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Stories of Support

Many alumni, faculty, staff and friends give to Ohio State Physics regularly. There are numerous funds available and the process is easy. Explore the many ways you can make a difference.  Once you have determined which fund interests you, please visit the OSU Giving Web site to give online or mail your gift to:

Office of the Chair
1040P Physics Research Building
191 W. Woodruff Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210

Dennis Calderon headshot with light in the background

Dennis Calderon

"Thank you for the generous donations that enabled travel to Japan where I presented a poster on my graduate research at The Ohio State University. Without these funds, I would not have been able to attend the International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC) and would not have been able to grow as a researcher and professional.


I presented a poster highlighting the design and implementation of the drift chamber tracker for the High Energy Light Isotope eXperiment (HELIX). A collaborator and I, worked on the poster showcasing our work on behalf of the HELIX collaboration and I presented at the conference. HELIX is a balloon borne cosmic ray detector that is designed to detect the elusive 10Be / 9Be flux ratio to further our understanding of cosmic ray propagation through our galaxy. This measurement is important because it is a direct probe of the confinement time of cosmic rays which will constrain limits on the size of the galactic halo and improve our models of cosmic ray propagation.


Presenting this work at this conference has been pivotal in my growth as a scientist. I had the opportunity to meet and network with top researchers in my field and develop professionally by improving my science communication. I aspire to one day become a professor (maybe even at Ohio State) where I can lead a research group but more importantly mentor and guide the next generation of scientists. I believe it is crucial to push research forward while also helping others do the same.


I am a non-traditional physics student and find myself on my path to achieving my goals of making an impact. I come from California from a hardworking immigrant family. My family’s perseverance and work ethic has been instilled in me and I have spent my life working to make them proud. Traveling to Japan for this conference also made an impact aiding in my career goals. I am very thankful for all those that have helped me and for travel fund. I hope to one day make an impact in science and help others achieve their goals.


I thank you once again for your generosity.


Dennis H. Calderon"

Neil Ghugare with poster of his research

Neil Ghugare

"First of all, I would like to thank you for the financial support you’ve given me. I feel honored to have received funding through the legacy of Bunny Clark, who not only received many accolades for her ground-breaking theoretical nuclear physics work, but also helped create more avenues for women working in Physics. Although I am not a woman, I still recognize the impact of this work, as I see the increased inclusion of women in both the study and work in Physics. Doing research in physics was my sole purpose in pursuing a physics degree, so I was absolutely thrilled to accept an opportunity to do so over the summer. With the funding provided, I worked on a project that introduced me into condensed matter physics, while making use of my AI and programming skills. I worked on a project that identifies the number of layers of Graphite (or colloquially, Graphene) on an image, without needing to manually check the layers through optical or atomic force microscopy. It was especially awesome to learn about the inner details of both condensed matter physics and research, as currently I am only an incoming Sophomore at OSU. This opportunity not only allowed me to build on necessary skills I learned during my Polaris physics mentorship program, but also allowed me to learn about what it takes to do research; In research, there is a lot of trying, failing, trying again, and then succeeding at what you wish to do, and I learned that heavily throughout the ten weeks of the program. Through the program and the funding provided, my dedication to Ohio State has been reinforced further. I was able to interact with so many awesome people, with amazing ambitions, and was able to truly appreciate all the resources available to me for the rest of my time here. Once again, I thank you personally for not only supporting my project, but for supporting my personal dreams and ambitions, and for supporting many of my peers as well. I hope that you will continue to support many others like me on their journeys, and I cannot put into words how much this meant to me. Thank you.


Neil Ghugare"

Nancy in the research lab

Nancy Romo

"I’m writing to thank you for your support. This fund has helped support me in my transition to graduate study in Experimental physics here at Ohio State. In particular, the Fellowship support has allowed me more time to focus on my coursework and my research with Prof. Poirier. I believe these studies are helping me toward my goal of working as a researcher following graduation. I enjoy being able to contribute to the field of physics and work with others.


Balancing work, research, classes, and personal care during undergrad seemed to be an endless struggle. I learned that college does not get easier, but we can rise to the challenges and get better. Learning about the stories of physicists who overcame barriers, such as Bunny C. Clark and her active effort to make the field of physics more accessible for everyone including gender and racial minorities, reminds me that it is possible to prevail. Stories like hers reminds me of the general humanity in Physics, and that—despite our differences—we are united by a universal desire to explore the world around us.


For these reasons, the Fellowship support has been particularly important for me to get off to a good start at OSU. Thank you again for your contributions.


Nancy Romo"

William R Riley

Dr. Norman Gearhart and Rev. Carolyn Piper provide funding for "The William R. Riley Excellence in Teaching Physics Award

Emeritus Professor Bill Riley was honored by friends of Physics Dr. Norman Gearhart  (M.S. '69, Ph.D., '73) and his wife Rev. Carolyn Piper Gearhart with the establishment of "The William R. Riley Excellence in Teaching Physics" Award.  The inaugural award was announced at the May 26, 2011 Physics Department Picnic.  The recipient was Daniel Kestner who was unable to attend due to teaching at the time of the awards ceremony. Dr. Gearhart and Rev. Piper along with Dr. Bill Riley were in attendance to announce the award. This award is intended to be given annually to a graduate teaching assistant who exemplifies excellence in teaching physics. Attendees at the picnic were honored by a surprise visit from President Gordon Gee just minutes after the announcement of the Gearharts' generous gift.  

Pictured: President Gee and Chair Jim Beatty with Bill Riley, Carolyn Piper and Norm Gearhart at the announcement of the Riley Award

Alumni and Giving

Steve Price and Jill Levy fund the "Price Place" in CCAPP

The Price Place is a state-of-the-art interaction space for CCAPP postdocs, students and visitors.  Dedicated in May 2011 by the generosity of Steve Price and Jill Levy.

The Price Place allows CCAPP to create a space for visitors to interact with faculty, post docs and students enhancing physics research from excellent to eminence. The vision of Price Place through the help of King Business Interiors, is designed as a space for three purposes: visitor space, member lounge, and private research meeting room. A SMART Board Interactive Display provides our postdocs and visitors with a visual and creative way to collaborate more efficiently.  

Pictured: Terry Walker presenting plaque naming Price Place to Steve Price and Jill Levy