zone Councilors and Associate Zone Councilors, are determined by carefully reviewing the information, photos and supporting material presented in the annual Chapter Reports.

Criteria include:

  • The chapter's involvement in local, zone and national SPS meetings and other professional meetings
  • Participation in SPS programs
  • Outreach efforts to the grades K-12 or the general public
  • Participation in community service
  • Contributions to student recruitment and retention
  • Participation in social events, and
  • Interactions with the department's alumni
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