Yale Society of Physics Students recognized as an Outstanding SPS Chapter

January 8, 2024

Yale University’s Society of Physics Students (SPS) Chapter has been awarded the Outstanding Chapter Award by the SPS National Office for the fourth year in a row. With just 73 of over 800 chapters so honored this year, this recognition places Yale SPS among the top 10% of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally.

The SPS chapter at Yale University is advised by Professor Sarah Demers and is led by student officers. The 2023-2024 officers are:

    Barkotel Zemenu ’24 (Co-President)
    Maddie Butchko ’24 (Co-President)
    Robin Tsai ’26 (Vice President)
    Ethan Martinez ‘26 (Outreach Chair)
    Maddi Brown ‘26 (DEI Co-Liaison)
    Andrew Nupp ‘25 (Treasurer)
    Aaron Chizhik ‘25 (Prize Lecture)
    Matthew Balestier ‘26  (Physics Community Co-Coordinator)
    Anh-Thai Le ‘26 (Physics Community Co-Coordinator)    
    Nikita Mazotov ’26 (Liaison to National SPS)
    Alexa (Lexi) Murray ‘24 (Media Chair)

Yale SPS co-president Barkotel Zemenu, Physics (Intensive) ‘24,  commented, “This semester has been extraordinary in terms of both our achievements and collaborations. Thanks to our amazing board’s tireless effort, we spearheaded numerous initiatives that have significantly enhanced our chapter’s profile, and forged relationships with several communities both on campus and beyond.”

The Outstanding Chapter Award attests to a chapter’s continued commitment to fostering community, academic excellence, and professional development. The chapter organized a diverse array of events this semester, some of which included a ‘Bluebooking’ session early in August, a tour of Wright Lab after Fall break, the Harvard-Yale Mixer before Thanksgiving, and the highly popular Schultz Lecture with Prof. Roxanne Guenette late in December. The semester also saw the continuation of SPS’s Peer Mentorship Program and two “Dinners with Professors” before and after Fall break, featuring assistant professor of physics Charles Brown and professor of physics Larry Gladney.

The semester’s grand finale was the Graduate School Advice Panel, hosted during reading period and featuring three Yale physics faculty members – Helen Caines (Director of Graduate Admissions at Yale), Larry Gladney (FAS Dean of Science) and David C. Moore (Wright Lab’s Moore Group PI) – in addition to six PhD candidates who attended Yale during their undergrad and/or graduate years: Zack Andalman (Princeton Astrophysics), Shoumik Chowdhury (MIT EECS), Matt King (UChicago Physics), Emily Pottebaum (Yale Physics), Dawson Thomas (Harvard Physics), and Laura Zhou (Stanford Physics).

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association designed for students and membership is open to anyone interested in physics and related fields. SPS operates within the American Institute of Physics (AIP), an umbrella organization for professional physical science societies.