Awards and Prizes

The Department, College, and University recognize student excellence through a number of awards and prizes; physics and astronomy students also regularly win prestigious external awards.

Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Achievement

  • 2023: Brian Merino & Andrew Freeman
  • 2022: Bryce Baker
  • 2021: Jonathan Cabrera Garcia
  • 2020: Wendy Crumrine
  • 2019: Evan Owen
  • 2015: Sam Tsitrin
  • 2014: Diana Madera (CoSE Graduate Hood Recipient)

Departmental Honoree for Undergraduate Honors Convocation

  • 2023: Carissa Avina-Beltran
  • 2022: Hollywood Banayad
  • 2021: Aminatou Dabokemp (CoSE Undergraduate Hood Recipient)
  • 2020: Katelyn Hernandez
  • 2015: David Robinson
  • 2014: Seth Gossage

Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS)

The ARCS Foundation provides scholarships (currently $10,000) to academically outstanding United States citizens studying to complete their degrees in science, medicine and engineering.

  • 2022: Ken Luu
  • 2021: Ken Luu
  • 2020: Jessica Agnos
  • 2019: Caitlin Kepple
  • 2017: Wendy Crumrine
  • 2016: Shervin Sahba
  • 2015: Shervin Sahba
  • 2013: Arthur Adams
  • 2011: Scott Shermer
  • 2010: Patrick Dunn
  • 2009: Greg Bolloten 
  • 2008: Greg Bolloten and Kelsey Clubb
  • 2007: Faustin Carter
  • 2006: Aisha Hunte, Liliana Lopez, and Jack Young

Robert William Maxwell Memorial Scholarships

Maxwell scholarships are awarded to graduate students in the College of Science & Engineering.

  • 2021: Lauren Little
  • 2019: Sojin Han & Viviane Costa
  • 2017: Sauraj Jha
  • 2014: Bruce Laughlin
  • 2013: Bruce Laughlin and Victor Rodriguez
  • 2012: Ali Shayegan and Diana Madera
  • 2011: Casey Moore

Michael and Greta McKinney Physics & Astronomy Scholarship

This departmental scholarship (currently $2000-$5000 depending on the number of awards) is awarded annually to a rising undergraduate senior in Physics & Astronomy.

  • 2022: Hal France, Hind Zeitohn
  • 2021: Carissa Avina-Beltran, Hollywood Banayad, Aidan Morson
  • 2020: Dominic Hernandez
  • 2019: Kevin Fillhouer, Katelyn Hernandez
  • 2018: Hari Bhatt, Jeirus Jose, Michael Scalzi
  • 2017: Brandon Gunn
  • 2016: Megan Tangonan
  • 2015: Ryan Vaught

Dennis Bennett Scholarship in Physics & Astronomy

This departmental scholarship is awarded annually to an undergraduate student majoring in Physics & Astronomy.

  • 2021: Donavon Evans, Hal France

Eden Academic Excellence Award 

The Eden Award recognizes and rewards B.S. Chemistry and B.S. Physics majors for excellent performance in upper-division or advanced courses required in the major program.

