Physics and Astronomy

Student Awards and Scholarship 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 Department Graduation 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 Department Graduation 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. The award consisting of a certificate and a check for $2,000 will be presented at the Department Graduation Reception. Funds will be disbursed in August. The student will be responsible for any taxes due.

 

Best Graduate/Teaching Assistant Award

An award given to the outstanding Teaching or Graduate Assistant 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: $200 check, and the recipient's name will be announced at the Department Graduation 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 announced at the Department Graduation Reception.

 

STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS AND RESEARCH GRANTS

In addition to the above awards, the Department of Physics and Astronomy provides (if sufficient funds are available) a number of scholarhips that are set up by our generous emeriti, alumni and friends. A description of each of these including application forms, eligibility, requirement and nature of the scholarships, follows. All qualified students are urged to apply. Completed applications must be returned to the department office by the posted deadline. A list of students who have won these scholarships in previous years can be found HERE.

 

 

C. Y. Liang Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship honors Professor Ching Y. Liang who served as Department Chair for several years before retiring in 1982. He 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. This scholarship honors him as a firm but fair teacher, and administrator, who loved teaching physics and being of service to all. It is funded by the C. Y. Liang Memorial Endowment.

Qualification: Junior, Senior, or Graduate students majoring in Physics with a minimum 3.0 GPA overall and in the major. The recipient must be enrolled for the following semester and must have demonstrated financial need. Requirement: Submit an application by the deadline. Faculty/Student Award Committee members will review the applications, and the Committee Chair will present the final nomination to the Department Office.

Award: The award consisting of $1,500 will be presented at The Department Graduation Reception. Funds will be disbursed in August.

The Application acrobat icon (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Monday, April 14, 2014.

 

Adrian Herzog Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship

This scholarship honors Professor and Physics Department Chair Adrian Herzog, who passed away in early 2001. Professor Herzog arrived at CSUN in 1981 and served as Department Chair from 1996 until his death. He wrote thousands of lines of computer code for analyzing data from the San Fernando Observatory during the 1980's. He also worked many hours during the early 1990's with then-Dean Donald Bianchi for the construction of the Planetarium, which was dedicated in 1993; Professor Herzog served as its first director. This scholarship honors Professor Herzog's long commitment to both the teaching and research missions of the Department.

Qualifications: Physics graduate student who is enrolled in at least 3 units per semester and in good academic standing. The recipient must have demonstrated financial need and the potential to improve academic performance with this award.

Requirement: Submit an application by the deadline. The applicant should write a statement conveying his/her financial need. The Student Award Committee members will review the applications, and the Committee Chair will present the final nomination to the Department Office.

Award: The recipient will receive a check for the amount of $2000 each semester upon enrollment in the Physics graduate program. The recipient will be eligible to compete again the following years.

The Application acrobat icon (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Monday, April 14, 2014.

  

Paul and Amy Lee Undergraduate Scholarship

This scholarship is endowed by the generous contribution of Professor Paul Lee and his wife Dr. Amy Lee. Professor Lee served in the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 1975 through 2012. He obtained his PhD in 1971 from the California Institute of Technology specializing in Experimental Atomic Physics and Intermediate Energy Physics. During the initial phase of his career he continued to work in Experimental Atomic and Nuclear Physics participating in experiments both at SLAC and at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Gradually his research interests turned to Medical Physics and in collaboration with clinical researchers at the University of Southern California and image processing experts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he focused on problems which required the complementary use of several imaging modalities. Among his important contributions is the development of a method to concentrate ultrasound energy to dissolve blood clots, and the development of precise methodology for quantifying intima-media thickness in the carotid artery using ultrasound imaging. Beyond his field of expertise Professor Lee has been one of the most knowledgeable scientists in our department, with deep insight into the crucial aspects of physical phenomena. Through the years he has brought that same insight to his students from the general education classes to the specialized courses for the majors.

Qualifications: A registered sophomore, junior or senior Physics major with financial need. The recipient must be enrolled in the department undergraduate program and taking courses towards the completion of the baccalaureate degree in the following year.

