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2006 SPS Leadership Scholarship Recipients
Recipients: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 & Previous

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Outstanding Leadership Scholarships
Award amount: $3,500 | Award Information

Bloomfield Memorial Scholarship
Award amount: $2,425 | Award Information

Herbert Levy Memorial Scholarship
Award amount: $2,000 | Award Information

Future Teacher Scholarships
Award amount: $2,000 | Award Information

Peggy Dixon Two-Year College Scholarship
Award amount: $2,000 | Award Information

Leadership Scholarships
Award amount: $2,000 | Award Information

Scholarship Recipient Profiles

Deborah Cottrill—University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Outstanding Leadership Scholarship—$3,500 Award
Deborah CottrillI am currently a fourth year student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, majoring in Engineering Physics with a minor in mathematics. I will be graduating in December of 2006 and hope to attend graduate school for solid-state physics in the spring of 2007. I have completed a research experience for undergraduates (REU) at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and presented my research at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research in April 2005. I will be participating in another REU at the University of Maryland this summer.

In addition to academic achievement, I have been involved in many organizations on campus, including three years of participation with the Society of Physics Students where I am currently serving as treasurer for my chapter and Associate Zone 9 Councilor. Other activities I enjoy participating in include the Women in Engineering Mentor program, numerous honor societies, and Habitat for Humanity. In the mentor program I mentor freshman and sophomore engineering women, and in some of my honor societies I give tours of our engineering building to prospective students. I have been very active in Habitat for Humanity since I was a freshman; I helped create a campus chapter, I serve on the board of directors for our local affiliate and I went to North Carolina over spring break to help build homes for the week.

In January of 2007 I plan on attending graduate school for solid state physics. I am planning on obtaining my Ph.D. with which I will work in the semiconductor industry or teach at a university.

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Erin Riley—University of Central Florida
Outstanding Leadership Scholarship—$3,500 Award
Erin RileyErin will be graduating in spring 2007 from the University of Central Florida with a double Baccalaureate of Science degree in Physics (optics track) and Electrical Engineering (general track.) Interests include photonics, biophysics, and complexity and she will be doing research with advisor L. Canioni this summer at the Centre de Physique Moléculaire Optique et Hertzienne at the University of Bordeaux 1.

In her spare time, Erin can be found sailing and windsurfing in the Indian River, reading, playing with her birds, scuba diving, and hiking. Following completion of my undergraduate programs, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Optics (nonlinear, plasma or nano-photonics or in the opening field of biophysics.) Depending on the research program and grants, I might stay a while as a post doctorate, possibly seek tenure, or then move into industry, preferably in a research position.

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Anna M. Quider—University of Pittsburgh
Bloomfield Memorial Scholarship—$2,425 Award
Anna Anna M. Quider just completed her fourth year at the University of Pittsburgh and she will graduate in May 2007 with an Honors B.S. in Physics and Astronomy and a B.A. in the History and Philosophy of Science and Religious Studies. She has been a member of the Pitt Quasar Research Group, led by Dr. David Turnshek and Dr. Sandhya Rao, for 3.5 years. Anna is Editor-in-Chief of the Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review, which is a national multidisciplinary journal of original undergraduate research run through the Pitt Honors College.

Anna's research focuses on quasar absorption line systems, specifically Magnesium-II systems and gas metallicity relationships. She recently lectured on this topic to the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh and will present a poster on this work at the American Astronomical Society meeting this summer. She was awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in 2005 for her academics and research.

Anna helped to re-activate the Pitt SPS chapter and promotes outreach activities for the chapter. She is primarily involved with teaching elementary, middle, and high school students about physics and astronomy through the use of a reflecting telescope with a solar filter. This summer she volunteered as an astronomy teacher at a Girl Scout weekend camp in her hometown of Grand Island, NY. She voluntarily teaches problem sessions and occasionally guest lectures for the Pitt Honors Introductory Physics I and II classes.

Her future plans are to attend graduate school in Fall 2007 for astrophysics and to become a professor of physics and astronomy. As a professor, she hopes to continue her research and efforts to make astrophysics accessible to a general audience.

