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October 2, 2013 October 2013: Windows administrator Ehren Benson leaves

Ehren Benson, the P-A Department's Windows Systems Administrator for nearly seven years, has accepted a position with MSU IT Services' Virtualization, Storage & Systems group. His last day with the department was Wednesday, 23 October 2013. A recent winner of the P-A Outstanding Staff Award, he will be missed for his diligence and dedication in providing computing services to this department and others.

October 1, 2013 October 2013: Stephen Zepf named one of top 25 STEM professors in Michigan

Professor Stephen Zepf, Associate Chair for Astronomy & Astrophysics, was named one of the top 25 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professors in Michigan by the "Online Schools in Michigan" website (http://onlineschoolsmichigan.com), one of four MSU professors to be included on their Top 25 list for this year. For further information, see also this MSU Today article.

September 1, 2013 September 2013: Ruby Ghosh lab's spin-out company receives venture funding award

Opti O2, a Michigan State University Department of Physics & Astronomy spinout company started by Ruby Ghosh, received a venture funding award at the Entrepreneur-YOU Business Competition on 24 September 2013 in Troy, MI.

June 1, 2013 June 2013: Georg Bollen and Elizabeth Simmons both named University Distinguished Professor

Physics and Astronomy Professors Elizabeth Simmons and Georg Bollen were both designated University Distinguished Professor at the June 21st meeting of the MSU Board of Trustees, as reported in this MSUToday article.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.