2020 graduation ceremony

Student Awards

Breadcrumb

Each June our department holds an award ceremony to celebrate our students accomplishments and send off our graduating young physicists and astronomers.

Here is Prof. Anson D'Aloisio's keynote address from the 2018 celebration:

Graduate Student Awards

  • Outstanding Ph.D Graduate (Robert Poe Memorial Scholarship)

    Professor Poe came from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and joined the faculty at UCR in 1964. He was one of the founding members of the Physics Department and initiated the research program in Relativistic Heavy Ion Physics. He was a true public servant who devoted much time to activities outside research and teaching. He had a passion for energy conservation. During the energy crisis of the 1970's he helped the City of Riverside and even countries such as Taiwan plan for the future. He was also involved in the construction of the first synchrotron and the setting up of an Atomic Physics research group at National Taiwan University. It was on a trip to Taiwan that he sadly passed away due to a heart attack. National Taiwan University honored him with a building, The Robert T. Poe Memorial Lecture Hall. The City of Riverside honored him with the naming of the Robert T. Poe Substation which is in downtown Riverside. His family and friends have endowed the Poe Memorial Award for outstanding Graduate Research.

    2020
    • Trevor Arp (Prof. Nathan Gabor)
    • Mark Lohmann (Prof. Jing Shi)
    2019
    • Siyu Li (Prof. Roya Zandi)
    2018
    • Mohammed Hamed Aldosary (Prof. Jing Shi)
    • Mostafa Khezri (Prof. Sasha Korotkov)
    2017
    • Irene Shivaei (Prof. Naveen Reddy)
    • Chi Tang (Prof. Jing Shi)
    2016
    • Gonca Erdemci Tandogan (Prof. Roya Zandi)
    2015
    • Behnam Darvish Sarvestani (Prof. Bahram Mobasher)
    • Zilong Jiang (Prof. Jing Shi)
    2014
    • Chen-Yen Lai (Prof. Shan-Wen Tsai)
    • Yong Jin Lee (Prof. Chun Ning "Jeanie" Lau) 
    Past recipients are:
    • Ferdinando Giordano (2013)
    • Hang Zhang (2013)
    • Jairo Velesco (2012)
    • Hsiang-Ku Lin (2011)
    • Daniel Masters (2011)
    • Ke-Yu Pi (2010)
    • Nathaniel Strickley (2010)
    • Feng Miao (2009)
    • Peter Hunana (2008)
    • Guangzhi Liu (2007)
    • Steve Foulkes (2006)
    • Philip Perea (2005)
    • A. Jason McNary (2005)
    • Simone Campana (2004)
    • Ye Yang (2004)
    • Feng Chen (2003)
    • Timothy Kelley (2002)
    • Michelle Harin-Dirac (2001)
    • Siping Roger Qiu (2000)
    • Gregory Wood (2000)
    • Yu-Chang Chen (1999)
  • Outstanding Senior Graduate Student Researcher
    2020
    • Hamed Assai (Prof. Michael Mulligan)
    • Sanaz Panahandeh (Prof. Roya Zandi)
    2019
    • Tara Fetherolf (Prof. Naveen Reddy)
    • Mark Lohmann (Prof. Jing Shi)
    • Jeremiah van Baren (Prof. Joshua Lui)
    2018
    • Ali Ahmad Khostovan (Prof. Bahram Mobasher)
    • Haoshan Zhu (Prof. Jory Yarmoff)
    2017
    • Siyu Li (4th year, Prof. Roya Zandi)
    2016
    • Mostafa Khezri (4th year, Prof. Alexander Korotkov)
    2015
    • Irene Shivaei (Prof. Naveen Reddy)
    • Chi Tang (Prof. Jing Shi)
    2014
    • Gonca Erdemci Tandogan (Prof. Roya Zandi)
  • Outstanding Junior Graduate Student Researcher
    2020
    • Christopher Cain (Prof. Anson D'Aloisio)
    • Jessica Doppel (Prof. Laura Sales)
    2019
    • Alexandria Costantino (Prof. Flip Tanedo)
    • Chia-Feng Chang (Prof. Yanou Cui)
    2018
    • Cliff Chen (Prof. Peng Wei)
    2017
    • Lydia Elias (2nd Year, Prof. Laura Sales)
    • Yawen Liu (3rd year, Prof. Jing Shi)
    • Amir Mohhamad Aghaei (3rd year, Prof. Kirill Shtengel)
    2016
    • Weinan Si (2nd year, Prof. Gail Hanson)
    • Fatemeh Barati (3rd year, Prof. Nathaniel Gabor)
    2015
    • Pouria Akbari Mistani (2nd year, Prof. Laura Sales)
    • Jin Zhang (Prof. Shan-Wen Tsai)
    2014
    • Michael Phillips (Prof. Vivek Aji)
    • Bowen Yang (Prof. Jing Shi)
    • Kira Burt (Prof. Gail Hanson)
  • Outstanding 1st Year Graduate Student

