News & Highlights

Department News



Felicia DavenportFelicia Davenport (physics major in picture right) and Prof. Mel Sabella have been appointed to the nine member Learning Assistant Alliance Leadership Council, which includes faculty and staff from colleges and universities around the country. In November, they attended 2017 International Learning Assistant Conference at the University of Colorado Boulder.  Felicia served on two panels at the conference, co-presented a session on LA Weekly Preparation, presented a poster at the conference, and met with the Alliance NSF Grant Advisory Board.


Students in the introductory physicsDrs. Pittman, Harton, Peters, Sabella, and Akujieze were awarded a National Science Foundation grant for their project

Connecting Physics and Engineering through a Modernization of the Advanced Laboratory Curriculum.The grant will provide $298,727.00 to implement student-centered experiments and activities that integrate physics and engineering.

(Students in the introductory physics sequence using PhET simulations.)

Dr. Sabella, Dr. Van Duzor, and physics major Felicia Davenport  received a Notable Paper award from the Physics Education Leadership Organizing Council for the 2016 Physics Education Research Conference (PERC) Proceedings. Only four of the 98 proceeding papers were awarded the title notable. The paper titled "Leveraging the expertise of the urban STEM student in developing an effective LA Program: LA and Instructor Partnerships" was recognized for its characterization of the relationships between Learning Assistants and faculty, and was cited as an important contribution to understanding the factors that promote effective LA programs.

Two of our physics majors, Tim Sanders and Henry Swain, recently went to Arecibo Observatory , the single largest telescope in the world, for the Undergraduate Alfalfa Team workshop. They are doing research with Dr. Kim Coble this semester analyzing data from the telescope.

Physics Education major Angela Moore was one of five students nationally chosen by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) for the Barbara Lotze Scholarship for Future Teachers.

Dr. Mardis had a paper published from her ongoing collaboration with chemists at Argonne National Laboratory.

Poluektov, O. G., Niklas, J., Mardis, K. L., Beaupré, S., Leclerc, M., Villegas, C., Erten-Ela, S., Delgado, J. L., Martín, N., Sperlich, A. and Dyakonov, V. (2014), Electronic Structure of Fullerene Heterodimer in Bulk-Heterojunction Blends. Adv. Energy Mater.. doi: 10.1002/aenm.201301517

Graphic from Dr. Mardis's paper.


Since January of 2013 Dr. Garcia and Dr. Harton have coauthor seven papers with the ALICE Collaboration published in Physics Letters B (2) , Physics Review Letters (3), and the European Journal of High Energy Physics (2). Furthermore The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant that will fund the research of Dr. Garcia, Dr. Harton, and their students with the ALICE experiment at CERN at least until 2016.  CSU physics students at CERN Summer 2013 CSU physics students Bernard Boston, Rodney Carmona, Tasha Williams, and Mike Tyler working at CERN Summer 2013.

7th – 10th grade students from District 205 lived on campus, and participated in the NANOweek Workshop at CSU from June 17 to June 28, 2013. Delivering engaging hands-on activities to elementary and high school students, CSU faculty and CSU students also hosted them to campus tours. The “Interesting facts about CSU” tour included visits to the Prairie Garden, the Biology Imaging Center, the Aquaponics Center, the Pharmacy College, the New Student Library, the Greenhouse, and the teaching and research laboratories in the Williams Science Center. Nanotechnology, the study of objects sized 1 to 100 nanometers provided an interesting platform to engage students and to encourage them to consider careers in STEM. Student developed wikis which highlight their experiences can be found at (9-10th grade) and (7-8th grade)

The CSU-American Chemical Society Student Chapter received a $500 Community Interaction Grant from a proposal written by the chapter.

Dr. Sabella attended the PhysTEC Leadership Council Meeting, American Association of Physics Teachers Meeting and the PhysTEC Conference in July (Portland, Oregon). He organized an invited session at AAPT, gave an invited talk, and presented or co presented two posters at the conferences. 

Tau proteins and microtubles. New undergraduate Research Collaboration between Dr. Abraha and Professor Holly Goodson at the University of Notre Dame

Recently retired physics technician Ray Kajawa was selected by the the CSU Alumni Board as the 2012 Outstanding Staff Member of the Year. Ray Kajawa was nominated for the award by the entire department who greatly appreciated his years of service to the department and the science students of CSU. (seen helping students with electric circuits) Mr. Ray Kajawa

Virgina Hayes at the CSU 18th Awards GalaVirginia Hayes, CSU Noyce Scholar and future physics teacher was honored at 18th Annual Friends of CSU Awards Gala held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago.  The theme of the session was “Women in the business of Transforming Lives.”  Virginia spoke about the importance of science teaching, the need to increase diversity in science and reflected on the obstacles she has overcome to obtain her degree.

(photo by EgamiPhotos Inc.)