College of Science, Health & the Environment
MSUM’s Society of Physics Students earns Outstanding Chapter Recognition by Professional Association

MSUM’s Society of Physics Students earns Outstanding Chapter Recognition by Professional Association

The Society of Physics Students (SPS), an organization of the American Institute of Physics and a professional association for students and their advisors, has awarded the Minnesota State University Moorhead SPS Chapter as a 2022-23 Outstanding Chapter.

SPS Outstanding Chapter Awards are determined each academic year after carefully reviewing supporting material presented in the annual SPS Chapter Report. Reviewers include SPS National Council members and SPS staff.

Chapters are evaluated based on interactions with SPS national and regional programs, the campus community, the professional physics community, and the public community, as well as efforts to further the SPS’s purpose and mission.  

MSUM’s Society of Physics Students is consistently recognized as an Outstanding Chapter, enjoying a seven-year streak of national awards from 2012-2019. The student organization is back in the groove after a pandemic break. Nearly 20 students are SPS members representing a variety of majors.

“I believe our students are community-minded and love having a creative outlet for showcasing physics to the community,” said Dr. Linda Winkler, a professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department and the SPS faculty advisor. “A unique blend of creativity and civic-mindedness makes our SPS special.”

Students engage in lively demonstrations designed to educate and entertain the public, specifically the annual Halloween and SPS Demo shows. The students also provide a supportive peer network, facilitate tours and field trips, sponsor guest speakers, and arrange and fund conference participation.

“I loved hosting events for the community while in SPS and seeing kids learn about physics while having fun,” said Jacob Karsten, who served as MSUM’s SPS president during 2022-23. “I also enjoy showing kids and adults really crazy physics experiments they don’t get to see every day.”

Jacob is a computer engineering and physics engineering major in MSUM’s Engineering Dual Degree program. The Morristown, Minn., native attended MSUM for three years and is now at NDSU to complete the program. His parents are Rick and Lisa Karsten.

The SPS’s next big event will be held this spring.