Requirement: Submit an application by the deadline. The Student Award Committee members will review the applications, and the Committee Chair will present the final nomination to the Department Office.

Award: The recipient will receive a check for the amount of $1750 each semester upon enrollment in the Physics undergraduate program. The recipient will be eligible to compete again the following years.

The Application acrobat icon (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Monday, April 14, 2014.

 

Michael G. Dickson Memorial Scholarship

Michael G. Dickson joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at California State University Northridge as a graduate student in Fall 2006. It was apparent that Michael had a sharp mind and a deep interest in physics and astronomy. Within his quiet demeanor, he had a great sense of humor and was a very good communicator, receiving the award for Best Astronomy Teaching Assistant during his first academic year.

Beyond classes, Michael really flourished as a physicist through his research work in the nanotechnology laboratory, where he was enthusiastically involved in a project to develop a new gene sequencing technology. Many late nights and weekends were spent working in the laboratory and close friendships were forged; he was regarded as a genuinely nice person. Michael was actively involved in mentoring undergraduate students and he was never too busy to lend his expertise. A member of the Society of Physics Students, Michael's love of physics was apparent in his tutoring of undergraduate students and welcoming and gentle warmth as he participated in events such as the Star Nights, picnics, and Thursday movies.

The Dickson family has established an award to reward and further stimulate the commitment and excitement for learning demonstrated by Michael as a graduate student. Eligibility: This award is to be given to a Department of Physics and Astronomy at CSUN graduate student to further enhance his or her course of study. Students may receive this award more than once, but must reapply and compete annually.

Purpose: Funds may be used for such things as travel to pertinent conferences, specialized software, specialized equipment needed to forward the work on their graduate project, or other endeavors related to their graduate studies.

Requirement:Applications for the Michael G. Dickson Memorial Award must be submitted to by the deadline. An Award Committee, appointed by the department faculty, will review applications and recommend a candidate to the Chair for approval.

Criteria: Consideration will include academic qualities and standing as well as the merits of the proposed Master's Project. Focus will also be placed on the personal qualities like Michael's, including leadership, mentorship and enthusiasm for the subject matter.

Award: An award of $1000 will be disbursed in a check directly to the student in the Fall of the application year and the recipient shall be announced and honored at the CSUN Donor Scholarship Awards in October and at the annual department scholarship recognition ceremony in May. CSUN Financial Aid will be notified to coordinate the award with other sources of aid.

Terms: Two awards of $1000 will be awarded in academic year 2010-2011 and thereafter one award will be presented annually beginning in the academic year 2011-2012 and will continue until the net fund does not allow distribution. At such time, any remaining balance will be transferred by the responsible CSUN administrators to the Society of Physics Students Association Fund and to be used at their discretion.

The Application acrobat icon (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Monday, April 14, 2014.

 

The Physics and Astronomy Undergraduate Summer Research Grant

This program was established to encourage undergraduate students to engage in research on campus during the summer months under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Individual student-faculty collaborations are an excellent opportunity to gain professional experience beyond the normal course work required by the degree. Students that engage in summer research programs are known to be more successful in the future. This program is funded by the Laboratory Manual Trust Fund.

Qualifications: Enrolled undergraduate majors (physics, astrophysics) in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at CSUN who have completed the junior sequence of courses and who will be expected to graduate at the end of the following academic year (May/June). Exceptions may be granted to highly prepared sophomores. A minimum GPA of 2.75 in the major is required.

Requirement: A faculty sponsor who will direct the research and be responsible for mentoring the student is required. After completing the project, the student may be required to give a talk in an open forum of some kind to be determined by the Award Committee. The faculty sponsor will also file a one-page report to be sent to the Award Committee and the Department Chair by September 30 of the year the summer research project ends.

Stipend: A total stipend of $3500 will be provided to the successful applicant. Half of this will be paid at the end of the fifth week and the other half will be paid upon completion of the experience. The student will be responsible for any taxes due.

The Application acrobat icon (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Monday, April 14, 2014.