(Abilene, Texas – January 12, 2022) – McMurry University’s Chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has again been recognized for excellence by the national SPS organization. In December, the chapter was named an Outstanding SPS Chapter for 2020-2021. A designation of the Outstanding Chapter is given to fewer than 10 percent of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally. McMurry is one of the 79 American universities to receive an outstanding award.
McMurry’s SPS chapter vice president Jonathan Samudio (Ft. Worth, TX), who graduated in May 21, was also recognized with the SPS’ Outstanding Service Award. McMurry’s chapter has also been awarded the SPS “2021-22 Chapter Research Award” grant for the project “BAJA SAE 2023 Phase One: Structuring the BAJA Blast.” McMurry Student Government (MSG) is also funding a part of this project.
“Being honored for three consecutive years is a monumental achievement for McMurry’s SPS chapter that spotlights our ongoing commitment to excellence outside the classroom,” said Matthew Draud, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. “I’m proud that our students and faculty continue to distinguish our physics program through impactful, innovative projects and activities.”
McMurry’s SPS chapter is currently led by Austin Bridwell ’21 (Abilene, TX), president; Taryn Fambrough ’23 (Aledo, TX), vice president; and Jessy Villagomez ’22 (Roby, TX), secretarytreasurer. The chapter is advised by Dr. Tikhon Bykov, the Virgil E. Bottom Endowed Professor of Physics and chair of the division of science and mathematics at McMurry. Along with Bykov, faculty members Dr. Wayne Keith, Dr. Timothy Renfro, and Mr. David Upshaw support McMurry’s SPS chapter.
“McMurry’s students continue to prove themselves as thinkers and leaders,” said Dr. Bykov. “Their accomplishments showcase the strong, diverse experience and training they gain at McMurry.”
McMurry’s top-tier SPS, undergraduate-led physical sciences program is a collaborative effort with faculty to expand knowledge of the science of physics. SPS chapters are judged based on overall participation in SPS programs, outreach efforts to schools and the community, involvement in community service, contributions to student recruitment and retention, and Interaction with the alumni.
The Society of Physics Students is a professional organization of students and faculty advisers interested in physics. SPS operates within the American Institute of Physics (AIP), an umbrella organization for professional physical science societies. Besides physics majors, SPS members include students pursuing degrees in astronomy, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, medicine, and other fields.
McMurry University is committed to excellence in STEM education and supports and encourages students through club activities. The University will offer a new STEM degree in Engineering Physics beginning in Fall 22 due to a second Title V grant.