Dr. Mark Spraker, professor of physics and chair of the UNG Faculty Senate at the University of North Georgia (UNG), was recently elected vice chair of the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society (SESAPS).
The Southeastern Section includes: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Puerto Rico. Spraker will be presented as the new vice chair at the 80th annual meeting of SESAPS in November in Bowling Green, Ky., hosted by Western Kentucky University.
"There are benefits and drawbacks to both large and small institutions," Spraker said. "At larger institutions, the individual support and attention that students receive at the smaller schools is sometimes sacrificed for greater research opportunities. Networking among students and faculty are often curtailed at smaller institutions by virtue of their smaller faculty and student populations. SESAPS is a unique organization to solve these difficulties."
Spraker added that his time at UNG has helped him to see and appreciate the importance of SESAPS in the development of the next generation of physicists. SESAPS provides a unique regional networking opportunity for physicists and students, and its well-organized meetings provide undergraduate research students a professional venue at which their work can be presented and discussed with experts in the field, he said.
"This opportunity to interact with and observe students and faculty from other institutions helps to broaden students' understanding of the field and their place within it," Spraker said. "For primarily undergraduate institutions with relatively little available travel and research support, these nearby meetings and other off-campus research experiences are vital to prepare students for the next step in their academic careers. I strongly support the mission of SESAPS and will work to see its continued success and growth."