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Physics honor society inducts five students

Rebecca Forrest speaks to students during the physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma, induction ceremony, Feb. 28, in 108  Archer. UP photo by Noah Dawlearn
Rebecca Forrest speaks to students during the physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma, induction ceremony, Feb. 28, in 108 Archer. UP photo by Noah Dawlearn

Sigma Pi Sigma, the honors branch of the Society of Physic Students, inducted five new members, Feb. 28, in 108 Archer Physics Building.

“The American Institute of Physics is the major society we belong to,” Cristian Bahrim, Sigma Pi Sigma director, said. “There are a few branches, but the student-oriented one is called the Society of Physics Students. Part of this society has an honors branch and is for outstanding students.”

The students inducted were Levi Snowden, Luis Romero, Steven Williford, Bonnie Ruten and Justin Kirk.

“It is an achievement because physics is a hard major, and to be ranked in the top is kind of nice,” Ruten said. “It is really broad, and there is a lot of math involved. It is just altogether a lot of studying and a lot of hours put in.”

The new Sigma Pi Sigma members said they want to uphold the standards of the society.

“Even without this, I have always tried to help people in physics,” Romero said. “Whenever I see people going into the tutoring lab, I try to reach out to them even though I do not work there anymore.”

Rebecca Forrest, who was recommended by the SPS Washington headquarters, was a speaker at the event.

“Physics in general is a challenging subject, and on top of that, Sigma Pi Sigma students have to have high GPAs in order to be inducted,” she said. “The goals of the Society of Physics Students is to help students grow and join the community of physicists.”

Forrest’s presence mean the Washington headquarters recognize the LU chapter is important so that they make the effort to send someone here, Bahrim said.

“We are a well-established Society of Physics Student chapter with outstanding recognitions in the last four years, so we are probably No. 1 in the nation with that kind of recognition,” he said.

The Society of Physics Students was established in 1931, and Sigma Pi Sigma was started in 1965.

“We have reached the level of congress,” Bahrim said. “The society grew to 800 chapters and 575 honors chapters, but having a Society of Physics Students does not implicitly guarantee honors. You have to have the students qualified for it.

“This is defined based on a number of criteria — among them, one is high GPA. The GPA is a 3.2 for College of Arts and Sciences, and a 3.4 for College of Engineering.”

Student must have 90 college credit hours.

“National criteria require students to be at least a junior,” Bahrim said. “But in our case, that means terminal of junior year and beginning of senior year.”

Most of the students are inducted as seniors and graduate soon after entering the program.

“We had an induction ceremony last year, and the only student we still have is the president of our society, who, along with me, wrote a grant proposal which has been accepted, and the money will be directed toward this ceremony,” Bahrim said.

The society is always encouraging students to join, Ruten said.

“Get into SPS,” she said. “We are really involved and really helpful. It is a super involved organization for how little students are involved.”

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Category: News