The Physics Department at Virginia Tech is extremely fortunate to have many generous benefactors who have endowed the scholarships and awards for our undergraduate and graduate students so that they may better concentrate on their respective studies and research.

The recipients, both undergraduate and graduate, are chosen each year by the departmental Awards and Honorifics Committee, and the awards are presented at the Physics department’s Awards Ceremony in April of each year.

Once you have been accepted into Virginia Tech and have declared yourself a physics major and you are making good progress towards the Physics degree, you are automatically considered as a candidate. You should consult the appropriate check sheet to monitor your progress. Thus, undergraduate students need not fill out any kind of application to be eligible for a scholarship or award. Recipients are notified around March of each year, and receive their awards at the Awards Ceremony in April.

 

Wan-Zia Scholarship

Established by Prof. B. Schmittmann in 2012, the Wan-Zia Scholarship is endowed through generous donations from the friends and colleagues of Prof. R. K. P. Zia. Intended as a continuation of the C. H. Wan Scholarship, it is awarded to graduate and/or undergraduate students who are recognized for excellence in scholarship and active engagement in research.

Robert P. Hamilton Prize

This prize is given annually to a rising senior who exemplifies excellence in the achievement of high personal and scholarship standards and promise for a career in Physics. No application form is necessary. All declared Physics majors meeting the above criteria will be considered for this scholarship.

Alice Estes Martin Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to a qualified physics major who is committed to teaching physics in secondary education. The recipient must be a rising junior or senior with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7, and is chosen on the basis of (1) evidence of dedication to excellence in the teaching profession and (2) academic achievement. No application form is necessary. All declared Physics majors meeting the above criteria will be considered for this scholarship.

Webster and Sara Schoene Richardson Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to a Physics major who exemplifies excellence in scholarhsip and departmental service. No application form is necessary. All declared Physics majors meeting the above criteria will be considered for this scholarship.

Hugh D. Ussery Scholarship

This scholarhsip is given annually to a rising junior Physics major who exemplifies excellence in scholarhsip and promise for a rewarding career in Physics. No application form is necessary. All declared Physics mjors meeting the above criteria will be considered for this scholarship.

Frank Leigh Robeson Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to a Physics major who has demonstrated achievement, personal integrity, extracurricular leadership, community services, and an appreciation of Physics. No application form is necessary. All declared Physics majors meeting the above criteria will be considered for this scholarship.

Colonel Nelson Carey Brown Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to an incoming freshman who demonstrates both academic ability (as evidence by the maintenance of at least a 3.0 grade point average) and financial need. No application form is necessary. All declared Physics majors meeting the above criteria will be considered for this scholarship.

Daniel C. and Delia F. Grant Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship is given (1) to an incoming freshman with preference for a national merit scholarship, which is renewable for three more years if the awardee is a national merit scholar and maintains the minimum of 3.5 GPA, and (2) to an outstanding rising junior or senior, if the second scholarship is not already awarded to a continuing merit scholar. No application form is necessary. All declared Physics majors meeting the above criteria will be considered for this scholarship.

Robert Lee Bowden, Jr. Essay Prize

In today's world, writing and communication skills for science students are becoming ever more critical. Almost all career paths require effective communication with non-technical audiences and the general public. In 2008, the Bowden Prize was established in order to encourage and reward excellent science writing.

H. Y. Loh Award

This award is given annually to one or more graduating seniors in Physics who exemplify excellence in scholarship.  No application form is necessary. All declared Physics majors meeting the above criteria will be considered for this scholarship. 

Robert C. Richardson Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to a Physics major. Consideration for a recommendation is provided to the Scholarship Awards Committee of Department of Physics. Criteria shall be as broad as possible. No application form is necessary. All declared Physics majors meeting the above criteria will be considered for this scholarship.

 

Graduate students are nominated by faculty following a call for nomination issues by the Awards and Honorifics Committee.  Recipients are notified around March of each year, and receive their awards at the Awards Ceremony in April.

 

William E. Hassinger Graduate Fellowship

In Spring 2006, the physics department first presented the William E. Hassinger Graduate Fellowship as one of its most recent endowments. A physics graduate in the Class of 1950, Bill has been an enthusiastic supporter of our department. This fellowship was created to encourage and support students coming from the surrounding communities, who are pursuing graduate degrees in physics.

Ray F. Tipsword Graduate Scholarship

This scholarship is a one-time award given annually to a Ph.D. candidate whose dissertation research has been established to be in the area of Condensed-matter Physics, Optics, or Statistical Physics. No application form is necessary. All Ph.D. candidates in the area of research identified above are considered for this award.

James R. Dunn Award

This award is given to a second-year graduate student who has actively fostered a spirit of goodwill in the department and has demonstrated a deep enthusiasm for physics. No application form is necessary. All declared Physics majors meeting the above criteria will be considered for this scholarship.

Clayton D. Williams Graduate Fellowship in Theoretical Physics

This award was established in 2008 by Dr. Klaus Wiemer and his wife, Stella Wiemer. The late Dr. Wiemer was a proud alumnus of the College of Science, having received his Ph.D. in physics in 1969. The couple created this award in honor of Associate Professor Emeritus of Physics, Dr. Clayton D. Williams, who taught full-time at Virginia Tech from 1961 to 1996, and who was the late Dr. Wiemer's mentor. Recipients shall be, at the time of receipt of the fellowship funds, graduate students within the Department of Physics, demonstrating academic excellence and good progress towards a Ph.D. in theoretical physics.

