Building Bridges between New Inductees and Alumni

SPS Chapter Awards

Building Bridges between New Inductees and Alumni

2019 Chapter Project Award

United States Air Force Academy

Project Lead: Lucy Zimmerman
Chapter Advisor: Alina Gearba-Sell
Project Summary: The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) Sigma Pi Sigma chapter held its fifth induction ceremony in the spring of 2019. At this ceremony, we celebrated our chapter alumni and inducted nine students and seven faculty members, bringing our total number of members to 85.

In honor of the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Sigma Pi Sigma chapter at USAFA, we made additional efforts to reconnect with alumni in 2019. Twelve current Sigma Pi Sigma members were in attendance during the 2019 induction ceremony. First Lieutenant Scott Alsid (ΣΠΣ ’14, USAFA ’15), the first Sigma Pi Sigma member of the USAFA chapter, joined us for the event, as well as Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Dan Polsgrove and Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Brian Smith, both inducted in 2015. The presence of alumni added greater distinction to this year’s induction ceremony and fostered stronger interactions between alumni and new Sigma Pi Sigma members. Additional alumni expressed their regrets for not being able to make it this year but demonstrated interest in attending future induction ceremonies.

Colonel Rex Kiziah, head of the USAFA Physics Department, provided the opening remarks for our event and discussed the value and importance of being a member of Sigma Pi Sigma. The induction ceremony was performed by Dr. Alina Gearba-Sell, our chapter advisor, and Cadet Second Class Lucy Zimmerman served as master of ceremonies. Dr. Gearba-Sell discussed the history of Sigma Pi Sigma, the upcoming Physics Congress, and the Sigma Pi Sigma Centennial.

This event also promoted awareness of Sigma Pi Sigma at USAFA. By inducting several members of the junior and senior classes into Sigma Pi Sigma, we encouraged future physics majors to strive for excellence and an invitation to join this prestigious honor society. The event also helped encourage greater appreciation for Sigma Pi Sigma and the lifetime opportunities available to its members.

In the past, we have held induction ceremonies in conjunction with other institutions. In the spring of 2018, we hosted Dr. Willie Rockward, a past Sigma Pi Sigma president, and seven faculty and students from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and Colorado College in an effort to strengthen the collaboration between our chapters. In the future, the USAFA Sigma Pi Sigma chapter plans to continue alumni involvement while also reaching out to local schools. We anticipate these efforts will increase the collaboration and growth of SPS/Sigma Pi Sigma in the Colorado Springs area.

Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Monte Anderson cuts the cake.

Cadet Second Class Kayla Brown receives her certificate.

Faculty, students, alumni, family, and friends at the USAFA Sigma Pi Sigma induction ceremony. Photos courtesy of the USAFA Sigma Pi Sigma chapter.

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