Feb. 1, 2024

NDSU physics students win national recognition


NDSU’s chapter of the Society of Physics Students 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% of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally. 

The Society of Physics Students is a professional association designed for students. Membership is open to anyone interested in physics and related fields. SPS operates within the American Institute of Physics, an umbrella organization for professional physical science societies. The SPS chapter at NDSU is a student organization, supported by the Department of Physics, advised by Professor Alan Denton, and led by dedicated student officers: 

  • William Tupa, physics and mathematics, '24 
  • Sigurd Saude, physics and mathematics, '25 
  • Jessica Tsao, physics and mathematics, '24 
  • Isabel Wills, mathematics and statistics, ‘24 
  • Jacob Hubbard, physics, '24 
  • Joseph Granlie, physics, ’23

“This award is such an honor for all of us at our SPS chapter. It's been wonderful to engage with our peers and mentors at student meetings and conferences. The most rewarding aspect is being able to share my interest in physics with others, and SPS has helped me do that,” said current chapter President Sigurd Saude. 

SPS chapters are evaluated based 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 as well as unique approaches to fulfilling the mission of SPS to “help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community.” 

The NDSU SPS chapter was recognized as outstanding in part for its efforts in organizing and hosting a meeting of SPS chapters from Zone 11, which includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. 

With financial support from the SPS National Office, physics students from the region engaged in campus tours of research labs in the R1 building and of NDSU’s high-performance computing center, enjoyed an astronomy talk by Professor Wayne Barkhouse (University of North Dakota), shared their research in a poster session and competed in a fun egg-drop contest. 

The NDSU students were also recognized for attending the 2022 Physics Congress in Washington, D.C., the largest gathering of undergraduate physics students in the United States, and engaging in several science outreach events, including Science Fun Night at Longfellow Elementary School, ND State Science Olympiad hosted by NDSU and a Drone Discovery Day on campus.

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