Each year the WKU Department of Physics and Astronomy recognizes three students who have excelled in areas of scholarship, research, and service. The recipients of these awards for the 2011-2012 academic year are Owen Gaulle, Jason Leszczewicz, and Jessica Hall. These students will be recognized at the annual Ogden Student Awards ceremony on Sunday, April 21, at 2:00 PM at the Carroll Knicely Center. Please take a moment to congratulate these students if you have an opportunity.
Dr. George V. and Sadie Skiles Page Award for Excellence in Scholarship*
Awarded to the graduating Physics major with the highest academic standing.
Owen Thomas Gaulle
Owen, a senior physics major, has excelled in the classroom while also being very active in research. He worked with Dr. Louis Strolger on the WKU High Altitude Research Platform designing, constructing, and launching scientific payloads for high altitude ballooning. Owen has received the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) stipend for 3 consecutive years. He was accepted for two consecutive summers at the University of Alabama at Huntsville REU program where he worked with different researchers at the Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research. He was awarded the best undergraduate poster in Natural Sciences at the 41st Annual WKU Student Research Conference and received a Faculty-Undergraduate Student Engagement (FUSE) grant. Owen is a member of the WKU Society of Physics Students, the National Society of Black Physicists, and serves as the Chief Payload Engineer for the WKU Rocket Team.
Dr. Randall Harper Award for Outstanding Research in Physics and Astronomy*
Awarded to the junior or senior student with research exhibiting significance, effort, originality, and creativity.
Jason John Leszczewicz
Jason Leszczewicz, a senior physics major with minors in astronomy and mathematics, works with Dr. Edward Kintzel as an undergraduate research assistant at the NOVA Center. Jason receives this award for work that he performed involving the creation and analysis of ultrathin molecular films of copper phthalocyanin (CuPc). Jason also serves as President for the Society of Physics Students and active in the Hilltopper Astronomy Club. He recently organized a student trip to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama and spent his spring break doing research at Marshall Space Flight Center. Two summers ago, Jason worked to design, construct, and test a trebuchet that he demonstrated at Physics Public Night and high school visits. Jason also has played a major role in the Physics Olympics, Science Olympiad, and Girls in Science events and is a member of the WKU Rocket Team.
Dr. Douglas Humphrey Award for Outstanding Service*
Awarded to the junior or senior student with a record of service within the department and to science outreach to the community.
Jessica Catharine Hall
Jessica, a junior with majors in Physics and Chemistry, receives the Humphrey service award because of the overall good citizenship she portrays in her interactions with faculty and students in the department. She has been very active in the WKU Chapter of the Society of Physics Students, serving terms as secretary, president-elect, and next year as president. Jessica routinely assists with departmental outreach events such as Physics Olympics and the Science Olympiad. In addition, Jessica has performed research in both Physics and Chemistry, working on development of nanotechnology-based sensors for asymmetric explosive threat prevention with Dr. Dobrokhotov and with Dr. Matthew Nee of Chemistry.
*Award made through the efforts of the College Heights Foundation.