    Presented for outstanding performance by a first year graduate student

    2020
    • Haoyu Liu
    • Andrew Weldon
    2019

    Christopher Cain
    Brian Lee
    Yongda Zhu

    2018
    • Alexandria Costantino (Prof. Jose Wudka)
    2017
    •  Cliff Chen (Prof. Peng Wei)
    2016
    • Hamed Assai (Prof. Leonid Pryadko)
    2015
    • Tao Ren
    • Long Wang
    • Haoshan Zhu 
    2014
    • Shi Che
    • Amin Ghiasi Shirazi

     

    Past recipients are:

    • Chi Tang (2013)
    • Graham Krahn (2012)
    • Zhiyong Wang (2011)
    • Mariana Lazarova (2008)
    • Kathleen Michelle McCreary (2007)
  • Award for Exceptional Skills in Designing and Building Physics Apparati (Albert Staats)

    Awarded to the graduate student(s) who best utilizes the prototype building facility to conduct his/her research.

    Albert Staats was the first head of the prototype building facility in the Physics Department. To show his passion for research and teaching, he and his family have endowed the Albert Staats Prize. This is awarded to the graduate student who has best utilized the prototype building facilities to conduct his/her research.

    2020

    Yuanqian Liu (Prof. Harry Tom)

    2019
    • John Daniel
    2018
    • Harris Goldman (Prof. Harry Tom)
    • David Kapukchyan (Prof. Kenneth Barish)
    2017
    • Jeremiah van Baren (Prof. Joshua Lui)
    2016
    • Trevor Arp (Prof. Nathaniel Gabor)
    2015
    • Patrick Odenthal (Prof. Roland Kawakami)

    Past recipients are:

    • Alina Escalera (2013)
    • Alex Arjad (2012)
    • Chia-Cheng Change (2009)
    • Ke-Yu Pi (2008)
    • Lauren Boyd (2002)
    • Elizabeth Giesking (1998)
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant
    2020
    • Elizabeth Finney
    • Mehmet Kilinc
    • Bryan Scott
    • Jeremiah vanBaren
    • Welei Zeng

    2019

    Thomas Bohn
    Chia-Feng Chang
    Alexandria Costantino
    Brian Francisco
    Stephen Hannon

    2018

    Gerardo Alvarez
    Timothy Gburek
    Ali Ahmad Khostovan
    Siyu Li
    Kevin Osorno
    Jon Spalding

    2017

    Thomas Bohn
    Mark Lohmann
    Mohammadreza Zakeri Niassar
    Nathaniel Gillgren
    Kevin Myhro
    Jedediah Kistner-Morris
    Jacky Wan

    2016

    Tara Fetherolf
    Michael Phillips
    Christopher Salvo
    Adrian Nosek
    Tao Ren
    Robert Schafer

