Recap of PhysCon

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Message from the President

Recap of PhysCon


Willie S. Rockward, PhD, President, Sigma Pi Sigma and Professor of Physics, Morehouse College

Sigma Pi Sigma President Willie S. Rockward was a fixture at the podium for PhysCon 2016. Photo courtesy of Ken Cole

The 2016 Physics Congress was a clear and commanding success! Through the hard work of dedicated volunteers and donors such as yourself, we were able to make a major difference in the physics community. As a group, we made strides in solving the current and future problems of society and brought the current generation of physics students together as a unified force. We capitalized on our diversity, established equity, and built a sense of inclusion. When we look back at this congress, we’ll remember that we came together from across the country and the world to share a moment, an experience, and a common sense of purpose!

A sense of belonging for such a diverse group as physics majors can only happen through gatherings like PhysCon. Along my career path, many people have inspired me—and continue to inspire me. From my first exposure to lasers in high school by my physics teacher, Mr. Paul Johnson (probably Dr. Johnson by now), to my college physics professors who convinced me that physics is less dangerous than playing football, to my graduate school faculty and staff, who guided me through the rigors (and politics) of graduate school, to my current colleagues and staff both at Morehouse College and the ∑∏∑ National Office, I have been fortunate to be surrounded by a true community. It is through this community, that has collaborated, nurtured, guided, and mentored me, that I am the person I am today. It is through experiences like PhysCon that we develop our global community. By meeting people from 45 states, by engaging with leaders within the field, by sitting down with scientists and ∑∏∑ members from years past, we explore what it means to be a physicist and astronomer that is part of a diverse and inclusive community.

The people we met at PhysCon 2016 are our future colleagues, friends, collaborators, and peers. By meeting such a broad array of people, we can begin to break down some of the barriers in physics and form a more perfect society. I am proud of what was accomplished and cannot wait to see what happens at the next PhysCon in 2019!

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