Dr. James A. Jacobs Memorial Graduate Fellowship

The Dr. James A. Jacobs Memorial Graduate Fellowship was established in 2007 as a memorial to Dr. James A. Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs was a professor in the department from 1960-1978 and served as the department head from 1960-1973. Faculty and students who remember Dr. Jacobs and his numerous accomplishments established the award in his honor. It recognizes a graduate student who demonstrates academic excellence.

Lubna Ijaz Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to a major who has devoted time and effort for services that benefit the physics community. No application form is necessary. All declared Physics majors meeting the above criteria will be considered for this scholarship.

Wan-Zia Scholarship

Established by Prof. B. Schmittmann in 2012, the Wan-Zia Scholarship is endowed through generous donations from the friends and colleagues of Prof. R. K. P. Zia. Intended as a continuation of the C. H. Wan Scholarship, it is awarded to graduate and/or undergraduate students who are recognized for excellence in scholarship and active engagement in research.

Award for Graduate Teaching Excellence

Established in 2007, this award recognizes excellence and exemplary commitment in the preformance of teaching duties. It is awarded to a graduate student who exhibits outstanding rapport with undergraduates and successfully fosters understanding of physics concepts. The department strives to encourage and acknowledge this valuable contirbution to our education mission.

 

Undergraduate

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The H. Y. Loh Award, a cash prize awarded upon graduation, became the very first award or scholarship dedicated to our physics majors. As a token of the high esteem in which Professor Loh was regarded by his colleagues, Professor Ray F. Tipsword approached colleagues to create the endowed award, which was first given in 1977.

Professor Hung-Yu Loh first came to Virginia Tech from Shanghai, China in 1941 as a graduate student. He received his master's degree from Tech in 1943, and then went on to Johns Hopkins University where he received his Ph.D. in 1946. He was hired in 1948 to become the first Chinese faculty member at Virginia Tech. His research was in the field of experimental thin film optics,

Prof. Loh was a wonderful teacher and, in 1959, he became the first physics faculty to be awarded the William E. Wine Award for Excellence in Teaching, which had just been established in 1957. It was then, and still is now, the most prestigious teaching award at Virginia Tech, the honor of which is reserved to only three faculty members per year.

The H. Y. Loh Award is made each spring to the graduating physics major who best exemplifies Dr. Loh's very high academic and personal standards. It is considered the most prestigious award for undergraduates in the physics department.

2017    Christian Gilbertson, Samantha Spytek, James Stidham
2016    Michael Brennan, Donovan Buterakos, Jennie Paine
2015    Mark Brown, Adam Mills, Kyle Stewart
2014    David “Matt” Kriete Jr., James Mayberry, Marc Pomeroy, Keith Tauscher
2013    Andrew Lassiter
2012    Sara Case, William Love
2011    Siddharth Venkat
2010    Brian Roper, Justin Waugh
2009    Kevin Finelli
2008    Jonathan Hughes, Brendon Loiselle
2007    Linh Pham, Brian Skinner
2006    David Erickson, Mark Washenberger
2005    Travis Merritt
2004    Justin Krometis
2003    Beth Ann Reid, Jerome Mettetal II
2002    Anubav Vasudevan
2001    Joshua T. King
2000    Seth Hornstein
1999    Jean Hager
1998    Leah B. Shaw
1997    Keith Daniel Humfeld
1996    Carter R. Hall
1995    Matthew J. Novak
1994    Amanda M. Abeel, Erin F. Fleet
1993    Daniel S. Fisher
1992    Zoran Tajanovic
1991    Francis M. Creighton
1990    Anthony W. Ackley, Daniel C. Kilper, Normand A. Modine
1989    Anthony H. Minter
1988    Gregory D. McFall, Francis J. Summers
1987    Debora L. Green, Brett W. Johnson
1986    Richard R. Harman
1985    Robert C. Blasdell
1984    Anthony O. Rugari, Steven L. Rugari, Steven C. Weiss, Tmitri J. Zukowski
1983    Brian C. Redman
1982    David L. Hartman, Samuel J. Weinstein
1980    Stephen E. Fischer, James L. McDonald
1979    Richard I. Purman
1978    Mark S. Gorbics, Jan M. Guida, Joan A. Guida, Domingo Rocha, Jr.
1977    John Ford
1976    Dennis K. Evans

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When the family of late Professor Hugh Dudley Ussery (May 4, 1904 - March 15, 1992) endowed a scholarship in his name in 1984, they established the first such award for the Virginia Tech Physics Department.

Professor Ussery, a native of Lancaster, S.C., was a graduate of Presbyterian College of South Carolina and received a master's degree in physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He taught at the Citadel in Charleston, S.C., then joined the faculty of the Physics Department in 1934, and remained at Virginia Tech for 37 years until 1972. He specialized in visible and ultraviolet spectroscopy, and during his time here, he developed a laboratory in optical spectroscopic analysis of which he was very proud.

In 1939, he was awarded the Jefferson Gold Medal of the Virginia Academy of Science, together with Dr. G. M. Shear of the Department of Plant Pathology, for their research on tabacco plant frenching in which Prof. Ussery utilized spectrographic methods to detect thallium in tobacco plants. (Shear and Ussery. Frenching of tobacco distinguished from thallium toxicity by spectrographic analysis. J. Agri. Res. 60: 129-140. 1940.)