    2015

    Fatemeh Barati
    Corey Kownacki
    Sarah Smolenski
    Amin Ghiasi Shirazi
    Remington Sexton
    Brent Yates
    Christina King

    2014

    Sean Fraser
    Sean Nelson
    Gerald Rude
    Kyle Irwin
    Blake Pollard
    Yi Wu

    2013

    Andrew DeGroot
    Ryan Folz
    Mostafa Kherzi
    Oleg Popov
    Oleg Martynov

    2012

    David Black
    Gonca Erdemci Tandogan
    Hooshang Nayyeri
    Cheng Pan
    Yeming Zhu

    2011

    Laura Green
    John Muse
    Graham Krahn
    Lingchao Zhu
    Chen-Yen Lau

    2010

    Michael Beaumier
    BehnamDarvish Sarvestani
    David Drummond
    Reuben Gann
    Daniel Wegman

    2009

    Gian Guzman-Verri
    Ziaoziao He
    Corinna Jobe
    Michael Maroun

    2008

    Harold Nguyen
    Mariana Lazarova

    2007

    Charity Jean Heman
    Monica Philana Lopez 
    Mayra Tovar

    2006

    Hulya Atmacan
    Christopher Prokop
    Bradley Hughes

    2005

    Victoria Winters
    Koji Yokoyama
    Jeannie Anderson

    2004

    Ken James
    Kelly Corriea

    2003

    Gilberto Rodriguez
    Chia-Hei Yang

    2002

    Torafumi Miyagi
    Philip Perea

    2001

    Johnny Metelsky
    Gilberto Rodriguez

    2000

    Raymond Gelhaus

    1999

    Rostislav Rokitski

    1998

    James Cheney
    Ben Harris

    1997

    Andrew Jason McNary

    1996

    Wendy Char
    Shih-Hui Chang 
    Daniel MacDonald

    1995

    Jason Yang
    Grant McAuley

    1994

    Warren Eldredge
    Mou Roy
    Chuck Strickland

    1993

    Kris German
    Chris Lietzke

    1992

    Michael Towne

    1991

    Carl Yao

    1990

    William Strossman
    Barbara Rimando-Reyes

    1989

    Varujan Cakaroglu
    Jeffrey Hammond

    1988

    Michael Schulkins
    Martin Johnston

    1987

    Howard Lukefahr

    1986

    Jorge Talamantes

    1985

    Harold Cooper

    1984

    Mohammad Aryafar

    1983

    Stefan Schmitz

    1982

    Yiming Liu 
    Roy Mann
    Lisa Gula

    1981

    Jeffrey Ransdell
    Baldev Patyal

    1980

    Konrad Stein 
    Chris Hodges

    1979

    Garry Noe 
    Dennis Gilliam

    1978

    Donald Lee

    1977

    Richard Gaupsas

    1976

    Morris Toporek
    Dana R. Beavis

    1975

    Stephen W. Jensen
    Richard C. Ward

    1974

    John C. Hayward
    Gerald P. Kiernan

    1973

    Tae-Moon Kwon 
    David F. Register

     

  • Prior Awards

    Past graduate student prizes were awarded by discipline. 

    Ben Shen Memorial Scholarship

    Presented for outstanding research by a graduate student in the field of High Energy and Heavy Ion Physics.

    Past recipients are:

    • Anahita Alavi (2013)
    • Jun Xu (2013)
    • Yongjin Lee (2013)
    • Nathaniel Strickley (2012)
    • Adrian Swartz (2011)
    • Astrid Morreale (2008)
    Condensed Matter Graduate Scholarship

    Presented for outstanding research by a graduate student in the field of Condensed Matter.

