Globe-trotting Kohawk receives Society of Physics Students honors

Martha Jesuit
Martha Jesuit ’21

Coe College physics and math major Martha Jesuit ’21 recently was selected for an Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award and a scholarship through the Society of Physics Students (SPS). 

Jesuit’s love of research began just before her first year of classes at Coe. “I was invited by the Physics Department to participate in glass research two weeks before the start of my first year,” Jesuit said. Ever since she’s had the opportunity to travel the world presenting her findings.

Jesuit’s research on Tellurite glass earned her an Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award. Awardees receive travel reimbursement and registration costs to attend an American Institute of Physics (AIP) professional meeting to present their research. Although she hasn’t made a final decision, she’s considered attending an AIP meeting in Japan.

As part of the award, Jesuit also will be featured in an issue of the SPS Observer, have her report published in the 2020 issue of the Journal of Undergraduate Reports in Physics (JURP) and receive a $500 award for herself and $500 for Coe’s SPS chapter.

“I chose Coe because of the Physics Department and the opportunities for research,” Jesuit said. “This summer I’ll be researching and presenting in both the United Kingdom and Greece.”

Jesuit also was selected as the winner of a $2,000 Science Systems and Applications Inc. (SSAI) Underrepresented Student Scholarship. SSAI is a woman-owned business specializing in earth and space sciences, advanced computing, scientific analysis, instrument engineering, systems development and information technology.

“Martha is a self-motivated researcher who has done multiple years of glass research at Coe. She attended an international conference in Cambridge where she gave two presentations and led a team to Argonne National Laboratory to do X-ray studies on Tellurite glasse. Martha is the author of two published articles and is most deserving of these two awards,” Coe Professor and SPS Chapter Advisor Dr. Steven Feller said.

SPS is a national professional association designed for students interested in physics and related fields. SPS operates within the AIP, an umbrella organization for professional physical science societies. Coe’s SPS chapter is consistently ranked as an Outstanding Chapter, an award reserved for the top 10% of SPS chapters.

Coe College offers superb academics and exciting co-curricular activities in a thriving urban setting that promotes student growth and success. Established in 1851, Coe has a national reputation for academic excellence enhanced by a student-centered, highly supportive campus environment. Coe’s vibrant Cedar Rapids location provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates.

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