His love of music, especially opera and violin, led to his hobby of making violins and repairing them as a community service. On June 14, 1959, he was featured in a Roanoke Times article titled "Physics and music. This unlikely combination has resulted in a fascinating, lifetime hobby for Professor Hugh Ussery of Virginia Tech."

2017     Corey Spohn, Austin Warren

2016    Nathan Galliher, Joon Park

2015    Donovan Buterakos

2014    Mark Brown

2013    Marc Pomeroy

2012    Mark Lewers

2011    Sara Case

2010    Siddharth Venkat

2009    Siddharth Venkat

2008    Kevin Finelli

2007    Eric Christensen, Patrick Coolidge, Micah Eassa, Brian Roper

2006    Justin Bangerter, Christopher Knorowski, Kristen Pervarski, Brent Pickering, Lado Tonia, Vipin Vijayan

2005    Colin Beal, Elizabeth Lowry

2004    Samir Abboud, Geoffrey Adams, Linh Pham, Eric Ward

2003    Larry Jon Cook, Brian Skinner, Mark Washenberger, Sara E. Yancey

2002    Aaron W. Wallo, Sara E. Yancey, Christopher W. Purcell

2001    Larry Jon Cook

2000    Anubav Vassudevan

1999    Jonathan Harris, Christopher Cartwright

1998    Thomas W. Evans, Jacob H. Stephens, Melissa J. Witmer

1997    Theodore J. Brookings, Jean A. Hager, Seth D. Hornstein

1996    Jason K. Aftosmis, Leah B. Shaw

1995    Keith D. Humfeld, Michael H. Kirby

1994    Carter R. Hall

1993    Matthew J. Novak

1992    Natalie D. Emrick, Anil A. Gopie, Chadd E. Smith

1991    Eugene K. Yen

1990    Leonard S. Christofek

1989    Paul G. Shiffler

1988    Normand A. Modine

1987    Anthony H. Minter

1986    Francis J. Summers

1985    Thomas A. Maufer

1984    Valerie Le Tourneau

The Daniel C. and Delia F. Grant Scholarships, established in 1990 and named in honor of the parents of Dr. Frederick C. Grant, a doctoral alumnus of the Department, are awarded (1) to an incoming freshman with preference for a national merit scholar, which scholarship is renewable for three more years if the awardee is a national merit scholar and maintains the status of physics major and merit scholar, and (2) to an outstanding rising junior or senior, if the second scholarship is not already awarded to a continuing merit scholar.

2017    Jacob Adams, Johnathon Barbish, Andrew DellaFera, Ethan Kantz, James Simon, Joshua Weiss, Eric Wuerfel

2016    Jacob Adams, Matthew Henriques, Jacob Hodges, Ethan Kantz, James Simon, Joshua Weiss, Eric Wuerfel

2015    Jacob Adams, Brian Hammack, Matthew Henriques, Jacob Hodges, Joon Won Park, James Stidham, Henry Yockey

2014    Jonathan Baker, Colin Fallon, Laura Holsten, Bevin Huang, Alex Nikrant, Elizabeth Piersall, Abraham Shipley, Keegan Walkup

2013    Jonathan Baker, Colin Fallon, Sophia Novitzsky, Nicholas Sharp, Kyle Stewart, Gregory Veber, Michael Warnock

2012    Travis DePriest, Patrick Lewis, Marc Pomeroy, Trevor Richards, Keith Tauscher, Gregoy Veber, Michael Warnock

2011    David Konrad, Courtney Laughlin, Stephen Lutz, Matthew Mills, Gantt Ward, Harry White

2010    John Frey, Robert Heitz, John Hoffman, David Konrad, Andrew Lassiter, Stephen Lutz, Nicholas Merrill, Paul Miller, Curtis Ogle, Samuel Rosenkrantz, Nicholas Schaum, James Shpil

2009    Charles Baker, Alexander Corwin, Bhargav M. Kemburi Venkata Durga, Clinton Durney, John Frey, Brendan Howe, Chris Martin, Brian Roper, Stephen Schreider, Justin Waugh, Sophia Webster

2008    Eric Christensen, James Dowd, Micah Eassa, Brian Roper, Byron Wiedeman

2007    Daniel Baker, Anna Belak, Elizabeth Bonnell, Jonathan Hughes, Brendon Loiselle, Elizabeth Lowry, Michael Robertson, Emily Wade

