Centennial Voices

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Member Notes

Centennial Voices

In honor of the centennial of Sigma Pi Sigma, SPS and ΣΠΣ members have been sharing what the societies mean to them and how their lives have been impacted. To add your voice, visit tinyurl.com/sigpisig100survey.

Being inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma was the best thing that happened to me. It led me to an internship in my junior year and graduate school admissions both in the US and United Kingdom.
Shouvik Bhattacharya, Inducted at Minnesota State University Moorhead, 2011

Getting to be a leader within SPS has always meant a lot to me. When I was younger I met a lot of other SPS leaders that I continue to look up to, and I hope that I can also be a role model for current students. I’m also honored to be able to work with some of the nicest and most inspiring physicists in the field through SPS!
Brittney Hauke, 2019 Physics Congress Planning Committee Member, 2025 Physics Congress Co-Chair, Coe College, 2016

While undergraduate physics programs give students the technical skills needed for a physics career, SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma chapters give students the support and hands-on experience to flourish in those careers. From professional development opportunities to late-night study sessions, SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma show students the value and fun that comes from being part of the scientific community.
Megan Anderson, 2019 SPS National Council Executive Committee Member

SPS forms an integral and important part of my life as a physics student. It is a means through which I am more involved in the physics community and feel included in it. It also provides me with opportunities to prosper as a physicist.
Priktish Rao Suntoo, Lycoming College

I will never forget what it was like to finally feel like I had a home in SPS. College was tough, especially as a physics major, but I was able to walk into the student lounge and everyone there knew what I was going through. We were in this together and because we had each other, we were going to be alright.
Kenny S., Sigma Pi Sigma member 2002

I became a Sigma Pi Sigma member as a junior back in 1970 at St. Joseph’s College (now University) in Philadelphia and was honored to become a member. Then, as a young professor in 1978 at the University of North Carolina Asheville, I was made advisor of the Society of Physics Students chapter. By 1980 I was chair of the department and remained SPS advisor for our chapter. I arranged for Rex Adelberger of Guilford College to preside over the ceremony that brought a Sigma Pi Sigma chapter to UNC Asheville in 1986. I remained chapter advisor for SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma until 2000. Receiving the national award for Outstanding SPS Chapter Adviser after 20 years was very special to me.
Michael Ruiz, St. Joseph’s College, 1971

SPS has given me a community of like-minded physics undergraduates. It has enabled me to travel the US with this cohort to conferences, such as PhysCon, and form connections and get opportunities that would have been unreachable without their support. Just as importantly, SPS has given me the ability to develop outside of physics, in areas such as community outreach, and has made me not only a better scientist, but, I think, a better person as well!
Andrew Scherer, Cleveland State University

The Society of Physics Students chapter at my undergraduate institution provided me with a cohort of like-minded young physicists to interact with. We supported each other, found ways to give to our community, and had a sense of “team” that established, for me, the approach that I use in my career. Being inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma instilled in me a sense of pride in my individual accomplishments, which were the result of support from my department: my faculty, staff, classmates, and fellow SPS members.
William DeGraffenreid, President of Sigma Pi Sigma 2012–14, 2016 Physics Congress Planning Committee, California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, 1992

Our department has benefited greatly by embracing SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma and engaging in activities that promote the organizations. As a mentor I have been able to help create an environment that supports the missions of SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma. In turn, our students see the benefits of being part of groups that support their interest in physics through scholarship, service, and social interactions. Students who have actively engaged in the organizations now encourage others to do the same.
Blane Baker, 2022 Physics Congress Planning Committee Co-Chair, William Jewel College, 1986

SPS helped me and my peers to overcome the strong sense of isolation brought on by the pandemic. SPS events and projects brought many of us together.
Rahaf Youssef, St. Olaf College

SPS means engagement, encouragement, and above all—community. It is the space to learn and inspire simultaneously.
Giuliana Hofheins, Rhodes College, 2021

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