January 18, 2017, Merced, California - The University of California Merced chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has won an Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Oﬃce. This is the ﬁrst time the chapter has been recognized for its excellence as a top-tier student-led physical sciences organization, a designation given to fewer than 10 percent of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally.
The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association designed for students and membership is open to anyone interested in physics and related ﬁelds. SPS operates within the American Institute of Physics (AIP), and umbrella organization for professional physical science societies.
The SPS chapter at the University of California Merced is advised by Dr. Carrie Menke and is led by student oﬃcers. The 2016-17 oﬃcers are:
– William Delmas, Physics, ’17
– Victoria Arias, Applied Mathematics, ’19 – Bieito De La Fuente, Physics, ’17
– Jacob Parker, Physics, '18
– Kyle Kabasares, Physics, ’17
– Laura Miller, Physics, ’17
SPS chapters are evaluated on their level of interaction with the campus community, the professional physics community, the public, and with the SPS national programs. The Outstanding Chapter Award recognizes high levels of outreach as well as unique approaches to fulﬁlling the mission of SPS to ”help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community”.
The University of California Merced chapter of SPS is proud of the development of the chapter and it’s members. In the 2016-2017 academic year the chapter accomplished many ﬁrsts such as attending Physcon 2016 in San Francisco, California, and hosting the SPS Zone 18 Meeting. In addition, the chapter helped organize and attended many outreach events at surrounding elementary schools. The new board hopes to achieve as much and more in the 2017-2018 academic year. Already, have had meetings to help members ﬁnd and prep for research opportunities at UC Merced and abroad, and we have hosted numerous physics midterm study sessions open to all undergraduates to help and engage with the student community. In addition, we are in the process of planning outreach activities at surrounding elementary schools, and are also in the process of planning a fully funded trip for our members to attend the APS March Meeting in Los Angeles, California.
It is an amazing honor to have our chapter be nationally recognized by the Society of Physics Students. I am proud of the many accomplishments the chapter accumulated this past year and am thankful to everyone who participated in the success of the chapter.