2006    Samir Abboud, David Adams, Geoffrey Adams, Christopher Luck, Linh Pham, Brian Skinner, Brett Spencer, Eric Ward

2005    David Erickson, Christopher Luck, Sean Settle, Brian Skinner, Mark Washenberger

2004    David Erickson, Christopher Luck, Matthew Raum, Sean Settle, Mark Washenberger

2003    Brian J. Donovan, David Erickson, Christopher Luck, Eric Ritch, Sean Settle, Carol Thornton

2002    Jennifer Beard, Brian J. Donovan, Rafael Hipolito, Justin Krometis, Jerome T. Mettetal II, Carol Thornton

2001    Jerome T. Mettetal II, Anubav Vasudevan

2000    Steven M. Hair, Seth D. Hornstein, Joshua T. King

1999    Steven M. Hair, Seth D. Hornstein, Joshua T. King

1998    Theodore J. Brookings, Jean A. Hager, Seth D. Hornstein, Joshua T. King

1997    Theodore J. Brookings, Jean A. Hager, Seth D. Hornstein, Joshua T. King, Dennis S. Loo

1996    Theodore J. Brookings, Dennis S. Loo, Amy K. Spratley

1995    Scott M. Litvinoff, Dennis S. Loo

1994    Dennis S. Loo, Matthew J. Novak

1993    Scott M. Litvinoff, Maureen Mellody

1992    David E. Hulslander, Eugene K. Yen

1991    Leonard S. Christofek, Richard J. Panek

1990    Chadd E. Smith, Ronald S. Zellar

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The Hamilton Prize is named in honor of Dr. Robert Preston Hamilton, who received his bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech in 1974. Led by Tech professor Dr. David Jenkins, several generous donors, including Hamilton's classmates, professors, and especially his family, established the Robert Preston Hamilton Prize in 1991, four years after his untimely death from cancer. As a prolific researcher in the field of experimental elementary particle physics, Dr. Hamilton established a notable record in the nine years he lived after receiving his Masters (1976) & Ph.D. (1979) from the University of California at Berkeley, working on experiments at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. This prize is awarded to a student who has exhibuted both career promise and the very high scholastic standards for which Dr. Hamilton was known.

2017    Jacob Hodges

2016    Brian Hammack

2015    Ryan Pederson

2014    Donovan Buterakos

2013    David Kriete, Jr.

2012    James “Gantt” Ward

2011    Robert Heitz

2010    Joseph Sullivan

2009    Joseph Sullivan

2008    John Hoffman

2007    Richard Bailey, Chris Knorowski

2006    Richard Bailey

2005    Schuyler Milton

2004    Mark Washenberger

2003    Christopher Purcell

2002    Jerome T. Mettetal II

2001    Beth Reid

2000    Joshua King

1999    Seth Hornstein

1998    Jean A. Hager

1997    Leah B. Shaw

1996    Michael H. Kirby, Dennis S. Loo

1995    Carter R. Hall

1994    Andrew J. Landahl

1993    Chadd E. Smith

1992    Tristan S. Massie

1991    Paul G. Shiffler

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The Alice Estes Martin Endowed Scholarship was established in the Physics Department in 1991 to provide incentive and support to qualified physics majors who are committed to teaching physics in secondary school. Mrs. Martin, for whom the scholarship is named, was a teacher in Louisa County High School (Virginia) from 1941 through 1970. The awarding of this scholarship holds before new teachers those qualities that Mrs. Martin embodied in her love and dedication to teaching: knowledge of her subject, concern for her students, and the ability to inspire her students to learn, all of which led to the utmost respect from students and colleagues.

Mrs. Alice Danne Estes Martin was born in Louisa County on April 8, 1918. She graduated from the College of William and Mary, and received her Master's degree from the University of Virginia. In addition to teaching at Louisa County High School, she was a guidance counselor there as well. Alice was very active in her community - she served on the board of Germanna Community College, and was a member of the House of Burgesses Chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames, the Mineral Historic Foundation, and the Louisa County Historical Society. Sadly, Mrs. Martin passed away on April 30, 2010. However, her legacy will live on through the scholarship named in her honor.

This scholarship was initiated by late Professor Dale Donald Long (January 30, 1935 - June 17, 2006), who contributed the funds from his 1991 Wine Award for Excellence in Teaching and named the scholarship for his esteemed former high school teacher. Additional funds needed to endow the scholarship were donated by former students, friends, and family of Alice Estes Martin, as well as alumni and friends of the Physics Department. Donations to the fund have also been made in memory of Thelma L. Roper, the late wife of Professor Emeritus L. David Roper, and in memory of Prof. Dale D. Long.

2017    Erin Fosnocht
2016    Christopher Savage
2015    Daniel Balbarin
2014    Samantha Spytek
2013    Matthew Church
2012    Ron Pelkey, Jr.
2011    Emily Acken
2010   Christopher Martin
2008   Ashley Tabb
2007   Ashley Tabb
2006   Ashley Tabb
2003   Jeremy Saria
2002   Henry Burke Green
2001    Alma L. Robinson
2000   Alma L. Robinson
1998    Sonny W. Louie
1997    Amy Whiteaker Emerson
1996    Kenneth R. Burns
1995    Gary P. Foulks, Jr.

 

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Portrait of Dr. Frank Leigh Robeson in the Robeson Room (Room 304) in Robeson Hall.

Early leadership in the development of the Virginia Tech Physics Department was due to the work of one man - Dr. Frank Leigh Robeson (1884-1974), after whom the physics building is now named. Dr. Robeson was the first doctorate level physicist at Virginia Tech, and was the author of a widely adopted physics textbook in the 1940's. A copy of Dr. Robeson's book is on display in Hahn Hall North Wing. He served as Department Head from 1918 to 1954.

In 1995, the Robeson family endowed a scholarship in his honor and memory.

