Orange Alert

Physics Student Highlights - December 2023

Posted on: Dec. 15, 2023

Graduating Seniors - Class of 2023

We had fifteen majors (BS/BA) graduating in 2023. Congratulations to the following recent graduates:

India Aikens, Jenna Cammerino, Matthew Cufari, Tanner Demaree, Michael Geiss, James Harford, Jakub Kochanowski, Hong Beom Lee, Xinning Li, Nathan Magers, Erin McCarthy, Derrick Ramos, Samuel Testani, Jared Welch, and Benjamin Wheeler.

Graduating Physics Seniors

Some members of the class of 2023 at the graduate party after the College graduation on Saturday, May 14. Pictured are MP Geiss, Jenna Cammerino, Eric McCarthy, Hong Beom Lee, Matt Cufari, Jamie Harford, Ben Wheeler, and Tanner Demaree.

Awards and Recognition

Chance Baggett

Physics and Math major, Chance Baggett ‘23, was named Astronaut Scholar 2023-2024. Astronaut Scholars are among the best and brightest minds in STEM who show initiative, creativity, and excellence in their chosen field.

Ohana Benevides Rodrigues

Ohana Benevides G’22 was named the graduate student Marshal for the spring 2023 hooding ceremony where she will be hooded after graduating this past fall. The University wide honor recognizes outstanding academic achievement, inspired research, campus and community involvement and Orange spirit and pride. Ohana is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Julia Fancher, current sophomore, had a paper accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Her work used numerical simulations to study the evolution of the stream of debris produced from the destruction of a star by a black hole and disproves earlier claims about the role of shocks in generating on that stream.

Alexia Chatzitheodorou

Syed Adil Ghaznavi and Alexia Chatzitheodorou, Physics PhD candidates have been selected as Outstanding TA Award recipients for 2023. These awards are reserved for teaching assistants in good academic standing who have made truly distinguished contributions to teaching at Syracuse University. The official award ceremony took place on April 20th, 2023.

Sarthak Gupta G’23, was selected as one of the 12 Emerging Soft Matter Excellence Award finalists. At the 2023 APS March Meeting, Sarthak was invited to present his contributed talk at a special ESME symposium. Additionally, The APS Forum on International Physics Distinguished Students Program committee selected Sarthak as a recipient of the Distinguished Students award. Sarthak was also awarded a DSOFT Future Investigative Travel Award. Sarthak also received a Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Work.

Lauren Mayse G’23, Syracuse University Graduate student, was selected to attend the 2023 St. Jude National Graduate Student Symposium (NGSS) in Biomedical Sciences which took place in March in Memphis, TN. Lauren is one of 32 selected graduate students for this event where 1,200 graduate students were invited to apply.

Daniel Paradiso

Daniel Paradiso (Coughlin group) and Kamalendu Paul (Qin group in Engineering) were awarded summer dissertation fellowships from the graduate school.

Department Community Achievement Awards Recipients

The 2023 honorees by categories are listed below (students only):

The Gelling Award was given to Eric McCarthy and Matt Cufari who is currently pursuing a PhD degree at MIT.

The Beardsley Award went to Jenna Cammerino and Hong Beom Lee. Jenna is pursuing a master’s degree in television, Radio, and Film at Syracuse University. Hong is PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Outstanding Honors Thesis Prize in Science or Engineering was Erin McCarthy who worked with Professor Lisa Manning. The award was named and given during the honors graduation.

Academic Excellence award is given to Graduating seniors with outstanding GPAs. The 2023 recipients were: Matthew Cufari, Samuel Testani, Jenna Cammerino, Jared Welch, Benjamin Foster Wheeler, Michael Patrick Geiss, Hong Beom Lee, Xinning Li, Erin McCarthy, Nathan Magers, James Harford, and Tanner Demaree.

This year the department handed several Social Justice and Community Building Awards to members of the department. This is the third year of this tradition to recognize those that do outstanding work on Inclusivity, equity, outreach, and community building. The students’ recipients of the Social Justice award 2023 were: Tanner Demaree and Mackenzie Adair Naseery.

The Department also recognized seven undergraduate peer coaches as Outstanding Coaching Assistants: Benjamin Wheeler, Tanner Demaree, Sahana Anand, Macaulay Kastner, Adam Perry, Max Pozar and Julia Fancher.

