The Physics Department Award

 

2014

Jessica Barrick

Her professional demeanor, cheerful attitude and never-ending smile have brightened the physics department for four years.  As an outstanding student elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Pi Sigma, Jessie Barrick has exemplified Davidson’s commitment to learning.  As an outstanding research collaborator, Jessie has excelled in a laboratory study of the Effects of Evaporative Cooling on Photodetachment Spectroscopy.  As an officer of the Davidson College Chapter of the Society of Physics Students, as a twice-elected officer of the national organization, and as a volunteer for numerous astronomy and physics outreach events, she has embodied Davidson’s commitment to leadership and service.
2013

Drew Richard Onken

This year’s recipient understands the value of energy transfer, whether it be changing carbohydrate bonds into mechanical energy and then into hydrodynamic thrust on the swim team, or changing photons into phonons and photons of different colors in the Laser Lab.  For outstanding achievement in the study of physics, for exceptional research and modeling of energy transfer in rare earth-doped glasses and for the effective presentation of this work at the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society, for his work with scientists at Sandia National Laboratories on new optical materials and for his contributions to the community at large through the Society of Physics Students, the Physics Department presents the 2013 Physics Award to Drew Richard Onken.
2012

Leah J. Ruckle

For excellence in the study of physics including her computational and experimental treatment of the swinging Atwood's machine, for service to the Davidson Physics Department, for service to the Davidson College Chapter and the national Society of Physics Students as Vice President and Associate Zone Councilor, respectively, for her service to the College through Davidson Outdoors, and for her original contributions to theoretical research with her study of asymmetric quantum wells in the extreme quantum limit.
2011
Daniel G. Hampton

If the Physics Department could make additional assignments beyond graduation, this year's recipient of the Physics Award would be going to graduate school in physics.  He has excelled in every way during his study of physics at Davidson: from insightful and creative work in the classroom and laboratory to spot-on presentations of his research at regional and national physics meetings, culminating in two publications on defects in semiconductors.  He is one of those special students that visibly delights in learning, giving teachers instant gratification for their effort and making the process truly inspirational for both.  But this year's recipient is not going to physics graduate school - he's heading to medical school, and he is bound to be a superb doctor.

2010

Caroline McCraw Vaughan

For excellence in the study of physics, for research on puzzling aspects of light generation in semiconductors, for an award-winning presentation of this work at a national meeting of the American Physical Society, and for ever cheerful service to our department.

2009

Robert Henry Mohr

For outstanding academic achievement in the study of physics, for his positive leadership among his peers, for laboratory research in photodetachment spectroscopy from the oxygen negative ion, for the development of computer models for a national digital library, and for service to the Davidson College Physics Department.

2008

Kelly Michelle Howell

For outstanding academic achievement in the study of physics, for her cheerful spirit and positive leadership, for research on the physics of thin films and on atmospheric microwave radiation, and for service to the Davidson College Physics Department and the Society of Physics Students.

2007

James Edwin Wells

For outstanding academic achievement in the study of physics, for original contributions to laboratory research on the atomic physics of photodetachment spectroscopy, for positive leadership among his peers, and for service to the Davidson College Physics Department.

2006

Laura Patterson Gilbert

For outstanding achievement in the study of physics, for her numerous awards and honors including the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award from the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, for distinguished theoretical quantum-mechanical research that has yielded published papers and an Honors thesis titled "An Analytic Study of the Quantum-mechanical Asymmetric Infinite Square Well," and for effective presentations at regional and national meetings of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

2005

Kiril Rangelov Simov

For outstanding achievement in the study of physics, for research done with three faculty members in such diverse areas as the measurement of transient capacitance in semiconductor diodes, computational simulations of optics and relativity, and the interfacing of equipment and data acquisition for spectroscopic measurements, for the effective presentation of this work at meetings of the American Physical Society, the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, and in the Physics Department seminars, for service to the Society of Physics Students local chapter and as an elected National Associate Zone Councilor, for his service to the department as a work-study student; and for his enthusiasm for his major field.

2004

Rachel Patton McCord

For outstanding achievement in the study of physics, for work at Oak Ridge National Laboratories on calorimetric spectroscopy and plant genetics, for the construction and application of an optical tweezers device in a study of the cell motility of Chlamydomonas Reinhardtil, and for the effective presentation of this work at meetings of the Biophysical Society, the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society, and the North Carolina Academy of Science.

2003

Sharon Elizabeth Meidt

For outstanding achievement in the study of physics, for service to the Department, for contributions to the research of optically active ions in sol-gel glasses, for her participation in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory Project and for her work in computational general relativity.

2003

John Peter Campbell

For his commitment to excellence in the study of physics, for distinguished research on the emission of low-energy light by lattice-mismatched semiconductors, and for the effective presentation of this work at the National Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

2002

Diana Marie Pendergrast

For outstanding academic achievement in the study of physics, for original contributions to laboratory research on the atomic physics of photodetachment dynamics, for positive leadership among her peers, for service to the Davidson College Physics Department, and for continued dedication to physics education.

2001

Franklin Emmett Weindruch

For outstanding achievement in the study of physics, for original contributions to research on the optical properties of lattice-mismatched semiconductors, and for the effective presentation of this work at meetings of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America.

2000

James Hilton Nolen

For outstanding Achievement in and enthusiasm for the study of physics, for honors thesis work on Upconversion in Erbium-doped Sol-Gel Glasses, and for his Molecular Dynamics simulation which won the best student software award in the 1999 Computers in Science and Engineering software competition.