Class of 2009 Graduates with Many Honors

June 1, 2009

Congratulations to the 2009 graduates of the Department of Physics and Astronomy! In the graduation ceremony held today:

  • Bachelor's Degrees
    21 students earned BS degrees in Physics (up from last year's 15)
    3 students earned BA degrees in Physics
    1 student earned a BS degree in Physics and Astronomy
    1 student earned a BA degree in Physics and Astronomy
  • Master's Degrees
    11 students earned MA degrees in Physics
  • PhD Degrees
    6 students earned PhD degrees in Physics
    4 student earned a PhD degree in Physics and Optics

    Bachelor's Degrees

    Class of 2009. Click for a high-resolution image.

    The following table displays details about the undergraduates who received their Bachelor's degrees and various awards today.

    NameDegrees EarnedAdditional Awards
    Kristin M. BeckBS PhysicsJohn F. Flagg Award
    Fulbright Award
    Undergraduate Teaching Award
    Janet Howell Clark Prize
    The Doris Ermine Smith Award
    Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
    Winston Churchill Scholarship
    Phi Beta Kappa
    Sigma Pi Sigma
    WeiKang FanBS PhysicsSigma Pi Sigma
    John K. Golden (2010)Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
    Jeremiah J. HaremzaBS Physics
    Samuel T. HarroldBS PhysicsUndergraduate Teaching Award
    Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
    Phi Beta Kappa
    Sigma Pi Sigma
    Zachary J. KozickBS PhysicsKaufmann's Entrepreneurial Year (KEY)
    Academic Exchange Service: Research Internship in Science and Engineering (RISE) Scholarship
    Daniel J. LinfordBS PhysicsSigma Pi Sigma
    Jacob E. MainzerBS Physics

    Sigma Pi Sigma

    Renata MazurekBA PhysicsSigma Pi Sigma
    Andrew D. MissertBS Physics  
    Kishore PadmarajuBS PhysicsSigma Pi Sigma
    Jordan B. ParkerBS PhysicsKaufmann's Entrepreneurial Year (KEY)
    Alexander D. PawlickiBS Physics
    Melanie A. PelcherBS Physics
    Zhengqinq QiBS PhysicsUndergraduate Teaching Award
    Sigma Pi Sigma
    Theodore A. RapachBS PhysicsPhi Beta Kappa
    Sigma Pi Sigma
    Benoit J. RichardBS PhysicsSigma Pi Sigma
    Patrick D. Sheehan (2011)Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
    Katrina M. SliwaBS PhysicsPhi Beta Kappa
    Sigma Pi Sigma
    Gregory S. SmithBS Physics
    Roger A. SmithBA PhysicsStoddard Prize
    Sigma Pi Sigma
    Kristin E. SullivantBS PhysicsSigma Pi Sigma
    Peter A. ThompsonBS  Physics
    Erik J. TobiasonBA  PhysicsTake 5 Scholar
    Jordan S. WebsterBS  PhysicsKaufmann's Entrepreneurial Year (KEY)
    James W. WestoverBS Physics
    Sendawula Y. KajubiBA Physics and Astronomy
    Sean M. TannyBSPhysics and Astronomy

    Undergraduate Awards

    The John F. Flagg Award is an annual prize awarded to a graduating senior, majoring in Physics or in Physics and Astronomy, with the highest grade-point average as an undergraduate.

    The Fulbright Award is an annual prize awarded to the student who, by his or her performance in the Advanced Laboratory, manifests the greatest promise for developing into an experimental physicist in the tradition exemplified by Prof. Harry W. Fulbright.

    The Stoddard Prize is an annual prize awarded for the best senior thesis by a graduating senior in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

    The Undergraduate Teaching Award is an annual award given by the Department to honor the best undergraduate teaching interns of the class of 2010.

    Take 5 Scholars is an award of an additional semester or year at the University, tuition-free, to explore in great depth a subject apart from one's major or main theme of study.

    The Kaufmann's Entrepreneurial Year (KEY) is an award of an additional year at the University, tuition-free, to transform an idea into an enterprise that positively affects others.

    The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is a nationally competitive scholarship in science, math, and engineering, endowed by the U.S. Congress to honor the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater.

    Founded in January 1, 1925, the German Academic Exchange Service: Research Internship in Science and Engineering (RISE) Scholarship provides students with research opportunities at top institutions across Germany.

    Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and largest undergraduate honor society in the US dedicated to fostering and recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.

    Sigma Pi Sigma is the national physics honor society, affiliated with the American Institute of Physics. Sigma Pi Sigma exists to honor outstanding scholarship in physics; to encourage interest in physics among students at all levels; to promote an attitude of service of its members towards their fellow students, colleagues, and the public; to provide a fellowship of persons who have excelled in physics.

