Department of Physics recognizes student accomplishments

Jul 16, 2014

The Kettering University Physics Department recognized standout students from both A-section and B-section at awards ceremonies this year.

Physics student Rebecca Mikolajczyk demonstrates the SoundLazer at the B-Section Physics Department Awards Ceremony. See more photos.

The Kettering University Department of Physics recognized 22 B-section students at the Physics Department Awards Ceremony in June.

The awards recognize outstanding academic and research accomplishments, service and membership in professional organizations. The ceremony was organized by Dr. Ronald Kumon, assistant professor of Physics.


Recipients of the B-section The Outstanding Physics Performance (TOPP) Award were Shelby Beavers, Jason Berger, Carolyn Pankow, Daniel Sopha and Brett Wreggelsworth. To receive the awards, students had to achieve a 4.0 GPA in Kettering’s introductory Physics courses (PHYS 114, 115, 224 and 225) and have a class standing of junior 1 at the time of the award. A-section recipients last term were Jeremy Eekhoff, Joseph Praski and Jennie Purdy.

Recipients of the B-section Supplemental Instruction (S.I.) Leaders award were Austin Stewart, Alex Christiansen, Alexander Bush, Franklin Tilocco, Benjamin Harris, J.D. Bigger, Jacob Caporuscio and Rebecca Mikolajczyk. Supplemental Instruction is an academic assistant program that relies on informal, peer-assisted study sessions to help students through difficult courses. The sessions focus on integrating course content and study skills while working collaboratively. S.I. Leaders are students who have previously done well in the courses (grade of A- or better and have an overall GPA of 3.5 or better). They attend lectures, take great notes and serve as models to other students. S.I. Leaders are chosen based on faculty recommendations. A-section S.I. Leaders were Daniel Knopp, Nicholas Sovis, Jonathan Zeiders, Alexandria Basher and Daniel Peterson.

Physics Club officers were also recognized. These students are responsible for promoting interest in Physics and related career fields and providing students with hands-on activities and access to information about Physics research. B-section Physics Club activities included a catapult competition, parametric acoustic array in air, a soapbox derby car renovation and a Navy nuclear engineering presentation. B-section officers were Nathaniel Mosher, Rebekah Gowman, Sean Commet, Danielle Shaffer, Jessica Knerr, Matt Waszkiewicz and Austin Badgley. A-section officers were Ryan Neph, Cody Grant, Michael Morateck, Nathan Waters, Robert Weiss and Nicholas Sovis.

New inductees to Sigma Pi Sigma, a professional society for Physics students and their mentors, were also recognized. Kettering students who become members must have junior or senior standing, maintain a GPA of 3.0 or greater, complete at least four Physics courses of three credits or more, have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater in Physics courses, have a standing in the top third of their graduating class and have a record of active service to the Department of Physics.

Nationally, Sigma Pi Sigma students serve the Physics community in a variety of ways, including supporting local and national programs, representing Physics to the public, providing alumni networks, working for sound national science policies and offering science outreach opportunities. Kettering University’s chapter was established in 2003.

B-section inductees were Sean Commet, Rebekah Gowman, Rebecca Mikolajczyk, Kelly Powell, Danielle Schaffer and Kyle Pfahl. A-section inductees were Cody Grant, Evan Hulscher and Jonathan Zeiders.

Franklin ‘Zak’ Tilocco was also recognized at the B-section ceremony for receiving the William Robert Marshall Award for the “most significant contribution to the Institute of Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems” at the 25th annual Conference of the Americas. The award was based on work Tilocco did under the supervision of Alan Kastengren and Christopher Powell during his co-op at Argonne National Laboratories.

Also recognized at the ceremony where Nicholas Sovis and Jonathan Zeiders for their participation in the University Physics Competition, an annual international competition where participants spend a weekend analyzing a real-world scenario using the principles of Physics and writing a paper describing their work. There were 121 teams from more than 10 countries in the 2013 competition. Students are encouraged to participate in this year’s competition, which will take place in November.

The Kettering University Department of Physics hosts the awards ceremony twice per year, once for A-section and once for B-section.

Written By Patrick Hayes | Contact: Patrick Hayes - - (810) 762-9639