    Past recipients are:

    • Sean Fraser (2013)
    • Mostafa Khezri (2013)
    • Atchara Punya (2009)
    • Zhiyong Wang (2009)
    • Jonathan Wyrick (2009
    • Gian Guzman-Verri (2008)
    • Guangzhi Liu (2007)

Undergraduate Student Awards

  • Outstanding 1st Year

    Outstanding First Year Undergraduate Student

    2020
    • Bruce Bagby
    • Justin Burzachiello
    • Shruti Palur Mallampalli
    2019
    • Sanya Dhami
    • Darren Yohonn
    2018
    • Minh Cong Chau
    • Hanlin Ruan
    2017
    • Calvin Glisson
    • Syris Norelli
    2016
    • Andrew Holman
    • Thomas Waddleton
    2015
    • Kevin Bleich
    • Louis Penafiel
    2014
    • Gerardo Alvarez
    • Joshua Salazar
    2013
    • Connor Richards
  • Outstanding 2nd Year

    Outstanding Second Year Undergraduate Student

    2020
    • Tristan Carlo Rojo
    • Sanya Dhami
    • Megan Samn
    2019
    • Riley Gleason
    • Toni Montalvo
    2018
    • Calvin Glissoin
    • Abby Leung
    2017
    • Andrew Holman
    • Thomas Waddleton
    2016
    • William Hicks
    • Greyson Voigt
    2015
    • Michael Malone
    • Joshua Salazar
    2014
    • Ziqi Pi
    • Connor Richards
    2013
    • Alexander Speirs
  • Outstanding 3rd Year

    Outstanding Third Year Undergraduate Student

    2020
    • Riley Gleason
    • Daniel Morales
    • Kishan Patel
    2019
    • Nicholas Darden
    • Abby Leung
    2018
    • Uroosa Irfan
    • Thomas Waddleton
    2017
    • Renata Koontz
    • Louis Penafiel
    2016
    • Michael Malone
    • Joshua Salazar
    2015
    • Nathan Bright
    • Connor Richards
    2014
    • Lucas Flores
    • Josiah Keagy
    2013
    • Parth Patel
    • David Tran
  • Outstanding Senior Undergraduate

    Outstanding Senior Undergraduate Student

    2020
    • Abby Leung
    • Erik Hagan
    • Tyler Smith
    2019
    • Sergio Garcia
    • Uroosa Irfan Mevawala
    • Renata Koontz
    • Breanna Lucero
    • David Nelson
    • Thomas Waddleton
    2018
    • William Hicks
    • Louis Penafiel
    • Michael Randall
    2017
    • Adam Green
    • Joshua Salazar
    2016
    • Timothy Espiritu
    • Connor Richards
    2015
    • Lucas Flores
    • Ethan Roeder
    2014
    • Parth Patel
    2013
    • Kevin Aylor

 

The donor names for the awards may change every year depending on the amount of funds available. 
 

Robert Poe Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Poe Memorial Scholarship award goes to the outstanding Ph.D graduate each year.

Professor Poe came from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and joined the faculty at UCR in 1964. He was one of the founding members of the Physics Department and initiated the research program in Relativistic Heavy Ion Physics. He was a true public servant who devoted much time to activities outside research and teaching. He had a passion for energy conservation. During the energy crisis of the 1970's he helped the City of Riverside and even countries such as Taiwan plan for the future. He was also involved in the construction of the first synchrotron and the setting up of an Atomic Physics research group at National Taiwan University. It was on a trip to Taiwan that he sadly passed away due to a heart attack. National Taiwan University honored him with a building, The Robert T. Poe Memorial Lecture Hall. The City of Riverside honored him with the naming of the Robert T. Poe Substation which is in downtown Riverside. His family and friends have endowed the Poe Memorial Award for outstanding Graduate Research.
 

Albert Staats Award Fund

Awarded to the graduate student(s) who best utilizes the prototype building facility to conduct his/her research.

Albert Staats was the first head of the prototype building facility in the Physics Department. To show his passion for research and teaching, he and his family have endowed the Albert Staats Prize. This is awarded to the graduate student who has best utilized the prototype building facilities to conduct his/her research.
 

