The department celebrates its 2014 scholars and award recipients at the annual college Awards Reception May 1. 

Refer to our Awards and Recognition page for origins and descriptions.


Constance Beech Eiker and Raymond V. Adams Creativity Award – $2,000

Awarded to physics majors who design with faculty supervision an experiment for use as a lecture demo or in a department teaching laboratory. Funded through the generous endowment of former distinguished professor and department founder Ray Adams in memory of Constance B. Eiker.

Greg Childers, Ahmad, Eric, Steve Mahrley, Alex, CrisGreg Childers, Ahmad, Eric, Steve Mahrley, Alex, Cris

Alex Gauf has helped Dr. Keith Wanser and our tech Steve Mahrley over the past year develop and modernize our 3rd-semester introductory physics laboratory with a variety of new experiments and instrumentation. 

Eric Tran and Cris Navarro have helped Dr. Greg Childers and our tech Shovit Bhari over the past year introduce a new ultra-modern two-photon entanglement experiment into our capstone advanced laboratory course.

Ahmad Saakamini has produced a portfolio of videos documenting a selection of popular lecture demonstrations from the department’s growing collection curated by our tech Shovit Bhari.


Dan Black Physics-Business Scholarship – $2,500

Awarded to physics majors for their ongoing active participation in the Dan Black Phys-Bus Program. Fund-ed through the generous ongoing commitment of Dan Black to the Physics program, one of the depart-ment's earliest graduates.

Nousha Afshari remains involved in a variety of campus activities including the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the NSM-Inter Club Council, and the Physics Club. She has been working with Dr. Geoffrey Lovelace to manage his cluster-computing simulations of gravitational waves. Nousha has long-term entrepreneurial goals in medical instrumentation.

Ionel Tifrea, Phillipe, Jason, Dean BowmanIonel Tifrea, Phillipe, Jason, Dean Bowman

Jason Luong is active in several campus groups and has competed as a finalist with the CSUF debate Team. Jason works part time to support his studies at CSUF and maintains a strong entrepreneurial interest in solar power and renewable energy.

Phillipe (second from right in the jacket) and familyPhillipe (second from right in the jacket) and familyPhillipe Rodriguez maintains active memberships in a variety of groups including Pledge Class President and Pledge Chair of Epsilon Nu Tau Entrepreneurship Fraternity, the Future Business Leaders of America, President of the Society of Physics Students, Vice President of Students United with Community Collaborators to Enhance Success in Science, and Treasurer of the Physics Club. Phillipe is also an All Star Coach for Youth Soccer and has longterm plans to attend grad school in business and eventually to have his own startup involving physics and technology.


Dan Black Physics Scholarship – $4,000

Awarded to physics majors who show promise for a successful physics-related career. Funded through the generous ongoing commitment of Dan Black to the Physics program.

Faculty with award winnersFaculty with award winners

Adrian Avila-Alvarez – for his enthusiastic contributions to department culture and to gravitation-al-wave detection research with Josh Smith.

Kevin Kuper – for his wide-ranging club and community outreach activities and black-hole simula-tion research with Geoffrey Lovelace.

Daniel Vander-Hyde – for his gravitational-wave detection research and journal-article prepara-tion with Josh Smith that involved a summer internship in Cascina, Italy.

Marlene Vega – for her community work with disabled children and adults and her potential for graduate school and a career in teaching.

Robert W Kedzie Junior/Senior Award – $1,000

Awarded to junior or senior physics majors who have shown recent improvement in their courses. Funded through the generous and ongoing gifts of the family of the late Dr. Robert W. Kedzie, a retired physicist and a longtime dedicated and popular volunteer tutor in the department.

Jackie, Joan Kedzie, Jocelyn Read, Morty KhakooJackie, Joan Kedzie, Jocelyn Read, Morty KhakooJackie Cross is currently entering her senior year and has made great progress across all fronts especially with her research endeavors with Dr. Leigh Hargreaves to develop data acquisition and analysis software for electron-molecule scattering experiments. Jackie has also been selected by the college to re-ceive this year’s lifetime Wolfram Award for outstanding computing.

