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Society of Physics Students chapter honored for fourth-straight year

Fall 2018 Zone 11 meeting
For the second-straight year, South Dakota State University’s Society of Physics Students chapter was named an outstanding chapter. According to chapter adviser Robert McTaggart, one of the reasons for the honor was the successful fall 2018 Zone 11 meeting. Many of its attendees are pictured in front of Crothers Engineering Hall.

For the second-straight year, South Dakota State University’s Society of Physics Students chapter was named an outstanding chapter by the Society of Physics Students. The honor is the highest level of distinction given to chapters and is received by less than 13% of its top chapters annually, with just 103 of 829 chapters honored this year.

SDSU has now been listed four consecutive years by the Society of Physics Students. South Dakota State was listed a notable chapter in 2016-17 and a distinguished chapter in 2015-16, which was its first honor in five years.

Robert McTaggart, the chapter’s adviser and an associate professor in the Department of Physics, said part of the chapter’s award is based on the successful Zone 11 region meeting SDSU hosted in November 2018. Approximately 60 students from nine universities across a five-state area were in attendance.

SDSU is also in good shape for the current year’s ranking as it won the research award at the 2019 Zone 11 region meeting.

“We have always had a strong research focus,” McTaggart said. “We are looking at various ways to keep moving the chapter forward by partnering with other clubs. We have had a strong presence in outreach activities for the department and look to do additional ones.”

SPS outstanding/distinguished/notable chapters are selected by zone councilors and associate zone councilors, who review the information, photos and supporting material presented in the annual chapter reports.
The judging criteria include:

  • The chapter's involvement in local, zone and national SPS meetings and other professional meetings;
  • Participation in SPS programs;
  • Outreach efforts to grades K-12 or the general public;
  • Participation in community service;
  • Contributions to student recruitment and retention;
  • Participation in social events; and
  • Interactions with the department's alumni.

About the Society of Physics Students
The Society of Physics Students is a professional association explicitly designed for students. Membership, through collegiate chapters, is open to anyone, with the only requirement that one be interested in physics.