Anne Kernan Fund

Anne Kernan graduated from University College, Dublin, Ireland with a Ph.D. in Physics in 1957. She joined the faculty of the Physics Department at UCR in 1967 and was a founding member of the Experimental High Energy Physics Research group. She rose to leadership positions in the American Physical Society serving as a Divisional Councelor for the Division of Particles and Fields, and on campus she served as Chair of the Department and later as vice Chancellor of Research. After a very successful career, including the discoveries of the W and Z bosons at CERN in 1983 and the discovery of the top quark at Fermilab in 1995, she retired from active research in 1995.
 

Ben Shen Memorial Award Fund

Distinguished Professor of Physics, Benjamin C. Shen graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Ph.D. in Physics in 1965. He joined UCR in 1969 and devoted 38 years of service at the University of California, Riverside. He was instrumental in the founding of the Experimental High Energy Physics group at UCR and to the building of the UCR Department of Physics (now Physics and Astronomy).
 

Michael Devirian Scholarship Fund

Michael Devirian was a member of the UCR class of 1966 when he graduated with a B.S. in Physics. After graduation, he joined NASA/JPL in Pasadena and worked on the testing of the software used to process the data from the Surveyor spacecraft, which was the first to land on the Moon. From there, he went on to other jobs in the operations of planetry spacecraft, including serving as Director of Flight Operations for the Voyager project, which flew by Jupiter in 1979 and Saturn in 1981. After nine years in Washington, D.C. as detailee to NASA Headquarters, he returned to JPL, where he worked on the Wide Field/Planetry Camera II project for the Hubble Space Telescope. Michael received the NASA Medal for Exceptional Service for his work on Voyager and the Hubble Telsecope in 1994. He became manager of the Space Science and Microgravity Flight Experiments in 1996, then manager of the Origins and Fundamentals Program in 2000, and is currently manager of the Navigator Program, which includes more than 10 space missions focused on the search for Earthlike planets and extrasterrestrial life. Michael Devirian has operated at the highest levels of NASA, even though he never received a Ph.D.
 

Robert Wild Award

The award is given to one or more undergraduate or graduate students whose area of focus is physics and/or math. For undergraduate student prospects, preference is to be given to a student who is participating in NCAA athletics with a grade point minimum of 3.0. Equal consideration is given to women and men. Selection is by a committee named by the Physics Department

The late Dr. Robert I. Wild was the first Physicist to join the UCR faculty and was responsible for establishing the Physics laboratories on campus. During his academic career at UCR, he served three terms as Chair of the Department of Physics, was named Fulbright Lecturer during the 1981-82 academic year, and National Science Foundation Fellow. In 1973, he received UCR's Distinguished Teaching Award. In June 1992, with gifts of the income from their Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust, Dr. Wild and his wife, Elleta, created the Robert Wild Family Endowed Scholarship. The funds support undergraduate or graduate students in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences whose studies focus on math and/or the physical sciences.
 

Brown Williams Endowed Undergraduate Student Award

Brown Williams was a skilled physicist who described himself as "a technical guy." He engaged his talents in three successful careers, starting with 23 years as a leading research scientist at RCA Labs managing the Electro-Optics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey. When GE bought the company, Brown left to co-found Princeton Video Image, Inc., (PVI), patenting the computer system that digitally inserts virtual billboards and ads into sporting events and other live broadcasts. The most familiar application is the first down line seen in NFL games. The major work of his last years was developing and promoting solar power applications, including overseeing the building of American factories in China and consulting to various start-ups and to the Department of Energy.
 

R. Stephen White Award

R. Stephen White joined the UCR physics faculty in 1967 and initiated the new astrophysics program. He was the founding Associate Director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP), serving in this position for 25 years, until 1992. His research had significant impacts in multiple areas, including nuclear physics, space physics, plasma physics and high-energy astrophysics.  At UCR, he was a strong, tireless and well respected academic leader and educator, serving as the physics chairperson from 1970 to 1973.

 

Let us help you with your search