2017    Matthew Henriques
2016    James Stidham
2015    Jennie Paine
2014    Kyle Stewart
2013    Adam Mills
2012    Andrew Lassiter
2011     William Love
2010    William Love
2009   Curtis Ogle
2008   Daniel Hockensmith
2007   Ben Intoy, Richard Samulski, Alex Wriston
2006   Lake Singh, Stefan Tatka, Emily Wade
2005   Brett Spencer, Annalisa Pawlosky, David Adams
2004   Laura Triplett, Wade Mattox
2003   Christopher Graziul, Heike Kohse-Busch
2002   Beth Ann Reid
2001    James Roberts, Seth Smith
2000   Alma L. Robinson
1999    Kaori Kuroda
1998    Jean A. Hager, Seth D. Hornstein, Michael L. Parks, Leah B. Shaw
1997    Michael L. Parks
1996    Samantha R. Fore, Joseph Vrabel III

 

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Through a generous gift by an anonymous donor, this scholarship has been established in honor of Dr. Robert C. Richardson, Nobel Laureate and F. R. Newman Professor of Physics at Cornell University.

Dr. Richardson attended Virginia Tech from 1954 to 1960 and earned his bachelor's and master's degress in physics. After a brief time in the United States Army, he returned to graduate school in physics at Duke University where he earned a Ph.D. in 1966. He then went on to Cornell University where he continued his research on low temperature physics, in particular, the study of the properties of liquid and solid Helium-3. In 1971 he discovered, in collaboration with David Lee and Douglas Osheroff, that liquid Helium-3 undergoes a pairing transition similar to that of superconductors. The three were awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize for Physics for this discovery.

2017    Mark Almanza, Nicholas Ekanger, Erin Fosnocht, Matthew Gill, Diego Guerra, Hayden Hollenbeck, David Jackson, Sydney Overton, Haley Simkins, Garrett Russell Youmans

2016    William Barber, Jonathan Barbish, Christian Gilbertson, Alex Nikrant, Sam Robbins, Corey Spohn, Chris Wollbrink, Henry Yockey

2015    Bryan Calloway, Joshua Galyean, Hilton Galyean, Elizabeth Piersall, Samuel Robbins, Carlos Segovia-Bustamante, Cory Spohn, Keegan Walkup

2014    Bart Brown, Michael P. DiCroce, Hilton Galyean, Brian Hammack, Adam Hodges, Corey Spohn, Hannah Ulrich, Joshua Vieitez

2013    Mark Brown, James Brumbeloe, Matthew Church, Laura Holsten, Bevin Huang, David Kriete, Megan Lilly, Jennie Paine, Elizabeth Piersall, Abraham Shipley, Alexander Winemiller

2012    Colin Fallon, Hilton Galyean, Telemachos Manos, Sophia Novitzky, Robert Orlean-Pobee, John Rahmani, Han Tong, Rebekah Watkins, Julia Zukowski

2011    Rachel Elliot, Joseph Heimburger, Robert Heitz, Thomas Howe, Patrick Lewis, Nicholas Merrill, Peter Raum, Anna Skinner, Matthew White, Tristan Wright

2010    Niels Christensen, Courtney Laughlin, Patrick Lewis, Gabriel Martinez, Matthew Mills, Frederick Moretti, Kyle Novak, Tyler Price, Peter Raum, James Ward, Harry White

2009   Robert Heitz, Daniel Hockensmith, Robert Kania, Andrew Lassiter, Colin Lorenz, William Love, Paul Miller, Kyle Novak, Nich Schaum, James Shpil, Joseph Sullivan

2008   Charles Baker, Justin Bangerter, Jonathan Cates, Alexander Corwin, Clinton Durney, John Echols, John Frey, Matthew Grote, Gordon Lott, Chris Martin, Curtis Ogle, Lake Singh, Ryan Smith, Joseph Sullivan, Christopher Tolpa, Justin Waugh, Sophia Webster

2007   Seth Ball, Justin Bangerter, Jonathan Cates, James Dowd, Wade Duvall, Kevin Finelli, Julian McMorrow, Brent Pickering, Shane Seaman, Lake Singh, Stefan Tatka, Christopher Tolpa,

Lado Tonia, Byron Wiedeman

2006   Daniel Baker, Anna Belak, Timothy Donahue, James Dowd, Kevin Finelli, Jonathan Hughes, Brendon Loiselle, Elizabeth Lowry, Sean Settle, Byron Wiedeman

2005   Samir Abboud, Geoffrey Adams, Xinwei Gong, Jonathan Hughes, Heike Lohse-Busch,

Linh Pham, Eric Ward

2004   Xinwei Gong, Jung Ho Kang, Heike Lohse-Busch, Travis Merritt, Annalisa Pawlosky,

Brian Skinner

2003   Rafael Hipolito, Justin Krometis, Aaron Wallo

2002   Larry Cook, Christopher Graziul, Beth Reid

2001    Rafael Hipolito

2000   Michael D. Bryant

1999    Victor Gehman

 

 

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Both Web and Sara Richardson (who were classmates at VT in the class of 1932) taught in the Virginia Tech Physics Department for several decades, Web from 1936 and Sara from 1948, until they both retired in 1972. In addition to their work with the introductory courses, where they were known for their exacting standards, Sara developed a course called “household physics,” while Web developed an X-ray laboratory where he constructed extensive apparatus of which he was justly proud, and which was used by many of the first graduate students in physics at Virginia Tech.

After Web passed away in October 1997 and Sara in January 1998, this scholarship was established by family members in their memory.

