Physics and Astronomy

Student Scholarships and Grants

 

Student Scholarships and Grants 

The Department of Physics and Astronomy provides a number of scholarships 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.

 

Betty and Martin Altshiller Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Undergraduates

CSUN alumnus, Art Altshiller, created this award to honor his  parents, Betty and Martin Altshiller. Martin Altshiller was a mechanical engineer by profession. He was also a master bridge and chess player. His wife, Betty, was a Julliard-trained concert pianist who taught piano and accordion.  Retired physics instructor, Art Altshiller enrolled at San Fernando Valley State College (SFVSC) in 1959, before it became CSUN. He studied physics under Mr. Nagle until his junior year when he transferred to the University of Oklahoma where received his Bachelor of Science degree. Returning to what was still called SFVSC, Art earned his Master of Science degree in physics and teaching credential after working as an aerospace electronics engineer. Art enjoyed a long and active career as an educator, first in the LAUSD high schools and later as an Auxiliary Adjunct Math Instructor at Los Angeles Valley College. As a young man, Art had two role models: his uncle, Nathan Altshiller Court, a trailblazer in the subject of triangle geometry and author of the classic textbook, College Geometry and his undergraduate mentor and first physics professor, John W. Nagle.

Purpose: To reward an undergraduate student in physics who has demonstrated exemplary scholastic achievement.

Qualification: Applicants should be undergraduate physics students whose academic performance has been outstanding. Eligible students will have maintained a very high GPA score.  Also taken into consideration will be academic accomplishments such as research involvement, honors and awards received, and publications. Preference will be given to students with demonstrated financial need.

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 $1,000* will be disbursed in August to the recipient of this award.

Select to apply (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2020.

 

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 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 $1,500* will be disbursed in August to the recipient of this award. 

Select to apply  (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2020

 

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. 

Select to apply  (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2020

 

Debra Kosta Graduate Student in Physics Scholarship

This scholarship was established by an anonymous donor in honor of Debra Kosta. Ms Kosta had the distinction of being among the first wave of German immigrants to the U.S. after the fall of the Berlin Wall. With access to education being highly restrictive under Communist rule, one of the first things Ms. Kosta did was apply to graduate school. Although she came to this country with little money, she was single-minded in her desire to further her education. During graduate school, she had to balance studying, conducting research and teaching with the responsibilities of taking care of her family. The same determination to advance her education that empowered her to become the first in her family to graduate from college came into play once again in graduate school. She successfully earned her Master of Science degree at CSUN in 1996.  Ms. Kosta is the inspiration behind the creation of the Debra Kosta Graduate Student in Physics Scholarship to help physics graduate students achieve their dreams.

Purpose: To support a continuing physics graduate student who has financial need.

Qualifications: Applicants must be graduate students majoring in physics, be enrolled for at least the following semester, have demonstrated financial need and be involved with research.

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 support upto $5000* each semester upon enrollment in the Physics graduate program. The recipient will be eligible to compete again the following years. 

Select to apply  (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2020

 

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. 

Select to apply  (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2020

 

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 at the annual Department Awards and Commencement Reception. 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.

Select to apply  (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2020

 

Daniel Raponi Memorial Scholarship

Daniel Raponi was born in Los Angeles in 1986.  After graduation from public school he enrolled at the University of California, Riverside, then transferred to CSUN as a  sophomore in spring 2007.  Daniel was a gifted physics major who readily helped his friends and classmates when they had difficulties with the subject. He also loved sports and played competitive roller hockey and soccer.  His parents, Nina Edelstein and Isi Raponi, established the Daniel Raponi Memorial Scholarship Endowment to carry on his CSUN legacy by benefiting outstanding physics majors who, like Daniel, demonstrate hard work, great achievement, and a dedication to the study of physics.

Purpose: To reward outstanding lower-division physics majors who have excelled in their introductory physics classes, have contributed to the Physics Department, and plan to continue in the major through to the completion of a baccalaureate degree.

Criteria: Applicants should be outstanding lower-division physics majors who have excelled in the three Introductory Physics classes (Physics 225, 226 and 227). Candidates should have, at an early stage, made valuable contributions to the Department and be continuing on to upper-division courses in the major through to obtaining their baccalaureate.

Award: The recipient will receive support upto $5000* each semester upon enrollment in the Physics graduate program. The recipient will be eligible to compete again the following years. 

Select to apply  (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2020

 

 

The Physics and Astronomy Summer Research Grant

This program was established to encourage 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 majors 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 for an undergraduate and 3.25 for a graduate student.

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 between $3000 and $4000 will be provided (depending on funding availability) 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. 

Select to apply  (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2020

 

* Note: If the recipient of this scholarship is also receiving financial aid (including loans), then the financial aid award may be adjusted. Students may speak to a  counselor in the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department during walk-in hours for a detailed overview about their individual situation. The student will be responsible for any taxes due.