Manhattan College’s Society of Physics Students Wins Outstanding Chapter Award

The chapter's accomplishments and activities during the 2022-2023 academic year led to the coveted recognition.

The Manhattan College Society of Physics Students has received a 2022-2023 Outstanding Chapter Award from the Society of Physics Students (SPS) National. The chapter was recognized for their “dedication and commitment to the SPS mission and vision.” Only 10% to 15% of student physics society chapters are able to attain the Outstanding Chapter Award each year. This is the second time that Manhattan students have received the honor in the past four years. Society of Physics Students

The awards are presented annually, after a careful review by the SPS of material supplied by individual chapters, and are based on criteria that includes participation in SPS programs, outreach efforts to grades K-12 or the general public, participation in community service and contributions to student recruitment and retention. 

“We are thrilled to have our students’ hard work over the past year recognized by SPS National, and we hope this will inspire more students in STEM at Manhattan College,” said Bart Horn, Ph.D., associate professor of physics and the group’s faculty adviser since 2018. “We are looking forward to more exciting events in 2024, especially the total solar eclipse in New York state this April.” 

Horn said that the Society of Physics Students and its related honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma,  serve as a social hub and informal advising network for students interested in physics, astronomy and related fields. 

Some of the organization’s accomplishments that led to the award included Manhattan College’s first annual STEM Outreach Day. Thirty-six Bronx students from grades six through 12 were invited to a daylong event at which students participated in experiments covering engineering, math, biology, chemistry, physics and computer science. The event was organized by the society’s co-president, Sarah Rosen ’23, and mathematics major Kate Cappabianca ’23. For their efforts, Rosen and Cappabianca were named New Yorkers of the week by Spectrum NY1 News, and featured in an on-air interview with the station. 

Other accomplishments during the award winning academic year included SPS members Lara Celik ’25 and Johely Aguilar ’25 developing and organizing an activity to build working batteries using potatoes.  Rebecca Coglianese ’24, Anthony Rizzo ’24, Sarah Rosen ’23, Shaib Sharhan ’24, Bhavya Mishra ’25 and David Muqattash ’25 conducted research with faculty and presented that research at the annual Student Research Symposium.

"I am incredibly proud of our Society of Physics Students for receiving this prestigious recognition, said Marcy Kelly, Ph.D., the dean of the Kakos school of Arts and Sciences. “Their exceptional work shows the depth and breadth of talent in our STEM programs and their commitment to outreach is truly commendable."

By David Koeppel