2017    William Barber, Hannah Glaser, Kenneth McLarney, Issac Shoultz 2016    Ryan Pederson, Samantha Spytek
2015   Michael Brennan
2014   Adam Mills
2013   Keith Tauscher
2012   Peter Raum
2011    Charles Baker
2010   Sara Case
2009  Micah Eassa
2008  Siddharth Venkat
2007  Jonathan Doughty, Daniel Hockensmith, Paul Trampert
2006  Elizabeth Bonnell, Laura Triplett
2005  Anna Belak, Adam Larsen
2004  Michael Robertson, Brett Spencer, Colin Beal
2003  Travis Merritt, Annalisa Pawlosky
2002  Andrew Fenley, Zachary Lewis, Edouard Bernard, Jeremy Saria, Jason Tabeling
2001   Christopher Graziul
2000  Beth Reid
1999   Kaori Kuroda

This scholarship was endowed by Dr. Nancy Brown in memory of her late brother, Col. Nelson Carey Brown, Virginia Tech Class of 1965. Col. Brown felt that both his education in physics and the leadership skills he learned in the Corps of Cadets were critical to his professional success.

2017   David Dembrosky

2016    Brett Smith

2015    Kaitlyn Sorenson

2014    Kaitlyn Sorenson

2013    James Mayberry

2012    James Mayberry

2011    James Mayberry, Marc Pomeroy, Lillie Robinson

2010    Charles Baker

2009    Gordon Lott

2008    Gordon Lott

2007    Gordon Lott

2006    Julian McMorrow

2005    Richard Foster

2004    Richard Foster

2003    Richard Foster

2002    Jennifer Beard

2001    Jennifer Beard

2000   Jennifer Beard

1999    Jennifer Beard

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Dr. Robert Bowden first came to Virginia Tech as a graduate student in 1956. After one year, he left for a brief active duty tour in the U. S. Army to fulfill his ROTC obligation. He returned to the university to get his Master's degree in physics in 1958 with Dr. T. Marshall Hahn, Jr. as his major advisor. He obtained his Ph.D. in physics in 1963 with Dr. Clayton Williams as his major advisor. Dr. Bowden remained at Virginia Tech with a postdoctoral appointment under Dr. Andy Robeson until he joined the physics faculty as an assistant professor in the fall of 1963. He was promoted to associate professor in 1968 and to full professor in 1978. He retired in the spring of 1996.

His published interests and expertise are in mathematical physics, neutron transport, radiative transfer, and analytical, numerical, and chaotic analysis of non-linear integral equations.

His presentation interest is physics education, especially the use of computers in physics teaching. He and his beloved colleague Dale Long developed an extensive set of (software and apparatus) presentations in which data are collected and analyzed live in the classroom.

Since retirement, Dr. Bowden has become what is now called an Emeritus Professor in Residence. He has remained moderately engaged in physics by mentoring high school physics teachers, giving talks to a Governor's school, writing educational software, and teaching an occasional undergraduate physics class at Tech.

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He is a big Virginia Tech football fan. One of his favorite stories is about attending the 2000 Sugar Bowl College football championship in New Orleans when Virginia Tech played Florida State. The coach at Florida State is, of course, Bobby Bowden, which happens to be the name that Dr. Bowden's childhood friends call him. To add a little mischief to his trip, he registered with his travel group, his hotel, and his dinner reservations as "Bobby Bowden." His youngest son, Brent, emailed WSLS TV in Roanoke to explain that Bobby Bowden, his wife, and sons would be cheering for Virginia Tech at the game. The TV channel ran a teaser all day claiming that they would have an interview with "Bobby Bowden" during their pregame show explaining how he would be cheering for Virginia Tech.

The tragedy of April 16, 2007 moved many of us to redo and rededicate our service to the University. It was in that spirit that Dr. Bowden's family established the Bowden Physics Essay Competition, not only to reward and honor high promise and good scholarship, but to provide a regular extra curricular activity that would encourage and promote good writing for our undergraduate physics majors. Observation and experimentation are cornerstones of physics. But physics at its core is an amalgam, an abstraction, and an accretion of ideas that makes clear and definitive writing a necessity. It is the Bowdens' hope, their desire, that this competition will become a tradition for our physics majors in their learning to write well, forcefully, and beautifully if they can.

Each year, students will receive an email from the undergraduate advisor regarding the essay submission process.

Photos courtesy of Dr. Robert Bowden

2017    Alison Gaylord

2016    Samantha Spytek  

2014    Travis DePriest (Essay in PDF)

2013    Mark Brown

2012    Sophia Novitzky

2010    John Hoffman (Essay in PDF)

2009    Justin Bangerter (Essay in PDF)

Established by Prof. Beate Schmittmann in 2012, the Wan-Zia Scholarship is endowed through generous donations from the friends and colleagues of Prof. R. K. P. Zia. Intended as a continuation of the C. H. Wan Scholarship, it is awarded to and graduate and/or undergraduate students who are recognized for excellence in scholarship and active engagement of research

2017    Ralph Romero III

2016    Issac Shoultz

2014    Samantha Spytek

2014    Jennie Paine

2013    Mark Brown

2012    Mark Brown, Adam Mills, James “Gantt” Ward

Graduate  

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James (Jamie) Richard Dunn was born on April 4, 1954 in Queens, New York. He was the third of six sons in the Dunn family. Jamie went to college and received his B.S. degree from the State University College of New York at Oneonta in 1976 and joined our Physics Department in the Winter Quarter of 1977. Jamie was an exceptionally kind and generous graduate student whose deep enthusiasm for physics was only matched by his enthusiasm for life. One would, without exaggeration, see a budding Renaissance man in Jamie. He loved life and participated in every facet of it with great vigor. He actively fostered a spirit of good will in the department and was an advocate for graduate student involvement throughout his tenure. His boundless energy and inquisitive nature was infectious. Jamie was President of the Society of Physics Students and served on the Faculty Graduate Committee as graduate student representative.

