Thai-ing things up at the annual Physics Banquet
This past Sunday, April 26, Coe College's Physics Club hosted its event that traditionally marks the end of the year - the annual banquet. Seniors were sent off, awards were given, and a new executive board and SPS president were selected to the tune of much laughter and good food - Siamville Thai cuisine, as chosen by the ever-famous food critic himself, Doc Feller.
Old members of the executive board - Nicole Johnson, Paul Rasmussen, Marcin Welninski, Adam Zieser, Bruce Lange, Brittney Hauke, Ehren Gaebler, and Izzie Sorenson - were each given the gift of a movie, specially selected by Doc. We all feared the re-gifting of "IQ" would occur; the year prior, all members of the board received this movie upon leaving their positions. The lucky recipient of the tradition was our historian, Izzie, to the relief of all the others. Mario gifted two outstanding seniors (Marcin Welninski and Bruce Lange) with specially selected books for the exceptional dedication they showed to their research and to the department over the years. All graduating seniors were recognized, and new members (juniors and seniors) were inducted into the prestegious physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma (ΣπΣ or SPS). All that remained before the feasting began was the announcement of the newly elected officials.
In the weeks prior, students who were members of Physics Club and wanted a place on the executive board, nominated themselves for a maximum of three positions, ranked in the order they wanted them. Positions included President, Vice President, Web Master, Historian, Secretary, Event Coordinator, and Treasurer. The week leading up to the banquet, voting opened on our Moodle extension, with one specialized link sent to each member signed up on that site. Voting closed Friday, April 24th.
Nicole Johnson, former Physics Club president and graduating senior, read the names of the new board after a tight array of races. Paul Rasmussen was elected President; Brittney Hauke, Vice President; David Hynek, Treasurer; Tori Eng, Secretary; Dahlia Baker, Event Coordinator; Collin Wilkinson, Web Master; and Izzie Sorenson, Historian. Upcoming senior Eric Hoar was elected the new SPS President, a role held previously by Nicole Johnson, by those already inducted into the SPS Physics Honor Society. With the announcement of this position, he was presented with the newest edition to the SPS induction plaques, many of which can be seen hanging in our own Physics Lounge.
After due congratulations and calmed nerves, the crowd was released upon the buffet under the instruction of Doc. While eating, students and faculty and visitors alike listened to our guest speaker, Philip "Bo" Hammer, discuss the state of physics education in the United States and the steps he took to become a politically active and involved scientist as an American Physical Society (APS) Congressional Science Fellow. He is currently serving as the Associate Vice President of the American Institute of Physics (AIP).
The festivities concluded with a send-off by Doc Feller, with the encouragement to take home food remaining in the buffet line - a request taken very seriously, as typical hungry college students. Some students stayed behind to converse with Mr. Hammer, as the rest dispersed, surely full of good Thai cuisine and hearty conversation, for, as we all know, a physics student never goes hungry in this department. ■