Another year, another honor from the Society of Physics Students for South Dakota State University.
For the fourth-straight year, South Dakota State University’s Society of Physics Students chapter was named an outstanding chapter. The honor is the highest level of distinction given to chapters and is received by less than 10% of its top chapters this year, with just 80 of 844 chapters honored.
SDSU has now been listed six 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 outreach, research and activities. In addition, the chapter won national research awards in 2020 and 2021. In addition, Abduallah Al Maruf was selected as one of the 2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award winners by the Society of Physics Students.
“There were two primary achievements in the past year. The first was a needed update of our chapter’s bylaws. The hard and difficult work by all the officers should make the Society of Physics Students a better home for anyone with an interest in physics,” said McTaggart, who was selected as the Society of Physics Students’ Outstanding Chapter Advisor for 2020. “The other major accomplishment was the student-driven research in critical areas for clean energy, including making better lithium-based batteries and studying how to make solar cells.”
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
- 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.