Outstanding Masters Candidate Award
This year's Outstanding Masters Awards go to Daniel Henriksen and Khai Nguyen for their exceptional scholarship in their course work.
Daniel joined our masters program after receiving his undergraduate degree from Biola University. Along with completing our Masters Degree classes with distinction, Daniel was involved in theoretical condensed-matter research under the supervision of Ionel Tifrea. Daniel presented this work on nuclear spin dynamics in low dimensional semiconductor systems this past March at the condensed-matter divisional meeting of the American Physical Society in Boston. After completing his Masters Degree, Daniel hopes to join the US Na-vy Nuclear Energy program.
Khai received his undergraduate degree from Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan. During his two years at CSUF, Khai has excelled in all his classes and has been an outstanding and very popular teaching assistant in several of our elementary physics labs. He has been involved in research projects with Heidi Fearn and Ionel Tifrea. In the fall, Khai will begin studies on a PhD degree in physics at Georgia Tech.
Outstanding Scholarship Award
Evan Foley and Oscar Monrreal are this year's recipients of the Physics Department's Scholarship Award, typically awarded to a graduating senior with outstanding academic achievements.
Evan is a graduating senior and plans to pursue a master's degree in physics at CSUF. He is a talented young physicist and programmer and has put these skills to good use as a member of a small team of developers in Josh Smith's gravitational-wave group that are improving data analysis software for the gravitational-wave-research community.
Oscar is a graduating senior and will complete his physics degree with an emphasis in business. Oscar plans to work for a nonprofit organization on conservation projects in Africa and eventually pursue either a Masters or a Doctorate in conservation biology upon his return from Africa.
Outstanding Service Award
Cinthia Padilla, Gabriela Serna, Heather Chilton and Kevin Ralphs are this year's recipients of the Physics Department's Service Awards, which the physics faculty award to students for their outstanding service to the department.
Cinthia and Gaby have been serving the Physics Club this past year as President and Vice President, respectively, leading the organization with regular meetings and a variety of events including fields trips, Family Science nights at area elementary schools, and department colloquia. This past January, they repre-sented the department with poster presentations at the 2012 Western Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics at Stanford, and last October along with Fabian Magana-Sandoval and Professor Josh Smith with poster presentations at the 2011 SACNAS National Conference in San Jose. This summer, Cinthia will be participating in an NSF-funded internship at the renowned research center SRI in Palo Alto. Gaby will be participating in an NSF-funded internship at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory, in-cluding a research project with the country's leading astronomy education research group.
This past year, Heather has led the local organization of our Society of Physics Students SPS by encourag-ing membership in the society among our majors while serving as liaison to the National SPS. The SPS facili-tates awards and fellowships, research and internships, as well as career-placement services. Heather began her journey as a geology major but added physics to her plate due to her interest in astronomy and planetary science. This summer Heather will be participating in a summer research project at the SETI Institute.
This past year, Kevin has generously volunteered his time organizing a GRE (graduate record exam) preparation course for his fellow student colleagues. Typically, six to eight students meet with Kevin each week. He prepares handouts for each session with warm up problems to demonstrate quick tricks for the exam along with longer problem sets covering the whole range of GRE topics from electromagnetism to quantum mechanics. Kevin has been awarded a four-year scholarship from Purdue University to join their PhD program in theoretical physics starting this fall.
Outstanding Senior Award
Kevin Ralphs is this year's recipient of the department's Outstanding Senior Award. Kevin is a double major in physics and mathematics. He has been an exemplary student in his academics over the course of his academic career as well as in research and in his mentoring of physics and mathe-matics with his fellow students. His overall GPA is 4.0 in physics and 3.98 in mathematics. He has presented his research on the electronic spectrum of water in Morty Khakoo's lab with collaborators from Caltech at an American Physical Society conference in Salt Lake City. Kevin has been awarded a four-year scholar-ship from Purdue University to join their PhD program in theoretical physics starting this fall.
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