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Christine Gabrielse—Florida Tech
Herbert Levy Memorial Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Christine GabrielseMajoring in space sciences at Florida Tech, I have been very involved in SPS and other department organizations. 2006-07 will be my second year serving as the president of our SPS chapter, and I am really looking forward to it. I am also involved in SEDS, Relay for Life, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and the Artists' Guild. I am also member of Sigma Pi Sigma and the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. I had a lot of fun this year being captain of the Infrared Sox, an intramural softball team I started up in our department.

During the summer of 2005 I researched properties of JSC Mars-1 and JSC-1 Martian and Lunar regolith simulant under Dr. James Mantovani. During the school year I do space weather research under Dr. Ramon Lopez. During the summer of 2006 I will be participating in the NASA Academy at Goddard, performing research entitled "Using the New Horizon Spacecraft as a Dust Detector" under Dr. Vigtor Teplitz.

I plan to continue my education in physics as it pertains to outer space after I graduate in 2007, focusing on planetary sciences. I greatly look forward to "expanding our horizons to Mars and beyond" (GFSC 2006 Academy slogan). Other than that, I really love playing music, hanging out at the beach and being outdoors in general, exploring, and being creative.

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Colleen Gillespie—Davidson College
Future Teacher Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Colleen GillespieI recently graduated from Davidson College with a degree in physics. Junior year, I was the Vice President of the Davidson SPS chapter, and this past year, I was the Associate Zone Councilor for Zone 5. I was also the volunteer coordinator for the Salvation Army Women's Shelter, where I tutored children in the Boys and Girls Club.

Next year, I will be teaching high school physics in Oakland, CA, through Teach For America (www.teachforamerica.org). I am very excited and a little nervous to be taking on such a challenge! I encourage physics students to consider this exciting program. I will teach for at least two years, but I may continue for several more years. After teaching, I plan to return to grad school to pursue a PhD in physics, perhaps focusing on physics education research.

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Brendan Hermalyn—Fairfield University
Future Teacher Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Brendan HermalynI am a double major in physics and music and double minor in mathematics and secondary education at Fairfield University. My career aspirations in the field of Physics include graduate school culminating in a Ph.D. in either astrophysics or applied physics, thus allowing me to teach physics in college. Before then, my secondary education certification will enable me to teach at the high school level. I have worked at The Discovery Museum, a science and technology museum, as an instructor for the past several years, and the experience has shaped my path.

I reinstated the Fairfield SPS chapter in the spring of 2005, and as president, have conducted many events, including field trips, campus wide competitions, and fun projects to publicize and promote both the club and physics as a whole. In addition, I have constructed a website for the club: http://students.fairfield.edu/physicsclub.

In addition to my work in physics and education, I am a jazz musician, playing piano, trombone, guitar and bass. I enjoy running, rock climbing, kayaking, racing automobiles at the regional level, and the industrial arts.

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Erin McCamish-University of Michigan
Future Teacher Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Erin McCamishI am a third year student at the University of Michigan pursuing a degree in physics with a minor in science, technology and society (STS), as well as a teaching certificate in both physics and math. I plan to complete my undergraduate studies and begin teaching high school physics in 2008. To keep myself busy I'm involved in the University of Michigan SPS chapter, and will be the secretary next year. I especially enjoy working in outreach with both SPS and the new Society of Women in Physics (SWiP).

This semester I have the best independent study I could imagine; I get to design and build physics demonstrations. I have become a ping pong ball expert and learned how to use lots of fun power tools. Over the summer I will help create materials for a new introductory physics course here at U of M as well as travel to Washington DC to take part in an SPS internship. These plans will keep me fairly busy, but I hope to leave some free time for swimming, reading, cooking, and hanging out with friends as I continue toward my goal of sharing physics with others through teaching.

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Clint Greene—Tyler Junior College
Peggy Dixon Two-Year College Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Clint GreeneHey guys! My name is Clint Greene. I am double majoring in physics and mathematics at Tyler Junior College (TJC), and was recently recognized and awarded by the Math and Physics Department for being an outstanding student. Last summer I conducted physics research under Dr. Howard L. Richards at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Our research is currently in preparation for publication in Surface Science. Moreover, I have been an active member of the TJC chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) since I joined in August 2005. I am currently the President of our SPS chapter.

