Outstanding Masters Candidate Awards

This year's Outstanding Masters Awards go to Rehab AlBaridy for her exceptional scholarship in her course work and to Brent Yates for his outstanding masters project with Dr. Morty Khakoo.

Brent, mentor-Prof Morty Khakoo, and RehabBrent, mentor-Prof Morty Khakoo, and RehabRehab joined our masters program after one semester at Pittsburg State University. She came highly recommended and has proven to be a talented and hard working student. She scored A's in all our classes and lately has been involved in research with Dr. Morty Khakoo. Rehab hopes one day she will return to her native country, Saudi Arabia, to work for King Saudi University.

Brent has worked on a difficult analysis of experimental data to determine reaction dynamics due to electron impact ionization of argon and krypton. The project involved a whole year of analysis of the data and repeated crosschecks of the way different data sets were compared. Brent's work has resulted in a publication in 2010 in the Journal of Physics B: Atomic and Molecular Physics, and his most recent results have just been published in Physical Review A. Brent will be pursuing a PhD after his Masters.

Outstanding Scholarship Awards

Kevin Ralphs and Casey Sanchez are this year's recipients of the Physics Department's Scholarship Award, typically awarded to a graduating senior with outstanding academic achievements.

Casey, mentor-Prof Mike Loverude, and Kevin Casey, mentor-Prof Mike Loverude, and Kevin Kevin is a double major in physics and mathematics and has been an outstanding student with his course work as well as in the research environment. His overall GPA is 3.98 and in his physics and math courses at CSUF 4.0. He has single-handedly developed an intricate yet versatile symbolic-algebra (Mathematica) program to analyze the complex electronic energy-loss spectrum of water excited by low energy electrons, a reaction of fundamental biological interest. His analysis done in collaboration with a theory group at Caltech will result in reaction rates for excitation of water at the lowest electron energies measured to date.

Casey will also be graduating with degrees in physics and mathematics and a GPA of 3.56 [3.63 in physics]. At CSUF, Casey participated in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation and was a McNair Fellow and a Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Fellow. At CSUF he worked with Dr. Michael Loverude on physics education research. Casey participated in two summer research projects at the University of Wisconsin and MIT, which help him refine his interest in material science. Between these different projects, he has co-authored one paper and two poster presentations, with one more of each expected in the near future. Casey will be starting a Ph.D. program in material science at UC-San Diego in the fall, and has received a 4-year fellowship to support his studies.

Outstanding Service Awards

Cristian Navarro, Bobby Wright, and Brent Yates are this year's recipients of the Physics Department's Service Awards, typically awarded to students for their outstanding service to the department.

Brent, staff-tech Steve Mahrley, Bobby, and CrisBrent, staff-tech Steve Mahrley, Bobby, and CrisCris is a sophomore physics major who joined the department last summer working with the department techs to begin a reorganization of our extensive lecture demo collection and renovation of our equipment and storage facilities. Cris worked 20+ hours per week over the summer and has committed 10+ hours per week this past school year to work closely with Colin Campbell and Steve Mahrley to further reorganize and renovate the department's lecture demo collection.

This past December, department tech Fred Engelhard retired after 20 years of dedicated service. This spring, the department hired Bobby to assist department tech Steve Mahrley throughout the week with lab and lecture-demo setup as needed. Bobby quickly familiarized himself with his new and fairly technical duties bringing an exceptional can-do attitude to the department that we all appreciate and greatly enjoy. Bobby has developed an extensive skill base and has performed a variety of tasks with minimal supervision.

Brent has been the Physics Club president for three years. While the club president is often an undergraduate student, Brent has gone beyond the call of duty and willingly served as a master's student, while performing cutting-edge research in Dr. Morty Khakoo's electron scattering lab. This Outstanding Service Award recognizes his extraordinary dedication and his hard work.