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Two Juniata Physics Students Honored with Leadership Award

(Posted August 5, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Two Juniata College students studying physics have received the 2010 Leadership Award from the national organization for the Society of Physics Students, based in College Park, Md.

Brad Dinardo, a senior at Juniata studying physics and mathematics and the son of Joseph and Karen Dinardo of Altoona, Pa., and Alexander Barnes, a 2010 graduate and the son of Robert and Joyce Barnes of Stroudsburg, Pa., both will receive $2,000 for "outstanding performance and maintaining a high level of activity" with Juniata's chapter of the Society of Physics students.

Brad Dinardo, a senior at Juniata studying physics and mathematics, and Alexander Barnes, a 2010 graduate, both will receive $2,000 for "outstanding performance and maintaining a high level of activity" with Juniata's chapter of the Society of Physics students.

Barnes was president of the SPS chapter for the 2009-2010 academic year. During his time at Juniata, he was inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society and Sigma Iota Rho, the international honors society. He received the Paul Yoder Memorial Scholarship in 2009. He also received the 2010 Outstanding Tutor Award.

Barnes accumulated significant research experience at Juniata, working with Nitin Samarth, professor of physics at Penn State University, as part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program. He also presented a research paper at a regional meeting of the SPS at Grove City College. Barnes studied abroad at the University of Marburg in Germany.

He is currently enrolled as graduate student in the physics program at the University of Connecticut.

Dinardo is president for the 2010-2011 academic year and past vice president of the Juniata chapter of SPS. He also was inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society. He has built an extensive research portfolio. In 2008, he was a summer research assistant in Juniata's optics lab with Jamie White, professor of physics. The following summer, in 2009, he researched more efficient solar cells at a physics lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md. This summer, he worked in an astrophysics lab taking part in the Arkansas Galaxy Evolution Survey at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

He received the Paul Yoder Memorial Scholarship in 2010.

Both students were instrumental in maintaining Juniata's record of success in the student club. Advised by James Borgardt, professor of physics, the club competed for the honor in Zone 3, which includes colleges and universities from all of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware and New Jersey.
The Juniata chapter had about 41 active members for the 2009-2010 academic year. The Juniata chapter has a thriving physics research program and its continues its outreach efforts in Huntingdon and surrounding communities. The club holds several annual outreach events, including Physics Phun Night, an entertaining science demonstration held every spring in Alumni Hall in the Brumbaugh Academic Center.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.