Cooperman Award

Awarded each year to a deserving physics major based on need and academic achievement to honor the memory of former physics Professor Ed Cooperman, $600.

Cris and friendCris and friendCristian Navarro is a junior who has been very active in designing and building lecture demos with Shovit Bhari, the department's lecture-demo curator. Cris is one of the leaders in the Physics Club and has been working in Dr. Khakoo's electron-scattering lab. Last fall Cris designed and built with Shovit a Ruben's Tube that demonstrates interference properties of sound by modulating gas flow to a line of gas flames along the tube. Cris and Shovit continue to work to add more demos to our collection.


Eiker-Adams Creativity Award

Ahmad and his momAhmad and his momAwarded each year to physics majors who design with faculty supervision an experiment for use as a lecture demo or in a department teaching laboratory, $2,000. Funded through the generous endowment of former distinguished professor and department founder Ray Adams in memory of Constance B. Eiker.

Ahmad Sakaamini has improved the classic Einstein photoelectric experiment to obtain better values for the fundamental quantum Planck constant. His work has helped to improve one of our lower-division introductory modern physics labs.


Norman Nitzberg Award

Awarded each year to a physics major for excellence in experimental physics and use of the machine shop, $300. Funded through a generous donation from the family of the late Norman Nitzberg, former depart-ment machinist.

Brandon Grisanti has worked in the machine shop using the lathe and mill building parts for experiments in Dr. Kha-koo's lab. Last summer, Brandon traveled to Brazil for six weeks of collaborative research between Kha-koo's group and the Federal University of Juiz de Fora. He will be working this summer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an Undergraduate Research Fellow and will be starting a PhD in Physics at the University of Nevada Reno in the fall.

Daniel Vander-Hyde is a promising young experimental physicist who is working in the lab of Dr. Josh Smith. His current research project involves characterizing optical scatter in support of Dr. Smith's gravitational-wave re-search. Daniel will be traveling to Italy this summer to put his experimental skills to work on the VIRGO gravitational-wave detector.

Robert W. Kedzie Award

Joan KedzieJoan KedzieAwarded each year to junior or senior physics majors who have shown recent improvement in their courses, $1,000. Funded through the generous and ongoing gifts of the family of the late Dr. Robert W. Kedzie, retired engineer and dedicated volunteer and popular tutor in the department.

Heather Chilton started as a Geology major and added Physics to pursue her passion for planetary science, which lies at the boundary of astrophysics and geology. In addition to the double major, she led the local organ-ization of our Society of Physics Students (SPS) by encouraging membership in the society among our ma-jors while serving as liaison to the National SPS. Heather also completed a research project at the SETI Institute analyzing data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter last summer, and she helped organize the Physics entry to the annual Pumpkin Launch last November. She plans to continue her studies in planetary science in graduate school.

Cinthia and parentsCinthia and parentsCinthia Padilla is a graduating senior who has been an excellent researcher, student, and peer mentor for our de-partment. She has conducted gravitational-wave research with Dr. Smith since 2010, completed summer REUs in Seoul, South Korea, and at SRI in the Bay Area. Cinthia has also served as president of the Physics Club and a peer mentor for the STEM2 program. She plans to attend graduate school in engineering.

Gaby, Heather, Professor ReadGaby, Heather, Professor Read


Gabriela (Gaby) Serna is a graduating senior who has been very active in research and service projects. She was an LSAMP scholar and a leader in the Physics Club. She has participated in three different research projects at CSUF, working with Drs. Khakoo, Hargreaves, Smith, and Loverude, and has been an author on two publications and several presentations at national meetings. Last summer she did research at the Uni-versity of Arizona through the CAMPARE program at Cal Poly Pomona. Gaby is planning to pursue a graduate degree in astronomy.


Wolfram Mathematica Award

Awarded each year to a graduating senior from the college who has demonstrated exceptional programming skills with Mathematica, a lifetime license to Mathematica. Based on nominations and input from faculty across the college and funded through a generous annual donation from Wolfram Research.

Matthew Giesler is an outstanding physics senior who has excelled in both classroom and research based computa-tional tasks. In 2012 Matthew was the top student in the departments Computational Physics class, with an overall score of A+ and 100% on each of his exams. Matthew then went on to complete a research pro-ject in atomic and molecular physics with Leigh Hargreaves, creating computer models of scattering dy-namics in electron-water systems, with the results currently submitted for publication in Physical Review A.