As the President, I have encouraged and worked hard to get our chapter active in the community. We have recently completed numerous educational and community projects. In April, we visited local elementary school students and used engaging, eye-catching demonstrations of physics phenomena to spark their interest in science. Our chapter also served as judges and graded science fair projects on campus. For the International Astronomy Day at TJC, we entertained a crowd with our exciting physics demonstrations. Our chapter also performs volunteer work for the Discovery Science Place in Tyler, Texas. Furthermore, I helped assemble a team of TJC students who visited the Johnson Space Center this April, where we worked with NASA engineers on an aerospace project. Other school activities that I enjoy include serving as a lab assistant for the chemistry department at TJC and providing tutorial services for science and math students.

In 2007, I plan to transfer to Rice University to finish my Bachelor's Degree. I will be attending an REU program this summer at Rice University's Quantum Institute, where I will conduct biophysics research. I haven't decided which area of physics I will specialize in, but my goal is to acquire a Ph.D. in physics, conduct independent research, teach and make a contribution to the world. In doing so, I hope to give everyone a deeper understanding.

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Richard Kraus—University of Nevada, Reno
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Richard KrausI am a junior at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and will be graduating in May 2007 with a physics major and a mathematics minor. I think the UNR physics department is a great place to study physics with many opportunities for undergraduate research. I have been working in a High Pressure Materials Research group on campus for the past two years where I study polymers at high pressures. Last summer I was an intern through the SULI program at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and this summer I will be going to Los Alamos National Laboratory to work with the Shock Physics and Materials team.

I am President of the SPS chapter at UNR where I have added various activities and demonstrations to the club's schedule and in my free time I enjoy mountain biking, hiking, wakeboarding, skiing, and playing soccer. After I get my degree, I plan on going to graduate school with the goal of obtaining a PhD in experimental physics. At some point in my career I would like to teach at the university level but initially I would like to do experimental research at a national lab.

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Hui-Yiing Chang—Texas State University
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Hui-Yiing ChangHui-Yiing Chang is pursuing a double major in physics and instrumental conducting. She is currently president of the SPS Chapter at Texas State University and Recording Secretary of Sigma Alpha Iota, Theta Omega Chapter, a music fraternity. She belongs to three honor societies as well as a number of physics and music organizations. She had received an award of “Recognition for Academic Excellence” from the physics department and the “Highest G.P.A. Award” from Sigma Alpha Iota.

She had participated in Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Summer 2005 at Hampton University, and will be participating in REU at Cornell University in Summer 2006. In the discipline of music, she has attended three conducting workshops at New York, Macon, GA, and London, England. She has presented at two physics conferences and four music conferences. She intends to apply to a physics doctoral program upon completion of her undergraduate studies. She hopes to teach at a college, perform research, conduct ensembles, and lecture on the connection between the two disciplines.

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James Cryan—Ohio State University
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
James CryanI am currently a fourth year Engineering Physics major at The Ohio State University. I work in a group doing research with ultra-fast lasers. Next year will be my fifth and final year Ohio State, I will be finishing my major and two minors (Chemistry and Math). A fifth year also gives me more time to work on projects in the lab.

After completing my degree I would like to go to graduate school. For graduate school I have two goals, to move west, and to continue to work in the field of AMO.

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Jennifer Kissinger—Florida Institute of Technology
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Jennifer KissingerI began studying at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) in 2003, and expect an on-time graduation in 2007. As a senior in Space Sciences, I am very active in my department and clubs, especially our SPS chapter. I am also involved in SEDS, the campus newspaper and choir groups, Relay for Life, and my department's intramural softball team, the Infrared Sox.

This summer I will work at the Florida Space and Research Institute, headquartered at Kennedy Space Center, under Dr. Sam Durrance and Dr. Niescja Turner. After graduation, I will attend graduate school to obtain my master's and Ph.D. degrees, after which I will pursue a career in planetary sciences research. My long term goal is to become an astronaut.

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Becky Lefebvre—Louisiana State University
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Becky LefebvreI am a junior in physics at LSU. In my past two years as president of our SPS chapter, I have seen a great improvement in the involvement of our increasing number of members. This improvement has happened only because of the dedication and group effort of the officers in place. Another big part of my life is my church. I spend a lot of my time helping out with various activities at Faith Family Church in Watson, especially with the worship team. We practice weekly and lead worship in both services during the week.

