Letter from the Chair -- 2012
Please join me in expressing gratitude to our retiring SESAPS Executive Committee Members. Their hard work in this purely voluntary capacity helps to make physics an exciting and rewarding career choice for students in the southeast. Thank you to Prof. Paul Cottle of Florida State U for his four years of service in the chair line and Prof. Matthew Edwards of Alabama A&M for his service as Member-at-Large from Jan 2008 to Dec. 2011. Prof. Laurie McNeil (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) retires from her role as Chair to become SESAPS Past Chair; Richard Haglund (Vanderbilt) moves from Vice Chair to Chair-Elect; and we welcome our newest members: Mary Ellen Zvanut (University of Alabama Birmingham) as Vice Chair and John Yukich (Davidson College) as Member-at-Large for the Jan 2012 to Dec 2015 term.
The SESAPS 2011 annual meeting was held from Oct. 19-22 in Roanoke Virginia, hosted by Virginia Tech and local organizers Leo Piilonen, Michel Pleimling, and Beate Schmittmann (chair of the VT Physics Dept). Nearly 300 physicists participated from all over the SESAPS region, including Puerto Rico. Two sessions were held to celebrate physics milestones: the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the atomic nucleus (organized by Paul Cottle, FSU), and the 100th anniversary of the discovery of superconductivity (organized by Norman Mannella of U. Tennessee). The program and slides can be found at http://www.phys.vt.edu/sesaps/. Congratulations to the co-winners of the "Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation" contest: Christopher Frye of the University of Central Florida, "Identifying Electromagnetic Events in the Forward Hadron Calorimeter" and William Love of Virginia Tech, "Characterization of large-scale velocity fluctuations in the Princeton MRI experiment." Honorable mention was earned by two students from the North Carolina School of Science and Math: Mithi de los Reyes, "Use of Spray Adhesives for the Manufacture of 3-D Capillary Origami Microstructures" and Nishkala Shivakumar, "Acoustic Radiation from Smart Foam for Various Foam Geometries." Congratulations to the co-winners of the ``Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation" contest: David Abbott from the University of Virginia, "Study of the Sensitivity of Plastic Scintillators to Fast Neutrons" and Ahmed Roman of Virginia Tech, "Boundary conflicts and cluster coarsening: Waves of life and death in the cyclic competition of four species."
SESAPS 2012 will be held in Tallahassee, Florida, hosted jointly by Florida A&M (co-organizer Charles Weatherford) and Florida State University (co-organizer Winston Roberts). SESAPS Chair-Elect Richard Haglund [mailto:Richard.Haglund@vanderbilt.edu](Vanderbilt) will serve as the Program Chair for the meeting. Check the SESAPS main web page for updates, including the meeting date, which will likely be mid-November.
Now I want to ask a favor of every SESAPS member. As you probably already know, once you are a member of the APS, joining SESAPS is free. But the benefits to SESAPS are vital: for every member of the APS who joins SESAPS, SESAPS obtains funding from the APS so that we can offer travel support to SESAPS students who make presentations at SESAPS annual meetings. Students are the lifeblood of the SESAPS organization, and the future of physics in this country. So please commit to finding one colleague -- student/scientist/postdoc/faculty member -- at your school, college, or university, who has neglected to join SESAPS and encourage him/her to do so. The next student who receives a travel award may be yours!
Finally, I want to remind you that every year SESAPS honors the contributions of three SESAPS members to acknowledge exemplary service (Francis Slack Award), teaching (George B. Pegram), and research (Jesse W. Beams) activities. Please nominate a colleague whom you wish to see acknowledged with one of these awards.
I look forward to seeing you at SESAPS 2012 in Tallahassee!
Roxanne P. Springer
Professor of Physics