Physics graduate student Kelly A. Kluttz has been awarded the 2007 Rolf G. Winter Memorial Physics Graduate Student Award in recognition of excellence in teaching. Professor Winter was an exceptional teacher and respected colleague who served the College from 1964 to 1992 and who shaped the character of the Physics Department through his leadership by consensus as chair.
Ms. Kluttz, who began her academic career as an English major at University of North Carolina in Charlotte, took an astronomy course and was immediately hooked. She completed her BS and MS degrees at Appalachian State University where she could take advantage of their facilities in astronomy. For her masters thesis she designed and constructed an optical spectrograph for the 32-inch telescope there. Her interest in optics has continued at W&M, and she has joined the research group of Jan Chaloupka where she has been developing genetic learning algorithms, modulating the spatial phase of laser beams and performing fiber optics studies, all for use in experiments with ultra-short laser pulses that probe evolving atomic systems. She was hired as an adjunct instructor at Appalachian State for one year and then taught physics and math at Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville, NC for one year prior to arriving at W&M. Her work since Fall 2005 as a teaching assistant in the introductory astronomy courses has distinguished her as a fine teacher. Students describe her as "prepared, receptive, very willing to help, knowledgeable, even-tempered, engaging, excellent, and very organized."