SPS Outstanding Chapter Advisor
University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Dr. Jon Levin earned his B.A. in Economics in 1976 from Stanford University and his Ph.D in Physics from the University of Oregon. He is published in a number of journals, including the Physics Review. Dr. Levin’s time as a member of the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) allowed him to spread the knowledge and passion he had for the physics community, both academically and professionally. He was an advisor to the University of Tennessee chapter of SPS, where his impact was felt daily by all those he encountered. His students characterized him as a “very passionate and gifted teacher” and these attributes were emphasized through the ways he took chances on struggling students who simply needed someone to believe in them.
Dr. Levin’s time as an advisor led the University of Tennessee chapter of SPS to be described as the “pride of the department”. He was recognized as having “stimulated and nurtured a new generation of student leaders” through the independence yet guiding-hand he offered every person he encountered. Dr. Levin’s willingness to devote his time and passion toward worthy causes, such as performing demos in certain locations in order to increase science literacy in Knoxville areas, were one of the reasons why he was beloved by his students. His “genuine care tempered by pragmatism” was what permitted students to feel comfortable and secure with the advice given by Dr. Levin, either for an academic project or for direction in life choices. Whether it was expressing the faith he held in an individual’s goals or providing students with a hands-on laboratory experience they’d require for their futures, Dr. Levin was both a mentor and a friend to many who knew him. Dr. Levin passed away in April 2016.