Sewit Jemal has remained scholarly and productive despite having family responsibilities with two young children. She has contributed to a comparative study of the electron excitation of water, methanol and ethanol working in the laboratory of Drs. Khakoo and Hargreaves, which will result in a paper in the near future. Sewit plans to begin her Masters degree with us next year.

Norman Nitzberg Award in Experimental Physics – $300

Awarded to a physics major for excellence in experimental physics and use of the machine shop. Funded through a generous donation from the family of the late Norman Nitzberg, former department machinist.

Adrian Avila-Alvarez has contributed to several experiments in Dr. Smith’s light scattering lab and has made important upgrades to the lab apparatus that required machine-shop work.

Robert Wright receives this award for his development and commissioning of a new electron spec-trometer in Dr. Khakoo's electron scattering lab.

Outstanding Masters Candidate Award – $300

Eric, Alex Gauf, Evan, Geoffrey Lovelace, Gary, KenEric, Alex Gauf, Evan, Geoffrey Lovelace, Gary, Ken

Awarded to recognize graduating masters candidates for outstanding scholarship in their physics course-work and for outstanding service as teaching assistants.

Evan Foley will seek employment in industry.

Veronica Lockett-Ruiz is looking to enter a PhD program in Physics in Europe.

Ken and VeronicaKen and Veronica

Gary Uppal enter the PhD program in Physics at Notre Dame.

Ken Varela will enter the PhD program in Physics at Penn State.



Outstanding Scholarship Award – $300

Geoffrey Lovelace, Mike Loverude, Josh, James, Dean BowmanGeoffrey Lovelace, Mike Loverude, Josh, James, Dean Bowman

Awarded to recognize graduating physics majors for outstanding scholarship in their physics coursework.

Josh Fioretto and James Hasler




Outstanding Service Award – $300

Awarded to recognize physics majors for their outstanding service to the department.

Nousha Afshari – for her enthusiastic involvement with and contributions to the Physics Club and department culture and events.

Kristen Rigsby – for her excellent tech support to help maintain our introductory physics labs and lecture demonstrations.

Outstanding Senior Award – $1,000

Awarded to recognize physics majors for outstanding contributions to the department.

Bobby and his dad BobBobby and his dad BobBobby Wright has demonstrated exceptional enthusiasm and generosity and a remarkable level of achievement with a variety of department, club, and community outreach activities. The department is indebted to Bobby for his long-term and ardent commitment to establish our supplemental instruction pro-gram.



CNSM Wolfram Award – Lifetime Copy of Mathematica

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

Sissi Li, Jackie, Mike LoverudeSissi Li, Jackie, Mike Loverude

Jackie Cross is an outstanding Junior in the Physics Department with an enviable aptitude for computational research. Last fall, Jackie completed the department’s Computational Physics course taught by Dr. Leigh Hargreaves, which focuses on the use of Mathematica and C to model physics systems, easily among the best students in the class. She was enrolled simultaneously in the department’s new “Introduction to LabView” course, also taught by Dr. Hargreaves which gives students a broad introduction into LabView and graphical programming, and Jackie's performance was again outstanding. She has further undertaken research with Dr. Hargreaves during the 2014 Spring Semester, her project using both LabView and Mathematica to develop complex data acquisition and analysis software for electron scattering experi-ments in atomic and molecular physics.


College Staff Excellence Award

Awarded to a single staff member from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics for outstanding service throughout the year. Selected by the Dean and Associate Dean based on nominations from the five departments across the college.

Shovit Bhari 

Shovit and Sony's daughter SaanviShovit and Sony's daughter Saanvi

Shovit congratulated by Dean BowmanShovit congratulated by Dean Bowman