12 Students Inducted into National Physics Honor Society

Twelve students were recently inducted into Augustana’s inaugural class of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national Physics Honor Society, an organization developed to honor outstanding scholarship in physics, celebrate service and the encouragement of exploration and discovery and, provide fellowship.

Dr. Steve Feller, professor of Physics at Coe College and a past national president of Sigma Pi Sigma, presided over the induction ceremony.

“The addition of this new chapter and the work done by these 12 students illustrates the growth of the Physics Department over the last few years,” said Dr. Eric Wells, associate professor of Physics at Augustana. “With more than 40 majors, it’s the largest undergraduate physics program in the state by most measures and has built a record of strong undergraduate research activity.”

For induction into Sigma Pi Sigma, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Have completed at least the equivalent of three semesters of full-time college work
  • Rank at or above the upper one third of their college class in overall scholarship
  • Have completed at least three semester courses in Physics, each of which must be at least three credit hours or the equivalent, which may be credited toward a Physics major. The student’s grade point average in these Physics courses must exceed 3.0.

The Augustana students inductees are: Thomas Alexander (Physics and Business Communications major from Belview, Minn.); Trent Anderson (Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry major from Lake Benton, Minn.); Jay Cole (Engineering Physics and Mathematics major from Canton, S.D.); Taylor Dickinson (Physics, Mathematics, and Secondary Education major from Blair, Neb.); Marcus Edgington (Engineering Physics major from Sioux City, Iowa); Jacob Elmer (Physics major from Wells, Minn.); Neal Gregerson (Physics and Chemistry Major from Sioux Falls, S.D.); Bethany Jochim (Physics major from Pierre, S.D.); Halvard Lange (Physics major from Oslo, Norway); Hannah Rogers (Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, and German major from Plymouth, Minn.); David Swanson (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics major from St. James, Minn.); and Erika Zetterlund (Physics and Religion major from St. Cloud, Minn.).

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) was formed in 1968 with the union of Sigma Pi Sigma and the AIP Student Sections. Today Sigma Pi Sigma is housed within the SPS. The Augustana chapter of the Society of Physics Students was funded in 2009. Thomas Alexander serves as president of and Dr. Drew Alton, assistant professor of physics, serves as faculty advisor for the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma.

National Physics Honor Society

From left to right: Steve Feller (Coe College), Trent Anderson, Bethany Jochim, Halvard Lange, Erika Zetterlund, David Swanson, Thomas Alexander, Hannah Rogers, Drew Alton, Eric Wells, Marcus Edgington, Jacob Elmer, and Neal Gregerson. Not pictured: Taylor Dickinson and Jay Cole

Kelly Sprecher
Director of Communications & Media Relations