Grove City College’s chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has won an Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Office.
This is the seventh 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 SPS chapter at Grove City College is advised by Dr. DJ Wagner, professor of Physics, and is led by student officers. The 2018-19 executive officers are President Darin Mumma ’21, Vice President Isaac Lehman ’21, Secretary Zach Johnson ’19, and Treasurer Caleb Nasman ’19.
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.”
Connor Murphy ’19, the SPS chapter president during the honored 2017-2018 year, said, “Receiving the Outstanding Chapter Award from the Society of Physics Students for our efforts is an honor and a challenge. It is an honor because it recognizes that what we do in our Physics Club and in our community is making a difference. It challenges us to remember every year that there are students who will benefit from a supportive and sharpening community in their discipline, and that there are people around us who do not realize the beauty of physics and what can be accomplished through it.”
Grove City College’s SPS chapter is noted for its high level of activity and for the involvement of students from multiple disciplines. Non-physics majors regularly hold office and often attend physics conferences with the group. In addition to professional development, the organization has several social events each year to foster community, with the annual “Physics Club All-Nighter” in Rockwell drawing approximately 80 students from across campus to enjoy physics-themed activities and games from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each March. The club also reaches out to the community, hosting approximately 50 fourth and fifth graders from three different schools for an interactive “Physics Day” each spring.
Advisor Wagner said, “I am pleased that our chapter of SPS has once again been honored. It is a tribute to the efforts of our officers in designing and organizing diverse and interesting events and to the welcoming community all of our members contribute to creating.”