Upon completion of his Ph.D. course requirements Jamie became Professor Alfred L. "Jimmy" Ritter's first graduate student. He completed a thorough background literature search on (e,2e) spectroscopy, designed several major pieces of apparatus for the spectrometer, and built a vacuum system. He assembled the instrumentation for measuring crucial parameters of the electron gun used in the spectrometer and developed the computer codes for initial testing and calibration of the electronic instruments that were used. Jamie was preparing the samples for his first experiments but did not live to write up the results.

On September 12, 1981 Jamie was in a fatal motorcycle accident here in Blacksburg, Virginia.

In recognition of his work, a Ph.D. was posthumously awarded and presented to his family at the June 9, 1984 Commencement Ceremony.

In memory of their son the Dunn family set up the James R. Dunn Award in Physics. It is meant to reinforce and acknowledge something of Jamie which we feel in some small way is carried on by the recipient of this award. Someone who embodies a love of physics and life in general, and indulges in both. He was of enthusiastic and kind nature, exhibited concern for his fellow human beings, and appreciated opportunities to gain knowledge whenever they presented themselves.

2017    Zach Stottler

2016    Sheng Chen

2015    Shadi Esmaeili

2014    Hiba Assi-Baalbeck

2013    Brandon Bear

2012    Ulrich Dobramysl

2011    Nasrin Afzal

2010    Mithun Bhowmick

2009    Anastasios Peppas

2008    Kanokwan Nontapot

2007    Anamika Gopal

2006    Juliette Mammei, Russell Mammei

2005    James N. Newcomer, Jia Jia Dong

2004    Mitra Shojania-Feizabadi

2003    Edward Layman

2002    Mark Makela

2001    Thomas Bullard

2000    Robert Astalos

1999    Sathon Vijarnwannaluk

1998    Wantana Songprakob

1997    Thayer ‘Chip’ Morris III

1996    Charles C. Figura

1995    Kristen Reinhart

1994    Daniel Korwan

1993    Bruce Toomire

1991    Charles Moller

1988    Charles Potter

1984    Robin Makin

1983    Warren Lewis

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Professor Ray Fenton Tipsword (Sept. 9, 1931 - Dec. 4, 2009) grew up on a Southern Illinois farm and went to college at East Illinois State getting his B.S. in 1953, and went on to Southern Illinois to earn his M.S. in 1957. He majored in Physics. On active duty, after graduation, he served with the U.S. Army in the occupation of Korea. After his military service obligation was completed he briefly taught Physics at the University of Missouri at Rolla. Ray and his family then moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he began work in magnetic resonance under Professor Moulton at the University of Alabama. In 1963 he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Alabama and looked for a faculty position to teach Physics.

Ray accepted the offer of an Assistant Professorship here in the Physics Department at Virginia Tech in 1964 and remained on the faculty until 1991. He was a very dedicated and popular teacher and was honored with the Certificate for Excellence in Teaching for three consecutive years (1973-1976). In 1986 he was nominated (by students, alumni, and faculty within the College of Arts and Sciences) for and received the William E. Wine award. This award recognizes dedication and excellence in teaching.

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He developed a successful research program in quadrupole magnetic resonance and was advisor to eight graduate students who successfully completed their Ph.D.'s. From 1979-80 he served as acting department head, and for most of his nearly three decades of tenure with the department he chaired the shop committee and had a major influence on the development of our Machine and Electronics shops.

 

In 1991, on the eve of Professor Tipsword's Retirement from the Department of Physics, the Tipsword family decided to set up a graduate scholarship in honor of his lifelong efforts and to recognize graduate students who excel and are promising future physicists.

2017    Sheng Chen, Shadi Esmaeili

2016    Yuantao Xie

2015    Xiangwen Wang

2014    Panupon Samaimongkol

2013    Shaola Ren

2012    Lingling Xu, Yao Zhang

2011     Qian He, Shaola Ren

2010    Chalongrat Daengngam, Martin Rudolph

2009   Larry Cook

2008   Sameer Arabasi

2007   Kai Chen, Tao Jia

2006   Kanokwan Nontapot

2005   Anamika Gopal

2004   Edward Lyman

2003   Thomas Bullard

2002   Martin Drees

2001    Robert J. Astalos

2000   Prapong Klysubun

1999    Sathon Vijarnwannaluk

1998    Wantana Songprakob

1996    Daniela Marciu

1995    Reinaldo Jose Gonzalez

Established in Spring 2006, the physics department is honored to have the William E. Hassinger Graduate Fellowship as one of its most recent endowments. A physics graduate in the Class of 1950, Bill Hassinger has been an enthusiastic supporter of our department. This fellowship was created to encourage and support students coming from surrounding communities who are persuing graduate degrees in physics.

