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December 19, 2023, Chapel Hill, North Carolina – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has once again secured the coveted Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Office. This marks the sixth consecutive year that the UNC-CH chapter has been acknowledged for its exceptional contributions as a top-tier student-led physical sciences organization. This designation is bestowed upon less than 15% of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally.

The SPS, a professional association for students, operates under the umbrella of the American Institute of Physics (AIP), encompassing various professional physical science societies.

SPS students on the 2023 Science is Awesome Day


Led by faculty advisor, Bowman and Gordon Gray Professor, Dan Reichart, the UNC-CH SPS chapter continues to exemplify excellence in student leadership. The officers for the 2022-2023 academic year are:

  • President: Ravi Pitelka B.S. Physics, Mathematics B.A., Class of 2023
  • Vice President: Vimal Palanivelrajan B.S. Physics, Mathematics B.S, Class of 2024
  • Treasurer: Logan Selph B.S. Astrophysics, Currently Music Minor, Class of 2024
  • Secretary: Stephen Snare B.S. Physics, Math B.A., Class of 2025
  • Outreach Coordinator: Abbey Dunnigan B.S. Astrophysics, Class of 2024
  • Events Coordinator: Em Chittenden B.S. Physics (Astrophysics Option), Class of 2024
  • Room Managers: Rob Sternquist B.S. Physics, Mathematics B.S., Class of 2024; Landon Overall B.S. Physics, Class of 2023

“One of my favorite things about UNC SPS is how it gives opportunities to do things like go out camping with other physics majors. It’s a really useful resource when you need help on physics problems or with studying, but it’s also a great social space if you just want to hang out,” said Neel Iyer, the current Secretary for the 2024 – 2025 academic year.

SPS chapters undergo rigorous evaluation based on their engagement with the campus community, the professional physics community, the public, and SPS national programs. The Outstanding Chapter Award acknowledges not only high levels of outreach but also innovative approaches aligned with SPS’s mission to “help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community.”

For more information about the UNC-CH SPS chapter, please contact President Vimaleshwar Palanivelrajan ( or Secretary, Neel Wilson Iyer (

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