News & Announcements

CSU Hosts SPS Zone 7 Meeting

EGLS Opening ceremony On October 20 and 21, the local chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) hosted the Fall 23 SPS Zone 7 Meeting. It was held in conjunction with the Fall 2023 Meeting of the Eastern Great Lakes Section (EGLS) of the American Physical Society (APS).  Over 52 students from 11 different SPS chapters of Zone 7 participated in this meeting. The students came from the following schools: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, College of Wooster, Kent State University, Lawrence Technological University, Marietta College, Ohio University, Ohio State University, University of Mount Union, Wayne State University, and Youngstown State University.

The SPS Zone meeting began with a Kick-Off event hosted by Associate Zone 7 Councilor Jacob Callebs,Patrick Herron Presents SPS Zone 7 Poster Zone 7 Councilor Ronald Kumon, and SPS President and CSU Chapter Advisor Kiril Streletzky. At the event, 45 students learned about SPS national programs and Zone 7 initiatives; participated in informal discussions of goals and issues of their SPS chapters; and listened to Patrick Herron’s, (CSU SPS chapter president) presentation about SPS activities and outreach efforts by the CSU SPS chapter. Every student in attendance gave introductions and everybody began sharing what was special about their chapters. In the end, everybody came away with new ideas on how to improve their chapters and bring SPS Zone 7 to even greater heights.  It was a great way to start off what was an excellent and informative conference.

Dr. DixonThe afternoon continued with EGLS APS plenary talk on synthetic DNA nanostructures for nanoparticle organization by Prof. Divita Mather from CWRU. It was immediately followed by a half-hour presentation on SPS programs and structure geared more towards faculty and non-SPS students given by Callebs, Kumon, and Streletzky at the main venue of the EGLS APS meeting. This broader audience SPS introduction was followed by EGLS APS poster session, which was a great opportunity to learn about a variety of interesting research projects being conducted by undergraduate students. The topics covered a wide range, from nuclear fusion to spacetime geographies to quantum key encryption to a presentation involving DNA Kogame to a physics outreach presentation. Overall, the poster session was a valuable and enjoyable experience. After the EGLS APS poster session, SPS Zone 7 sponsored 40 students to attend the evening banquet which was then followed by the after-dinner speaker Dr. Graham Dixon on the challenges and opportunities of contemporary science communication. 

SPS Zone 7 GamenightWe ended the day on Friday with SPS Game Night at the CSU Physics Department seminar room that focused on card tricks and physics-themed “hangman” word games and getting to know each other a bit. Students from Ohio University, OSU, Wayne State, and CSU participated in this activity.


On Saturday, we started the day with a presentation by Dr. Streletzky on “How to REU”, i.e., how to get paid summer research internships either through NSF-sponsored REU programs or through SPS internships. The presentation was followed by one of the CSU chapter's most beloved events. Physics Jeopardy! In it, 3 teams of 3 brave young physicists/ astronomers each fought out for a grand jeopardy prize – SPS mugs. Jeopardy categories included upper-level quantum mechanics questions, astronomy, and optics questions as well as questions about SPS and APS history. It was great to see all the different strengths that each university brought to the table. The Physics Jeopardy event was a wonderful way to get to know other members and schools from across Zone 7 in a fun and competitive environment.

 SPS Zone 7 JeopardyAll organizers and Participants

Physics Jeopardy was followed by the SPS poster session which was well attended with about 20 undergraduates coming back to present their research again in a less formal setting to the APS EGLS poster session on Friday.  While smaller than Friday's poster session, this session allowed students to discuss their research with fellow students and faculty in a more personal environment and delve deeper into their research. Normally presentations are short and fast, but here students spent much longer talking to one another about their research and asking questions to learn from the presenter and faculty in the field. This provided a great environment for networking for both future graduate students and future research collaboration.

SPS Zone 7 Poster SessionJordan Miller Outreach Poster

The SPS poster session was followed by a final plenary of EGLS (co-sponsored by SPS) which was a presentation by Dr. Lisa Felter Dr. Felter talk to EGLS APS and Zone 7 SPSfrom Newry Corporation on her transition from physics research to life as a consultant. Our Zone 7 meeting continued after the closing of the EGLS with a student pizza party, SPS group photo, and CSU physics lab tours. The lab tours were a great opportunity for interested students to learn more about the various research projects going on at CSU. The students were taken through several labs and given tours led by students and/or faculty who work in each lab (CSU SEM Lab, Dr. Bickel’s STEM lab, and Dr. Streletzky’s Light Scattering Lab). Since the event was towards the end of the conference, there were a limited number of attendees, however, the present students were extremely engaged and asked thoughtful questions. Students were especially engaged when they could relate something back to their own research, whether they were working on a similar topic or had used a similar method. Overall, this event was a great way to spark discussion amongst students from different universities and to conclude the Zone 7 meeting at CSU.

SPS Zone 7 Pizza Party

This Zone 7 Meeting report was compiled together by Patrick Herron (CSU SPS chapter president), Jordan Miller (CSU SPS chapter vice-president), Collin Douglas (CSU SPS chapter treasurer), Jeremiah Greene (CSU SPS chapter secretary), Grace Miller (CSU SPS chapter math club liaison), and Dr. Kiril Streletzky (CSU SPS chapter faculty adviser).