The University of Florida chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has won an Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Office. For multiple years 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), an umbrella organization for professional physical science societies.
The SPS chapter at the University of Florida is advised by Dr. Imre Bartos and is led by student officers. The 2020-2021 officers are:
– Urja Shah, President
– Jonathan Gant, Vice President
– Ryan Netrval, Treasurer
– Zachary Speaks, Propagandist
– Carlton Smith, Secretary
– Mitchell Solano, Historian
– Kyle Theberge, Tutoring Chair
– Christopher Perez, Tutoring Chair
“This recognition is a high honor for University of Florida and for science achievement at the higher education level in Florida. I am honored to serve such a wonderful group as their president.” said Urja Shah.
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 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 Florida SPS chapter has once again excelled in their efforts to conduct various outreach events as well as department hosted events. Their goal to make the physics community at their university accessible and a fun place to learn new things is evident from their tutoring efforts for other peers and by making YouTube videos on interesting subject matter or interviewing faculty members on their research achievements. As part of their weekly events, they also started a “Meet the Professor” event to introduce students to a new faculty member at each meeting. Hosting the annual United Nations Women in Science week and Yuri’s night has become a yearly success for the students and their faculty members. The Society of Physics Students chapter at UF is truly an influential platform where young creative minds come together to help each other grow as scientists and the next generation science communicators.