Dr. Kurt Fletcher, along with colleagues in Physics and Astronomy (McLean) and Education (Showers and Rommel-Esham), received the largest single grant in the school's history. The grant, awarded under the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program of the National Science Foundation, is designed to help prepare physics and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors for high school teaching. Congratulations Dr. Fletcher.
Physics majors Mary Keenan and Amy Walters accompanied SUNY Geneseo President Carol Long to the 2014 Climate Leadership Summit conference held in Boston, MA in October 2014. Mary and Amy presented on the SUNY Geneseo eGarden (Energy Garden), which is a stand-alone, off the grid energy garden that will generate energy using renewable sources such as wind, solar energy, geothermal systems and bio-fuels. Geneseo’s eGarden proposal was among a group of ten winners of the inaugural Small Grant Sustainability Competition, which was established as part of the system’s strategic planning goal to support an Energy-Smart New York. Mary and Amy’s project is supervised by Stephen Padalino.
At the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics conference, held in New Orleans, LA, a group of SUNY Geneseo students were awarded a prize for best poster presentation by an undergraduate student. The Geneseo students were Angela Simone, Mary Ginnane, and Ethan Turner, and the title of their poster was "Time Resolved Faraday Cup for High Energy TNSA Particles". This project was supervised by Dr. Stephen Padalino.
In the American Institute of Physics "Roster of Physics Departments with Enrollment and Degree Data" report, published this month, SUNY Geneseo was ranked #1 out of more than 500 non-Ph.D. granting colleges in the nation for producing the largest number of undergraduate physics degrees during the 2012-2013 academic year. Geneseo's physics department produced 42 majors over this time period. This marks the second straight year that Geneseo topped the AIP list.
On May 17, 2014, SUNY Geneseo held its 148th Commencement ceremonies. As usual, the department hosted a luncheon to meet with the graduates and their families. This year, the department produced 35 majors (including Spring 2014 and Fall 2013 graduates), making SUNY Geneseo one of the largest physics departments of its kind in the nation. We are very proud of our graduates and wish them the best as they go out into the real world!
Dr. Pellerin was named the LEGUS Interest Group Coordinator for the Star Cluster Group. LEGUS is an acronym for the “Legacy Extra Galactic UV Survey”, and is one of the large projects currently taking data on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).
On January 31, 2014, the Department of Physics held its third Women in Physics Mixer at Milne Library. We were happy to hear a report from 9 physics majors from SUNY Geneseo who attended the 2014 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics, held in Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Lab, and also a satellite conference held at the University of Maryland. We also welcomed back to campus several female alumni for this event.
During the winter break, Dr. Steinhauer took a group of Geneseo physics majors to Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tuscon, AZ. Dr. Steinhauer reports that the weather was fantastic and he is very pleased with the data obtained during this observing run.
On December 9, 2013, the department held its annual Sigma Pi Sigma induction ceremony at the Big Tree Inn on Main Street in Geneseo. We are very proud of the academic achievements of those students inducted into this physics honor society. Congratulations!
Drs. Padalino and Fletcher took a group of students to present research posters at the 2013 Division of Plasma Physics conference held in Denver, CO. Students presented research on a variety of projects related to inertial confinement fusion.
During the Labor Day weekend in 2013, the department hosted a 50th anniversary celebration. We welcomed back to campus a large number of alumni and emeriti faculty back to the department along with their families. The festivities included a reception held in the integrated science center, two golf tournaments (a "ball" golf tournament organized by Dr. Steinhauer and a "disc" golf tournament organized by Dr. Pogozelski), a happy hour at the Vital Spot, and we held a grand outdoor picnic at Long Point Park on Conesus Lake. Thanks to all of those who attended this wonderful event. We really enjoyed seeing everyone again to celebrate our department.
We are very excited that the department has added two new faculty member this Fall.
Dr. Anne Pellerin, a new tenure-track Assistant Professor, served as an assistant professor in the physics and astronomy department at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada. Anne received a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the Université Laval in Canada in 2010, and she is an expert in the study of young stellar populations. Dr. Pellerin has observational experience with both ground-based and space telescopes. Anne has done work on the Hubble Space Telescope and she also has experience supervising undergraduates in research.
Paul Baker joined our deaprtment this fall as a new Visiting Assistant Professor. Paul received his Ph.D. in physics from Montana State University. Paul is an expert in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project and is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), where he is searching for gravitational waves from black hole ringdowns.