Saturday, August 04, 2012

The 2012--2013 Academic year

This year's incoming class is a new department record: 34 freshmen and 2 transfers for a total of 36. In addition, one of the freshmen is our first ever Dingledine scholar,  Devin Buenemeyer. This is a real honor for the department. We are extremely proud of her and delighted that she has chosen physics and our department. The graduating class this year was small (13) but next year's promises to be sizable (20 or more). With the addition of Shanil Virani as our recruiter, we have great expectations. Shanil has many excellent idea and a tremendous amount of energy. Jon Staib has passed the baton with a clear lead for the department and Shanil is ready to run (forgive the Olympics metaphor). Don't be surprised if remarkable things happen.

We have a strong incoming class this year. We have some very excellent students as upperclassmen. We are growing and getting better.

This year we add Keigo Fukumura and Jarrett Lancaster. Elizabeth Jeffery is staying with us for another year or two and searches to fill open positions are going to commence in a month or two. Costel Constantin is moving into a tenure track position. Brian Utter is going on sabbatical in Germany and Scott Paulson is taking the Research Semester in the fall to spend time in Charlottesville. Both are moving their research interests towards biological systems.

The department reached a new high this year in external funding with a total of over $4.77 million. The only tenure track faculty without external funding in the department are the new folks, Costel and Keigo, and they will be funded soon at the rate things are going. Such vigorous research is rare in undergraduate departments and actually not all that common in research institutions We are a young department with only three faculty (Kevin Giovanneti, Chris Hughes and Mark Mattson) hired before 2001.

We are still pushing to open the Madison Radiation Laboratory asap. and proposals are being written to obtain money for experiments there. Discussions with the university administration is continuing.

Every year is better that the last and this year is no exception.

Come visit.

Be part of the amazing PandA@JMU.