  • Fall 2022: Daniel Castro, Jie Goodrich, Sawyer Kaplan, Kenzaburo Nagahama
  • Fall 2021: Hollywood Banayad, Aidan Morson
  • Fall 2020: Darren Brodowy, Aminatou Dabokemp, Alexander Del Rio, Dominic Hernandez, Noel Ibarra, Stephan O'Brian, Stanislav Osipov, Collin Richardson, Ryan Robinson, Arstanbek Tulekeyev, Imani Ware
  • Fall 2019: Kevin Fillhouer, Andrew Garcia, Katelyn Hernandez, Vincent Hoey, Hamzah Kahn, Nicolas Provenzano, Michael Sanchez, Lily Traktman
  • Fall 2018: Miguel Mancillas
  • Fall 2017: Cameron Wong, Brandon Gunn
  • Fall 2016: Brandon Gunn 
  • Spring 2016: Catherine Alviar, Christopher Batters, Eduardo Palacios, Bowen Yu
  • Fall 2015: Sean Barulich, Noah Scandrette, Roy Sfadia
  • Spring 2015: Ho Chan, Conrad Nowak, Dylan Pounds, Daniel Steckhahn, Ryan Vaught, Jiangyan Wu
  • Fall 2014: Javier Barahona, Amirfarhad Izadi, Connor Poland, David Robinson, Graham Siggins, Jiangyan Wu
  • Spring 2014: William Conley, Trevor Kelly, Colton Martin, Stephen Nenni, Connor Poland, David Robinson, Graham Siggins, Darius Visher
  • Fall 2013: Javier Barahona, Drew Bischel, Amirfarhad Izadi, Jordan Jo, Stephen Nenni, Erik Norman, Darius Visher
  • Spring 2013: Drew Bischel, Timothy Gushue, Stephanie Lauber, Nicholas Mathis, Erik Norman, Kathleen Shreve, Taylor Womble-Dahl
  • Fall 2012: Seth Gossage, Timothy Gushue, Christian Hansen, Brian Leung, Wu Li Leung, Nicholas Mathis, Kathleen Shreve
  • Spring 2012: Seth Gossage, Christian Hansen, Zachary Johnson, Brian Leung
  • Fall 2011: Philip Cala, Drake Cannan, Yingquan He, Mayra Lopez-Thibodeaux, Yann Ly, Victor Rodriguez, Sebastian Rozo
  • Spring 2011: Drake Cannan, Daniel Cuneo, Victor Rodriguez
  • Fall 2010: Alex Miller, Howard Nguyen, Matthew Salazar
  • Spring 2010: Daniel Cuneo, Alex Miller, Howard Nguyen, Steve Pehrson, Matthew Salazar
  • Fall 2009: Mary Rose Marcaida, Kazue Matsuyama
  • Spring 2009: Raymundo Becerra, Kazue Matsuyama, Steve Pehrson, Karina Roitman, and Masimi Yoshihara
  • Fall 2008: Karina Roitman, Jason Smith, and Masimi Yoshihara
  • Spring 2008: Daniel Shuldman and Elliot Fuller
  • Fall 2007: Bart Gasiewski, Elliot Fuller, Fred Bates, Jamie Molaro

AAPT Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards

The award is for a free membership in AAPT for one year.

  • 2016: Jack Dillon, Justin Wittrock
  • 2015: Daniel McKeown, Manavjot Singh
  • 2014: Priyanjoli Mukherjee
  • 2012: Scott Shermer
  • 2011: Greg Romine
  • 2010: Patrick Dunn, Andrew Fittingoff, Darrel Lim
  • 2009: Kim Litwin, Polin Yadak
  • 2008: Michelle Krok

Department Research Fellowship 

This departmental fellowship recognizes graduate excellence in research in Physics & Astronomy.

  • 2015: Kristian Chung and Justin Wittrock ($1000 each)

Peter Chau Fellowship 

This one-time fellowship ($1000) honors the memory of Peter Chau, and recognizes graduate excellence in research in Physics & Astronomy.

  • 2015: Manavjot Singh

Marcy Research Fellowship 

This departmental fellowship recognized graduate excellence in research in Physics & Astronomy, and was awarded annually (discontinued after 2015).

  • 2014: Peter Chau
  • 2013: Geev Nahal
  • 2012: Sam Tsitrin
  • 2011: no award
  • 2010: Samy Kamal and Srikar Srinath
  • 2009: Kim Litwin and James Osborne
  • 2008: John Brewer
  • 2007: Matt Giguere

Provost's Scholarship

The Provost's Scholarship reduces the out-of-state tuition/fees to the in-state tuition/fees for one year for outstanding new graduate students.

  • 2012: Eric Sansone
  • 2011: Riley Williams