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Dr. Patrick Bunton named new head of physics and astronomy

2020-09-04-PatrickBunton
In August, Dr. Patrick Bunton became the new department head of physics and astronomy. He replaced Dr. Richard Prior, who is a professor emeritus at UNG after retiring in spring 2020.

Dr. Patrick Bunton didn't need a new job when he saw that the University of North Georgia (UNG) was seeking a new head for the Department of Physics and Astronomy. But the Tennessee native decided to apply, because he liked the idea of moving closer to his family.

Then Bunton met the physics and astronomy faculty and staff and knew UNG was right for him.

"The faculty is engaging. The program is vibrant and active. And a large number of physics majors graduate from UNG compared to other physics departments," Bunton said. "I wanted to be a part of that."

In August, Bunton became the new department head of physics and astronomy. He replaced Dr. Richard Prior, who is a professor emeritus at UNG after retiring in spring 2020.

"This is an extremely strong program, and we need to build on the faculty's strengths and passions," Bunton said.

Prior to joining UNG, Bunton was chair and professor of the physics department at William Jewell College in Missouri and associate professor at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. He also was a NASA summer faculty fellow at Marshall Space Flight Center during the summers of 1995, 1998 and 2001 as well as having served a term appointment as an optical physicist there.

Bunton earned his bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics from East Tennessee State University and his master's and doctoral degrees in physics from Vanderbilt University.

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