The Year in Review

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2008 Physics & Astronomy Awards Dinner

During the 2007-08 academic year, a chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma was established on the UWSP campus. We are the initial inductees to this honorary society of physics students. To find out more about department accomplishment this past year, please click on the links shown below.

Chris Zemke, Steve Lynam, Kyla Dean, Luke Wilson, Chelsey Driessen, Matt Newby, Karen Chamberlin, Kyle Taylor, Larkin Duelge, Ross Wieloch.

2008 Information

 Scholarship Recipients

Freshman Scholarship ($750)
  • Logan Besaw (Cedarburg, WI)
  • Tarra Harrigan (Sparta, WI)
  • Karley Weir (Appleton, WI)
  • Bryant VandeKolk (Brandon, WI)
Monica Bainter Scholarship ($500)
  • Chelsey Driessen
  • Liza Piltz
  • Michelle Stephens
Arthur Pesja Award ($1000)
  • Luke Wilson
Monica Bainter Memorial Award ($1500)
  • Steve Lynam
The Allen Bocher Scholarship for International Internships ($500)
  • Karl Larsen - London Internship (Spring 2009)
Culver-Rogers Award ($500)
  • Dean Pawlisch - provided to an outstanding UWSP student majoring in chemistry, mathematics, or physics.
Thalacker-Trytten Award ($1800)
  • Justin Perket - provided to an outstanding UWSP student majoring in chemistry, mathematics, or physics.

 Graduating Seniors

Larkin Duelge - Plans to seek an industrial position prior to enrollment in graduate school.
Logan Kimberly - Will teach physics and mathematics at St. Croix Central High School in Hammond, WI.
Michael Krause - Plans to obtain certification in secondary education.
Matthew Newby - Accepted for graduate study in physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Aaron Schaufenbuel - Accepted for graduate study in astrophysics at West Virginia University.
Ross Wielock - Accepted for graduate study in astrophysics at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Amy Wilder - Will assume the position of planetarium program coordinator at the University of Texas-Arlington.
Jeremiah Zblewski (Dec 2007) - Plans to seek an industrial position prior to enrollment in graduate school.

Graduating seniors (left to right): Ross Wielock, Matthew Newby, Aaron Schaufenbuel, and Amy Wilder.

 Department Highlights

Society of Physics Students
 Professor Hai Nguyen - Advisor
  • Hosted two speakers: former UWSP Physics Professor Greg Taft and James Kakalios, Professor of Physics at the University of Minnesota.
  • Engaged the American Chemical Society students in a demonstration competition that attracted hundreds of spectators from campus and the community.
  • Sponsored the traditional model rocket launches for grade-school age children throughout central Wisconsin.
  • Toured the Adler Planetarium, Fermilab, and the Shedd Aquarium over an extended weekend.
  • Heard Nobel laureate Eric Cornell at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Applied Physics Students Participating in Internships
Internships for the new emphases in applied physics have been initiated. Central Wisconsin internship sites include Greenheck Fan Corporation and Siemens Water Technologies, both in the Wausau area. Internationally, London internships are being arranged for three UWSP students beginning the summer term of 2008.

Academy of Letters and Science Awards
  • Logan Kimberly - graduating senior.
  • Dean Pawlisch - continuing student.
Student Research
  • Karl Larsen and Justin Perket accompanied Professor Ken Menningen to the Electrochemical Society meeting in Phoenix where they presented the poster "Surface Modification of Galium Indium Phosphide for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting."
  • Kyle Taylor accompanied Professors Hai Nguyen and Chris Verzani to the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics meeting at Pennsylvania State University to present the poster "Molecular Formation and Alignment of Photo-Associated Cold Atoms Using Ultrafast Laser Pulses." Michelle Stephens, Karen Chamberlin, and Steve Lynam are co-authors of this poster.
  • Chelsey Driessen and Dean Pawlisch co-authored the article "Electrical Conductivity of Silver Phosphorus Selenide and Copper Phosphorus Selenide" with Professors Bob Beeken and Brad Hinaus published in the journal Solid State Ionics.
  • Larkin Duelge, Karl Larsen, and Justin Perket presented poster reports of their undergraduate research with Professors Mick Veum and Ken Menningen at the 2008 UWSP College of Letters and Science Symposium this past spring.
Physics Education
  • David Tamres has been accepted to attend the Second Annual Meeks Memorial Acoustics Workshop at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
  • Chris Verzani will attend the New Faculty Workshop at the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.
  • Liza Piltz accompanied Professor Katie Jore to the Arecibo Radio Telescope during the January interim. The trip marks the initiation of a long-term UWSP collaboration with Cornell University allowing our faculty and students to use this world-class research facility located in tropical Puerto Rico.
  • Larkin Duelge accompanied Professor Randy Olson to Kitt Peak National Observatory for research into stellar clusters.
  • The planetarium program "Gods of the Solar System" is the first show to be produced in totality at UWSP. Amy Wilder, under the direction of Professor Randy Olson, wrote the script and programmed all visuals. A cast of three UWSP theatre majors narrated the presentation.
  • Professor Elisha Polomski co-authored the articles "Neon Abundance in the Ejecta of QU Vulpeculae from Late-Epoch Infrared Spectra" as well as "Infrared and X-Ray Evidence for Circumstellar Grain Destruction by the Blast Wave of Supernova 1987A," both appearing in The Astrophysical Journal.
Laser Physics
  • Professor Hai Nguyen gave an invited talk on his atom trapping research in Israel this past winter.
  • Professor Chris Verzani co-authored the article "Laboratory Measurements of 50-300 eV X-Rays from Collisions of Cometary Interest" appearing in the journal Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research.
Research Experience for Undergraduates
  • Karen Chamberlin has been accepted to the REU program at the University of Notre Dame for the second consecutive year.
  • Chelsey Driessen will spend the summer engaged in nuclear physics research at Duke University.
  • Karl Larsen is heading to Montana State University for a summer REU program in engineering.
  • Steve Lynam has also been accepted to the REU program in nuclear physics at Duke University.
  • Liza Piltz plans to work at the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy site in Valdosta, Georgia.
  • Michelle Stephens will also be involved with the summer REU program at the University of Notre Dame.
  • Kyle Taylor will be engaged in optics research at the University of Rochester this summer.
  • Luke Wilson plans to travel to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas to join their REU program.
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