APSU physics students win national recognition
Clarksville, TN (01/22/2024) — Austin Peay State University's Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapter recently earned an Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Office, a designation given to less than 10% of the SPS chapters at colleges and universities across the globe.
This marks the sixth time Austin Peay's SPS chapter has received the award, demonstrating its continued excellence as a top-tier student-led physical sciences organization.
SPS is a professional association designed for students, and membership is open to anyone interested in physics and its related fields. The association operates within the American Institute of Physics (AIP), an umbrella organization for professional physical science societies.
The SPS chapter at Austin Peay is advised by Dr. Alex King, chair of the Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy, and is led by student officers. The 2022-23 officers are:
- President Meleah Lanier, Engineering Physics
- Vice President Michael Graff, Engineering Physics
- Secretary Jair Martinez, Engineering Physics
- Treasurer Joshua Rye, Engineering Physics
- Director of Chapter Relations William Keener, Physics
- Director of Public Outreach Yuriy Holovchak, Engineering Physics and Computer Science
"As someone who has been a part of both our department and club since before the pandemic, witnessing our growth has been incredibly fulfilling," Lanier said. "The path to this point wasn't easy, especially coming back from a global pause, but seeing what we've accomplished fills me with immense pride."
Lanier said the club put in hours of planning, outreach efforts and late nights to achieve its success and thanked its members for their efforts throughout the year.
"It's all for those moments of wonder and excitement we see on the faces of children and adults alike when they connect with physics," Lanier said. "Our passion for what we learn and teach is the driving force behind everything we do. With our department's growth and the increasing membership in Del Square Psi, we've seen an amazing expansion in our capabilities and outreach. Being honored with this award again is not just a recognition of our dedication to physics and education; it's a testament to the positive impact we've managed to make as a club and a department."
SPS chapters are evaluated on their level of interaction with the campus community, the professional physics community, the public and with SPS national programs. The Outstanding Chapter Award recognizes high levels of outreach and unique approaches to fulfilling the mission of SPS to "help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community."
"Del Square Psi experienced a revival in the post-pandemic era, engaging in 13 outreach events for the community last year," Lanier said. "Our highlight event by far was participating in APSU's G.H.O.S.T. with our life-size and interactable Minecraft-themed build, complete with props and sounds from the game, that was designed and constructed by our members and officers. It was a great comeback since it was the first time G.H.O.S.T. had returned to normal after the pandemic as well, and we also took it to the Sci-Fi Expo at the public library."