Physics group earns Outstanding Chapter award from national Society of Physics Students


The Marshall University chapter of the Society of Physics Students has earned an Outstanding Chapter award from the SPS national office. This is the first time the chapter has been recognized for its excellence as a top-tier student-led physical sciences organization, typically a designation given to fewer than 10 percent of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally. From 2017 to 2019, the SPS student group at Marshall was awarded the second-highest title of Distinguished SPS Chapter.

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.

The SPS chapter at Marshall has been advised by Dr. Sean P. McBride in the physics department since 2017 and is led by student officers.

The current fall 2020 officers are:

  • Jackie Sizemore, President
  • Ellie White, Vice-President
  • Andy Prostor, Treasurer

The previous spring 2020 officers were:

  • Jeremy McCloud, President
  • Jackie Sizemore, Vice-President
  • Andy Prostor, Treasurer

“It’s been a pleasure to be a part of this organization and to work with AIP, the community, Marshall University, Dr. McBride, and each other as we achieved our goals,” Sizemore said. “I look forward to one more semester with this outstanding group.”

“Receiving the SPS Outstanding Chapter award is such an honor for the physics department at Marshall University and for all of our members who have worked so hard to maintain an active club and bring science to our communities,” White said.

“I am very excited and pleased for these students that their hard work and self-driven determination to be successful has been recognized nationally. These students have done a phenomenal job with assisting in recruitment, outreach, and interacting with various types of communities on and off campus,” McBride said.

SPS chapters are evaluated on their level of interaction with the campus community, the professional physics community, the public and with SPS national programs. The Outstanding Chapter award recognizes high levels of outreach as well as unique approaches to fulfilling the mission of SPS to “help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community.”

From 2019 to 2020, Marshall SPS members have been very active. Just to name a few of their roles, they helped with Marshall University recruitment and running demos during the annual 2019 High School Physics Day, they helped with the 2020 WV Science Olympiad as event supervisors, and four SPS members were awarded NASA Student Fellowships to conduct research with their research mentors in the spring 2020.  SPS member Ellie White has been named a 2020 Goldwater Scholar and worked for the UC Berkeley SETI Research Center in summer 2020. Overall, the Marshall SPS group was named Marshall University’s Most Improved Student Organization in spring 2020 by Student Involvement and Leadership, part of the Division of Student Affairs.

All are invited to join the SPS group in their Faces of Physics virtual speaker series, which includes online presentations from physics experts throughout the country sharing their research. More information about the speaker series can be found at

Contact: Jean Hardiman, University Relations Specialist, 304-696-6397,

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