2020 has been such a difficult year for all of us. I’d like to start this newsletter by sending our love to all the members of the extended Adelphi Physics family. Here is to hoping for a better 2021.
This year has brought about a number of changes in our department. This summer, Professor Eugene Hecht retired with over 50 years of experience at Adelphi. Professor Hecht, famed author of Optics, two introductory physics textbooks and countless thought-provoking papers on fundamental ideas in physics, will be missed. For the last eight years, I have been fortunate to work with Gene. I still remember a walk around campus with him during my interview nine years ago. I thought: This guy gives it to you straight and is hilarious; I can’t wait to work with him.
Teaching in the age of COVID-19 has also been an interesting ride. Ravyn Malvino (Class of 2021) wrote up a nice summary of some of the challenges we have faced as well as a description of our solutions. As someone who spends a lot of time with students, I personally found it challenging to keep track of all the students when we were meeting on Zoom every day. Matthew Gootman (Class of 2024) wrote about how our award-winning physics club has managed to keep up with the ever-changing landscape.
Of course, COVID-19 hasn’t been our only challenge this year. If anything, this year has shown us how that we all care deeply about the future of the country, although often in different ways. Upon reflecting on this, Mateo Murillo (Class of 2022) and I agreed that we would like to feature Professor John Dooher’s research platform on renewable energy for this year’s newsletter. Climate change may prove to be the biggest problem the people of our planet will face. It always makes me feel wonderful that my mentor is working directly on the problem and to look for ways to help out.
The Adelphi University Physics Department has also doubled down on its commitment to improving issues of diversity in STEM. Earlier this year, the faculty, with the help of the leadership of the Physics Club, developed a diversity statement to represent the department. We have also developed a diversity task force to look for ways we can improve the University experience for our students who come from underrepresented backgrounds. This year the Adelphi Physics Club event “Labs for Kids” was honored with a 2020 Inspiring Program in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine.
2020 has not been easy. We are starting to plan our 2021 alumni night (virtually, of course). Please check out our physics YouTube page, and you can also keep track of many of the day-to-day department happenings by checking out my personal blog.
Please reach out to us. All the faculty in the department love chatting with you all!