Physics and Astronomy

Student Awards

Student Awards

Each year, the Department of Physics and Astronomy gives out the following awards in recognition of our outstanding majors. These awardees are selected by the Student Award Committee. Some of these awards are named after a distinguished emeritus or alumnus. A brief description of these awards follow. View past winners of these awards.

C.Y. Liang Outstanding Graduate Student Award

An award given to a student graduating with an M.S. in Physics.

Ching Y. Liang earned a B.S. degree in physics from The National Central University at Nanking, China in 1943. Subsequently, he emigrated from China to the USA and entered the University of Oklahoma where he earned M.S. (1950) and Ph.D. (1952) degrees in physics. Professor Liang specialized in infrared spectroscopy working at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and other National Labs before joining the faculty at San Fernando Valley State College (now CSUN) in 1964. He strongly believed a good physics education required a strong emphasis on laboratory work, advocating that faculty members should split their teaching assignments equally between lectures and laboratory classes. Professor Liang served as chair for several years before retiring in 1982. We remember him as a firm but fair teacher, and administrator, who loved teaching physics and being of service to all. We honor his memory by naming this prestigious award the C.Y. Liang Outstanding Graduate Student Award.

Qualifications: In recognition of outstanding scholarship and contributions to the department and the field of Physics.

Requirement: Faculty recommendation to the Student Award Committee.

Award: The award recipient's name will be added to the department permanent award roster and a plaque will be presented at the annual Department Awards and Commencement Reception.

 

John W. Nagle Outstanding Senior Award

An award given to a student graduating with a B.S. or B.A. in Physics.

In the 1960 catalogue for then-San Fernando Valley State College (SFVSC) the major of Physics was listed for the first time. There was only one teacher at that time named John Nagle. John earned an M.S. degree in physics in 1956 at Michigan State University. He alone taught the six classes being offered by the department in the 1959-60 academic year. Within two years, the course offerings expanded to sixteen; it became possible for a student to earn the B.S. degree in physics at SFVSC. Prof. Nagle loved Astronomy and worked very hard to include Astronomy courses in the curriculum. John placed several telescopes on the roof of the Science building and developed the optical system for a solar telescope. He is particularly remembered for his contributions to the experimental senior laboratory and courses in sound, including sonoluminescence, an important technological tool. Teaching was his full time commitment with the exception of tennis and a strong involvement in his family life. He was one of the most involved faculty members when a terminal cancer removed him from us too soon. We honor the memory of Professor Nagle by naming this prestigious awards after him.

Qualifications: In recognition of outstanding scholarship and contributions to the department and the field of Physics.

Requirement: Faculty recommendation to the Student Award Committee.

Award: The award recipient's name will be added to the department permanent award roster and a plaque will be presented at the annual Department Awards and Commencement Reception.

 

Daniel Raponi Memorial Award

An award given to an outstanding lower division physics major.

Daniel Raponi was a promising physics major who transferred into our program as a sophomore in spring 2007. He was a bright individual who showed potential for exceptional work. In his two physics classes, he displayed a good understanding of the material and a genuine interest in the subject. He had close friends with whom he willingly helped when they had difficulties with the subject. Daniel found the CSUN environment to his liking and was starting to enjoy his college experience when he was suddenly, and much too early, taken away from us. In honor of his remembrance, the Raponi family has established an endowment to reward an outstanding Physics major, who like Daniel, has demonstrated hard work, great achievement, and dedication within the study of Physics.

Qualifications: In recognition of where Daniel was in his career as a student, the Daniel Raponi Scholarship will be awarded to the student who has excelled in the three introductory Physics classes taken by the major and who, at an early stage has made valuable contributions to the department. The recipient must be continuing on to the upper division courses in the major.

Requirement: The Student Award Committee will review the records of our majors and present this award to the student who shows promise of becoming an outstanding Physics student (based upon the grades earned in the introductory physics classes) and who has made valuable contributions to the extra-curricular activities of the department.

Award: The award recipient's name will be added to the department permanent award roster and a certificate will be presented at the annual Department Awards and Commencement Reception. A check for $2,000 will be disbursed in August to the recipient of this award. The student will be responsible for any taxes due.

 

Best Teaching Associate Award

An award given to the outstanding Teaching Associate in the department.

Qualifications: Outstanding Physics Graduate Student, enrolled in at least 3 units per semester in good academic standing who is either a graduate or teaching assistant in the department.

Requirement: Faculty recommendation to the Student Award Committee.

Award: One year membership to the AAPT and the recipient's name will be announced at the annual Department Awards and Commencement Reception.

 

Sigma Pi Sigma Award

An invitation to the student to join Sigma Pi Sigma - the national physics honor society with close ties to the Society of Physics Students.

Qualification: Prospective members of this honor society are selected on the basis of character and scholastic achievement. Undergraduates must maintain a 3.25 GPA in the core upper division physics classes and graduate students must maintain a 3.625 GPA in the core graduate classes. They must also be in the top 1/3 of the graduation class.

Requirement: Faculty recommendation to the Student Award Committee.

Award: Invitation to become a member of the national honor society. The recipients will be invited to dinner after the induction ceremony.