2017    Bart Brown, Kate Pitchford, Peter Raum

2016   Jacob Carroll, Anna Lee, Jack Villanova

2015   Hiba Assi, Brandon Bear, Michael Meeker

2014   Nicholas Borchers, Patrick Jaffke, Peter Raum, Zack Yokley

2013   B. Douglas Edmonds, Ben Intoy, Michael Meeker, Erich See

2012   B. Douglas Edmonds, Travis Merritt, Martin Rudolph, Erich See

2011    B. Douglas Edmonds, Martin Rudolph, Matthew Shimer

2010   Eric Christensen, George Daquila, Zachary Lewis, Travis Merritt

2009  Sean Cutchin, Phillip Nelson, Matthew Raum

2008  Jonathan Cook, Zachary Lewis

2007  Matthew Frazier

2006  Aliya Gifford

Established in 2007, this award recognizes excellence and exemplary commitment in the performance of teaching duties. It is awarded to a graduate student who exhibits outstanding rapport with undergraduates and successfully fosters understanding of physics concepts. The department strives to encourage and acknowledge this valuable contribution to our education mission.

2017    Chuanhui Chen

2016    Hiba Assi

2015    Jeong-Ah Lee

2014    Travis Merritt

2013    Brian Roper

2011     Matthew Raum

2010    Eric Christensen

2009   Zachary Lewis

2008   Alexey Pronin

2007   Saifuddin Rayyan

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The Dr. James A. Jacobs Memorial Graduate Fellowship was established in 2007 as a memorial to Dr. James Albert Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs was a professor in the department from 1960-1978 and served as the department head from 1960-1973. Faculty and students who remember Dr. Jacobs and his numerous accomplishments established the award in his honor. It recognizes a graduate student, in good standing, who demonstrates academic excellence.

2017   Ali Charkesht 2016   Mohsen Karkheiran
2015   Yuantao Xie
2014   Anna Lee
2013   Yao Zhang
2012   Shaola Ren
2011    Bei Jia
2010   Yen-Liang Chou
2009  Sven Dorosz
2008  Tao Jia

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This award was established in 2008 by Dr. Klaus Wiemer and his wife, Stella Wiemer. Dr. Wiemer is a proud alumnus of the College of Science, having received his Ph.D. in physics in 1969. The couple created this award in honor of Associate Professor Emeritus of Physics, Dr. Clayton Drews Williams, who was Dr. Wiemer's mentor. Recipients shall be, at the time of receipt of the fellowship funds, graduate students within the Department of Physics, demonstrating academic excellence and good progress towards a Ph.D. in theoretical physics.

Dr. Williams grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and received a bachelor's degree in physics at Rice University in 1957 and a Ph.D. in physics at Washington University in St. Louis in 1961 (under the guidance of Prof. Eugene Feenberg, for a dissertation on the ground-state energy of liquid helium). He was then employed full-time at Virginia Tech in teaching, research (in condensed matter theory), and department administration from 1961 to 1996, and was associate head of the Department of Physics for 18 years (1978-80, 1982-98). He was major advisor for nine successful Ph.D. students.

2017    Wenzheng Dong, Wei Gu
2016    He Feng, Weigang Liu
2015    Sun Chen, Jirui Guo
2014    Mengsu Chen, Ben Intoy
2013    Ulrich Dobramysl, Bei Jia
2012    Bei Jia, Hyunhang Park
2011     Ulrich Dobramysl, Zachary Lewis, Wenjia Liu
2010    Bei Jia, Yee Kao
2009    Andrew Fenley

Established by Prof. Beate Schmittmann in 2012, the Wan-Zia Scholarship is endowed through generous donations from the friends and colleagues of Prof. R. K. P. Zia. Intended as a continuation of the C. H. Wan Scholarship, it is awarded to and graduate and/or undergraduate students who are recognized for excellence in scholarship and active engagement of research

2017    Shannon Serra
2016    Cheng-Ying Tsai
2015    Harsh Chaturvedi
2014    Michael Meeker
2013    Linjun Li
2012    Chih-Yu Jao, Yoh Yamamoto

Following her receipt of a prize for her work in physics, Dr. Lubna Razia Ijaz donated the prize toward the establishment of a scholarship. She and her late husband, Professor Mujaddid Ahmed Ijaz of the Virginia Tech Physics Department, were associated with the university for a number of years and were well known in southwest Virginia. The Lubna Razia Ijaz Scholarship was first awarded in 1996 and goes to a student who has shown great commitment to the science of physics and has rendered significant service to the department and the cause of physics education.

2017    Jacob Carroll

2016    Shadi Esmaeili

2015    Brandon Bear

2014    Brandon Bear

2013    Ben Intoy

2012    Brandon Bear

2011     Matthew Raum

2010    Christopher Martin

2008   Ashley Tabb

2006   David Erickson, Mark Washenberger

2004   Brian Donovan

2002   Alma Robinson

2000   Adam R. Drake

1999    Adam R. Drake

1998    Richard M. Fortgang, Victor M. Gehman, Aaron R. Herrnstein, Charles D. King, Jr., Patrick J. Neyman, Mark S. Wallace

1997    Jennifer L. Lundy, Nathan M. Urban

1996    Danielle K. Benedetta, Colin C. Hill