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Juniata Professor Named American Institute of Physics State Department Fellow

(Posted June 15, 2012)

Jim Borgardt, professor of physics, will spend the 2012-2013 academic year working at the State Department.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Jim Borgardt, Woolford Professor of Physics at Juniata College, has been named the American Institute of Physics State Department Science Fellow for the upcoming 2012-2013 academic year.

Borgardt, a resident of Huntingdon, Pa., will spend the year at the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation/Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism, an office within the U.S. Department of State. The Bureau's mission is to reduce the threat of "WMD terrorism by establishing, strengthening and maintaining the capabilities of international partners to deter, detect, defeat, and respond to terrorist attempts to use chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials."

The Bureau also develops policies to counter nuclear smuggling, work with the Department of Defense to develop playbooks to help respond to potential nuclear incidents and nuclear forensics.

The AIP State Department Science Fellowship Program gives science faculty from around the country an opportunity to contribute scientific and technical expertise to the department, while the scientists get hands-on experience by interacting with policymakers and experiencing the foreign policy process.

Borgardt will receive a stipend and a relocation allowance for the year he spends in Washington, D.C. The fellowship also includes a travel allowance for professional development.

The Bureau's mission is to reduce the threat of "WMD terrorism by establishing, strengthening and maintaining the capabilities of international partners to deter, detect, defeat, and respond to terrorist attempts to use chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials."

Borgardt has taught a course at Juniata titled "The Threat of Nuclear Weapons" and has participated in several research projects on nuclear radiation detection at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Hanford, Wash.

Borgardt came to Juniata in 1998 from the University of Arizona, where he was a lecturer in physics. He earned a doctorate and master's degree in physics from the University of Arizona, and two bachelor's degrees in physics and mathematics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

He was promoted to associate professor in 2004 and was promoted to full professor in 2010. He received the Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2003. In 2011, he was named the William Woolford Professor of Physics. This year, he received the Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching. At Juniata, he has established several popular physics outreach events. Mall Physics features demonstrations at a local shopping mall, and Physics Phun Night offers live demonstrations onstage in Juniata's Alumni Hall.

He has a number of published articles dealing with ion beam analysis, nuclear reactions and large area radiation detectors. Borgardt has regularly taught with Juniata's Remote Field Course, a summer course that takes students across the western United States. He also has done research with Juniata students at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Hanford, Wash.

Borgardt is currently a member of the American Institute of Physics, the Council on Undergraduate Research, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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