Next semester, I will begin my honors thesis. It will involve simulating simple situations in general relativity. Once I graduate next spring, I plan to research computational general relativity and related simulations. I hope to work with LIGO once I graduate with my Ph.D. in physics

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Andrew Leifer—Stanford University
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Andrew LeiferAndrew Leifer is a physics student and president of the Stanford University chapter of SPS. During the summer Andrew conducts biophysics research at JILA in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado. At JILA he helps apply optical physics techniques to study biological molecular motors.

This spring Andrew is studying science policy and arms control at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington D.C. He will graduate with honors in International Security Studies. Andrew writes for the school paper and he likes to swim, dance and play ultimate frisbee.

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Camilo Malagon—Adelphi University
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Camilo MalagonI am a junior at Adelphi University, and I am majoring in Physics and obtaining a minor in Mathematics. I am currently president of the SPS chapter at Adelphi University. I have been involved with the chapter since my freshman year. The chapter at Adelphi University has been small and not very active in the past. My goal is to make the Society of Physics Students an important part of the student community at Adelphi, and also to make the chapter get more involved at the national level. As a chapter, we try to institute a variety of programs from lectures to philanthropic activities to make the activity of the members not only productive but eclectic as well. In addition to my involvement with the SPS, I am an associate justice for the Student Government Association, and president of Operation End Hate, a pro-diversity club that I started, with a group of students, as a freshman. I am, also, Submissions Editor of a literary on-campus magazine called Magnum Opus, and a Resident Assistant as well.

I am also part of the Honors College at Adelphi University, and I strongly believe in a diverse and well-rounded educational experience. I enjoy studying Literature and History and other fields, just as much as Physics and Mathematics. I think that all fields of philosophy will allow me to obtain a greater understanding of the world. I hope to continue my formal studies to acquire a PhD in Physics. I am interested in Theoretical Physics, particle phenomenology and String Theory. However, at Adelphi University I have done some research on the field of Quantum Optics. With my advisor Professor Sean Bentley, we are working with photonic entanglement for my Honors Thesis.

In addition to my school and extracurricular activities, I enjoy reading and writing on my free time. I entered on a Spanish Writing Contest at Adelphi University and obtained first place. Also, I enjoy playing guitar, and sports such as soccer tennis. This summer I will continue my work with Professor Bentley, I will study for my GRE’s and I will start looking into Grad Schools!

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Renee Naphas—Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Renee NaphasMy name is Renee Naphas and I am currently a senior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott AZ. I am majoring in Space Physics with a concentration in Remote Sensing and minoring in Asian Studies. I have been very involved in the Society of Physics Students the entire time I have been at this University. I love working on our community service projects and I will really miss it when I graduate next year.

This summer I'll be working at Los Alamos National Lab, so I'll be staying busy even though I won't be at school. After I graduate I plan on spending a year in China so I can continue studying Mandarin Chinese. Then I'll come back to the States and begin work on my PhD in Physics. I'm not entirely sure where I'll end up in my career, but I am very interested foreign policy, research and development, and education. Perhaps I'll pass through several careers in my life, but I hope to end up in a teaching position.

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Violet Poole—Truman State University
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Violet PooleI am a junior student at Truman State University pursuing a degree in physics, with a math minor. It has always been my desire to understand the world around me, seeing why things work the way they do. Much to my parents dismay I always took things apart to see how it worked when I was a young child. After graduating in May 2007 from Truman I plan to go to graduate school to pursue my PhD, so I can get into research and/or teaching. I love both aspects of physics; contributing to the scientific body of knowledge, and spreading the knowledge to others.

I have found my membership to SPS to be valuable in that I greatly enjoy the contact it provides me with a community of other physicist. I also like it because it helps to keep me up to date with what is occurring in the world via Physics today.

I am originally from St. Charles, MO and I am current the Vice President of our local SPS chapter, and participate in Demo Team. I'm also a physics tutor. In the little free time I have, I enjoy reading and outdoor activities such as hiking. After graduating from Truman I plan to go to graduate school to pursue my PhD, and thereafter get into research and/or teaching since I love both aspects of physics.

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Charles Tirrell—Southern Connecticut State University
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Charles TirrellCharles Tirrell is a student at Southern Connecticut State University majoring in Physics with a concentration in Computer Science and a minor in both Mathematics and German. As an active member in his SPS chapter for three years, Charles has served as webmaster, vice-president and president. He has also served as co-chairperson for the 2006 SPS New England Regional Conference.