    Graduate Awards

    The Graduate Teaching Award, won by Jonathan Petruccelli, is an annual prize awarded by the Department to the best graduate teaching assistant.

    The American Association of Physics Teachers Award, won by Seong Keun Cho, Mark Pecaut, and Kelly Sassin, is an annual prize awarded by the Department for excellent performance as a workshop, recitation, or laboratory instructor.

    The Susumu Okubo Prize, won by Shantanu Agarwal, is a prize in honor Prof. Susumu Okubo, awarded annually by the Department for excellent performance in graduate course work and on the Preliminary Exam.

    The Frederick Lobkowicz Prize, won by Bo Young Han and Qing He, is an annual prize awarded by the Department in recognition of an exception PhD dissertation in high-energy nuclear or particle physics.

    The Agnes M. and George Messersmith Fellowship, won by Daniel P. Berdine, is given annually by the University Dean of Graduate Studies, in support of a particularly promising doctoral thesis project.

    The Outstanding Dissertation Award in the Natural Sciences, won by Benjamin A. Sargent, is given annually by the University in recognition of an outstanding doctoral thesis completed in the Natural Sciences.

    PhD Degrees

    NameDegree EarnedDissertation TitleAdvisor
    Chia-Ling ChenPhD, Physics

    Diffusive Transport and Trapping Systems Exhibiting Dynamic Percolation Transitions

    Eldred Chimowitz and Yonathan Shapir

    Marian GhileaPhD, Physics

    Neutron Imaging with Bubble Chambers for Inertial Confinement Fusion

    David Meyerhofer and C. Thomas Sangster

    Stefanos GiampanisPhD, Physics

    Search for a High Frequency Stochastic Background of Gravitational Waves

    Adrian Melissinos

    Jennifer L. GimmellPhD, Physics

    Search for the Flavor Changing Neutral Current Decay t --> Zq at \/s = 1.96 TeV

    Paul Tipton and Kevin McFarland

    Bo Young HanPhD, Physics

    Measurement of the W Boson Production Charge Asymmetry in pp Collisions

    Kevin McFarland

    Ji Yeon HanPhD, Physics

    The Differential Cross Section Distribution of Drell-Yan Dielectron Pairs in the Z Boson Mass Region

    Arie Bodek

    Qing HePhD, Physics

    Qing He dissertation

    Edward Thorndike

    Edward M. NelsonPhD, Physics

    The Adsorption of DNA onto Unmodified Gold Nanoparticles

    Lewis Rothberg

    Joel D. GreenPhD, Physics

     Observations of Feedback Between Protostars and their Natal Clouds

    Dan Watson

    Alexander I. HubbardPhD, Physics

     Conceptual Developments in the Astrophysical Hydrodynamics of Accretion Disks and Stellar Winds

    Eric Blackman

    Ivan D. MinchevPhD, Physics

     The Effect of Spiral and Bar Structure on the Milky Way Velocity Distribution

    Alice Quillen

    Benjamin A. SargentPhD, Physics

     Spitzer IRS Spectroscopic Studies of Dust Composition of Protoplanetary Disks

    William Forrest

    Michaela TscherneckPhD, Physics

     Molecule Chips

    Nicholas Bigelow

    Kang-Hsin WangPhD, Physics

    Photodynamic Therapy: Theoretical and Experimental Approaches to Dosimetry

    Thomas Foster

    Kevin C. WrightPhD, Physics and Astronomy

    Stimulated Raman Interactions in a Spinor Bose-Einstein Condensate

     Nicholas Bigelow

    Fan YangPhD, Physics and Astronomy

     D Meson Hadronic Decays at CLEO-c

    Edward Thorndike

    Ilyas YildirimPhD, Physics and Astronomy

    Free Energy Calculations of RNA Duplexes with Tandem GA Base Pairs Using the Thermodynamic Integration Approach

    Douglas Turner and Nicholas Bigelow

    Han G. YooPhD, Physics and Astronomy

    Silicon Nanosheets: Optical Properties, Light Confinement in Multilayer Waveguides, and Lateral Electrical Injection and Luminescence

    Philippe Fauchet

    Faculty Awards

    This year's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching went to Nicholas P. Bigelow, Professor of Physics, and to Douglas Cline, Professor of Physics.

    The Award for 50 Years of Service as a Faculty Member went to Emil Wolf, Wilson Professor of Optical Physics and Theoretical Physics.

    The University Dean's Award for Meritorious Service in PhD Defenses went to Robert McCrory, Vice Provost and Director of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics and Professor of Physics.

    The OSA/SPIE 2008 Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award went to Emil Wolf, Wilson Professor of Optical Physics and Theoretical Physics.

    The Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics went to Robert W. Boyd, Professor of Optics and Physics.