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Worth Seagondollar Service Award
University of Maryland-College Park
Peggy Dixon has served the Society of Physics Students (SPS) and Sigma Pi Sigma (ΣΠΣ), throughout a long and distinguished career. Peggy Dixon was a pioneer in establishing SPS chapters at Two Year Colleges. She has served as a chapter advisor, as a Zone Councilor, as Special Consultant to the Executive Director, and as the SPS Historian. More than any other person, she has embodied the memory of SPS and ΣΠΣ. She has written the official history of ΣΠΣ and numerous articles for Radiations, describing the contributions of members and officers of SPS and ΣΠΣ. At a crucial moment in the life of the Societies, when the headquarters moved and the staff turned over completely, Dr. Dixon re-established all the procedures and schedules of the Societies from memory. She was a prime mover in the re-establishment of ΣΠΣ congresses in 1992 and the celebration of the ΣΠΣ Diamond Jubilee in 1996. Throughout her career, she has been an inspiring teacher and scholar. She has engaged students from Two Year Colleges in active research projects, including photographic measurements of solar eclipses. She has actively shared her pedagogical mastery with other teachers in the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). She was selected as the Two Year College representative to a National Commission on College Physics. For thirty years, she has attended nearly every National Council of SPS and ΣΠΣ, sharing her wealth of wisdom, experience, and institutional memory. In every way, she has served the Physics Community, Sigma Pi Sigma, and the Society of Physics Students with distinction.
Over the years, Dr. Dixon served on national committees of Sigma Pi Sigma, the Physics Honor Society; and the Society of Physics Students, the professional society open to physics students and their mentors She also served on committees of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). In 1953, as a student at the University of Maryland College Park, she was inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma. Later as a physics professor at Montgomery College, she served, on the local level, as the SPS Advisor. Then, beginning in 1975, she served for a number of years at the national level as SPS Zone 4 Councilor. From 1984-87, Peggy served as the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Chesapeake Section Representative. After her retirement from Montgomery College in 1988, she served as a consultant for Sigma Pi Sigma and SPS in the American Institute of Physics Education Division. Then from 1992 until her death in 2003, she was the Historian for SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma. Dr. Peggy Dixon helped create and contributed ideas to use on PBS’s “Wee Wonders” science program for children. As she was a tireless advocate for the two-year college student, the SPS Council established the SPS-Two Year College Leadership Scholarship in her memory in late September 2003.