Outside of his chapter, Charles is an active volunteer in the science world. For the past six years he has volunteered as a judge and mentor for the New Haven Science Fair Program, as well as a tutor in chemistry, math and physics at the Cooperative High School in New Haven, CT. Furthermore, he has volunteered as a judge for the Connecticut Pre-engineering Program CPEP-Day twice and performs physics demonstrations regularly at the Carrigan Middle School in West Haven. Finally, he has been active this year in the CRISPEY Mentorship Program for NH Science Fair of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center-Yale/SCSU/BNL, of which Dr. Christine Broadbridge, the SPS Zone 1 Councilor, is a director.

Charles also has extensive work experience related to the sciences. He worked for a year as a Teaching Assistant at Rennsselaer Polytechnic Institute for an undergraduate physics laboratory class. For two years, he worked as a data analyst at Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, a cutting edge genomics company. Lastly, while attending Southern Connecticut State University he has worked as a student worker and tutor in the physics department.

In the next year, Charles hopes to continue his pursuit of physics knowledge by being accepted into a graduate level physics program to attain his Ph.D. One day, he hopes to develop new methods in non-invasive surveying techniques and artifact analysis by applying cutting edge physics based technology to archaeology.

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Andrea Vermeer—Seattle Pacific University
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Andrea VermeeI am a junior physics major at Seattle Pacific University. Currently, I am the president of SPS as well as am very involved in other leadership positions around campus including tutoring, TAing, and being a mentor for underclassmen girls. The past few summers I have done several different types of research including developing curriculum for SPU's physics classes and working at the National Renewable Energy Labs in Golden, Colorado.

I absolutely love playing sports and being outdoors. I especially love running. As a matter of fact, I have competed on SPU's cross country team, and am currently training to run my first half marathon in May. Next year I am looking forward to being a PA (Peer Advisor- similar to a RA) as well as taking more classes focused on alternate energy sources.

After I graduate, I want to combine my passion for physics and passion for people into a job that uniquely fits me. I have been considering going to graduate school with a focus on solar power and then bringing my knowledge to a third world country. Another fun possibility would be teaching high school physics while coaching cross country and track, but to be honest, I really don't know what the future has in store for me.

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Krystle Williams—Colgate University
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Krissy WilliamsI am originally from Trinidad and Tobago, and currently perfecting how to become an upstate New Yorker as a physics major at Colgate University and then next year, continuing this in graduate school at the University of Rochester, where I will enter the Biophysics PhD Program. My goal is to become a professor of Physics and if I am one day a lecturer at the University of the West Indies, my life might probably be complete.

At Colgate I've been involved in our SPS Chapter since its revival my sophomore year. I'm currently the president of our chapter and serving as the AZC for Zone 2 on the SPS Council. This year our chapter has ambitious plans: we are having our annual Rocket Day and having a Trebuchet War, were we build several small trebuchets and then use them, with the History Department. I'm quite sure that the physicists will triumph over the historians, but only time will tell... I love to sing (I'm lead in cover band called High Pot Noose), to dance, to read, summer research (yes I might just be a nerd, but it's awesome!), ice hockey (GO 'GATE!), and of course physics!

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Matt Wood—Fort Hays State University
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Matt WoodMy name is Matt Wood. I am an undergraduate at Fort Hays State University. I am majoring in Physics and minoring in Mathematics. I'm a member of the Sigma Pi Sigma, Kappa Mu Epsilon, and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. I served as the President of the SPS chapter here on campus this past year. Currently in my research projects class I'm setting up and characterizing a Mott Polarimeter.

This summer I am working at the CERN particle physics lab in Geneva, Switzerland as part of the University of Michigan REU program. After I finish my undergrad studies I plan on going to graduate school for either AMO or High Energy Physics.

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Katherine Zaunbrecher—University of Louisiana-Lafayette
Leadership Scholarship—$2,000 Award
Katherine ZaunbrecherI am a senior at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette pursuing a degree in physics, with a minor in French. For my senior research I am working under Dr. John Meriwether in his nuclear laboratory. We are working with the USGS Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, using gamma ray spectroscopy to analyze soil samples taken from the coast of South Louisiana. For the past four years

I have been a member of SPS and currently serve as my chapter's President and the Associate Zone Councilor for Zone 10. I will graduate in May 2007 and plan to go to graduate school the following fall.

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