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May 2, 2013 May 2013: P-A Department's new Chair

On 15 May 2013, the position of Chair of the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy passed from Wolfgang Bauer, who has held the position since 2001, to Phillip Duxbury.

Dr. Bauer will continue as a professor in the P-A Department, but has also accepted a position in the office of MSU's executive vice president for administrative services.

May 1, 2013 May 2013: Megan Donahue writes about her research in MSU Today "Faculty Voice" feature article

Astronomy & Astrophysics Professor Megan Donahue's article for the "Faculty Voice" feature of the MSU Today online newsletter appeared in May 2013. It describes her experiences as a member of a team of researchers exploring some of the largest galaxy clusters in the universe using a very extensive set of observations from the Hubble Space Telescope.

March 1, 2013 March 2013: Elizabeth Simmons Named 2013-14 ACE Fellow

The Dean of MSU's Lyman Briggs College and Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, Elizabeth Simmons, has been named a member of the American Council on Education's Fellows Program Class of 2013-2014, one of fifty leaders from U.S. educational institutions so honored this year.

February 2, 2013 February 2013: Stephen Zepf honored with MSU Distinguished Faculty Award

The Department of Physics & Astronomy's Associate Chair for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Professor Stephen Zepf, is one of ten Michigan State University faculty members who will be honored for their outstanding contributions to education and research with Distinguished Faculty Awards at the annual MSU Awards Convocation on Feb. 12th, 2013.

February 1, 2013 February 2013: Elizabeth Simmons receives MSU's 2013 Robert F. Banks Award for Institutional Leadership

The Dean of MSU's Lyman Briggs College and Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, Elizabeth Simmons, has received Michigan State University's 2013 Robert F. Banks Award for Institutional Leadership. This award goes to a member of the faculty, academic staff, or support staff in recognition of extraordinary and sustained institutional leadership that advances MSU’s commitment to connectivity, quality and inclusion. It will be presented to Dr. Simmons by MSU President Lou Anna K.

January 1, 2013 2013: Jay Strader research group discovers densest known galaxy

MSU Astronomy & Astrophysics Assistant Professor Jay Strader (pictured at lower right) was the lead author for an Astrophysical Journal Letter (volume 775, letter 6, 20 Sept 2013) describing the characteristics of an ultra-compact galaxy called M60-UCD1, with a density 15,000 times that of the region of the Milky Way near the Sun, making it the densest galaxy currently known. Typical spacing between stars in M60-UCD1 is only 4% that found in our stellar neighborhood.

December 1, 2012 December 2012: Ruby Ghosh's research featured in MSU Engaged Scholar E-Newsletter

The December 2012 issue of The Engaged Scholar, an E-Newsletter produced by MSU's Office of University Outreach and Engagement, featured P-A Research Associate Professor Ruby Ghosh's oxygen sensor research activities.

October 1, 2012 October 2012: Mark Voit named AAAS Fellow

G. Mark Voit, MSU Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics, was one of four MSU faculty members among the 701 scientists selected as AAAS Fellows in 2012 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

For further information, see the announcement on the AAAS website and this MSU Today story.

September 1, 2012 September 2012: 20th Anniversary of LON-CAPA

The initial roll-out of the Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach (CAPA) system, developed by members of the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy, was 20 years ago this month.

This system, enhanced and merged with other projects, evolved into the current LearningOnline Network with Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach (LON-CAPA) system, which is now used by more than 140 educational institutions worldwide, not only for physics courses, but in many other fields as well.

January 2, 2012 2012: Professor Matthew Comstock Installed as Second Jerry Cowen Chair of Experimental Physics

In an investiture ceremony at MSU, Dr. Matthew Comstock was installed as the Department of Physics and Astronomy's second Jerry Cowen Chair of Experimental Physics. Professor Chih-Wei Lai was installed as the first holder of this Chair in 2008 (he continues to hold this Chair). The Chair's donor and Jerry Cowen's son, Randy Cowen, two of Jerry's daughters, as well as his widow Elaine, were in attendance to help celebrate the occasion.