Other News

Science Night. Professor Jay Hubisz led a team of Syracuse University Physics students in an outreach event for K-6 students in Otselic Valley School District in late March. The group from the Society of Physics Students (SPS), included Hong Beom Lee, Nathan Magers, Jamie Harford, Tanner Demaree, Emerson Long, Payton Majewski, Abigail Torres, Xiaoti Wu, Just Lamoureux, Mason Grieb, Jada Garofalo, Kai Yan, and Sahana Anand. These Syracuse Physics students wowed the audience with some of their favorite physics demonstrations last Wednesday night. From LN2 ice cream to diffraction gratings, to seeing themselves in infrared, our youngest colleagues at large got to “experience physics” hands-on. Sam Sampere, Physics lab manager, was instrumental in helping the group by preparing the demos. We hope we inspired the kids to study science, so we will see them in our hall in the future years, now that the inspiration has been planted!

Science Night event collage

Science Night at Otselic Valley School District, March 2023

Physics alumna Danielle Germann received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship this year, a highly competitive fellowship for graduate work. This fellowship will support Danielle’s PhD research in the Physics Department at Brown University where she is currently studying.

Graduate Students Union. One of the biggest happenings to the graduate students in the past year was the campaign and vote for graduate students to unionize. In late March to early April, the graduate students voted to unionize. The official notification was published early April. Overall, the process was collegial and positive. Making sure that physicist voices are at the table will ensure that we do not lose any positive aspects for physics students.

Hooding Ceremony 2023. Many of the students returned in May for the PhD hooding ceremony. To participate, you had to graduate before mid-April, so we anticipate a few on this list above to return in 2024 for their hooding! It is so exciting to celebrate our graduates’ milestones.

PhD hooding group

PhD Hooding in our funny outfits! Pictured: Nick Didio, Britton Plourde, Joey Paulsen, Raj De, Mitch Soderberg, Ohana Benevides Rodrigues (Marshall), Ali Patteson, Merill Asp, Matt Rudolph, Hangyi Wu, and Kenneth Dodge.

Phy-GO elected their new executive board for the 2023 - 2024 academic year. Of the members that are currently elected, there is no doubt that they will continue to build up the community through exemplary leadership and a drive to enrich the lives of our members.

Phy-Go leadership board selected for the academic year 2023-2024

  • Daniel Paradiso, President
  • Matthew Todd, Vice President
  • Bridget Mack, Secretary
  • Ben Byrd, Event Coordinator
  • JT Paustain, Public Relations Officer

In addition to their weekly recreation nights (Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball, Soccer, Basketball, Badminton, etc.), Phy-Go also held a number of events this past year:

  • Blueberry Picking at Abbott Farms
  • What I wish I knew as a first year
  • Apple Picking at Beak & Skiff
  • Ice Skating
  • Bonus Recitations for CM
  • Secret Santa followed by Game Night
  • SU Women’s Basketball vs. Miami
  • Admitted Grad Student Virtual Lunch
  • Bonus Recitations for QM2 and E+M
  • Began handing out PhyGO Merch

Secret Santa Exchange

Phy-GO Secret Santa Gift Exchange 2022

Over the 2022-2023 academic year the Society of Physics Students (SPS) grew significantly, gaining many freshmen and sophomore members who have now taken leadership roles in the 2023-2024 year.

New SPS leadership board selected for the academic year 2023-2024

  • President: Lucas Sarabia
  • Vice President: Mason Grieb
  • Secretary: Carter Halpin
  • Treasurer: Emerson Long
  • Social Media Chairs: Eadin Block and Peter Fynn
  • DEI Representative: Jadon Garofalo

In addition to holding weekly meetings and semi-regular game nights, SPS also ran and participated in many events on and off Syracuse campus:

  • Apple picking at Beak & Skiff Orchard
  • T-shirt design contest
  • Bonfire Night
  • Leadership election and inauguration parties
  • Otselic Valley School District's Science Night
  • MOST Science Fair judging
  • Friendsgiving celebration

SPS MOST event

SPS Members participated at the MOST Museum of Science and Technology Science Fair!

A&S Research Festival. We had a strong participation of 16 physics-related posters and talks presented at the Undergraduate Research Festival April 21. Nathan Magers and Matt Cufari presented talks while James M Harford, Corinne Motl, Hong Beom Lee, Katie Smith, Nicholas Rubayiza, Dan Qiao, August Larson, Lucas Sarabia, Julia Fancher, Clayton Masters, Adam Perry, Karina Primeau, Maximus B Short, Nedine Abdelhamid, Katherine Monroe, Sonia Julius, Jadon Garofalo Dorian Lee Baker-Santoro, Kurt Schaeffer, Derick Ramos, Emily Olech, Zhanyue (Harper) Cheng, Erin McCarthy and Chance Baggett presented posters.

A&S Research festival collage

Some of the students that presented posters at the A&S Research Festival 2023