Elana Urbach was one of the winners of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) Top Leadership Scholarship for 2013. Elana is a William and Mary Physics rising senior. This award is given annually to undergraduate students applying in at least their junior year of study, in the amounts of one top scholarship of $5,000, and a number of $2,000 scholarships. The awards are based on scholarship, potential, and activity in SPS. The purpose of the award is to encourage the study of physics and the pursuit of high scholarship. Congratulations Elana!
I am a physics major and math minor at the College of William and Mary. I served as the president of my chapter this year and have enjoyed working to expand its membership and activeness. Activities have ranged from attending SPS Congress as chapter reporters to touring a local power plant to building trebuchets and hovercrafts. I have also participated in and helped organize many outreach events, such as PhysicsFest, an annual festival held by my university’s physics department. I helped the chapter receive a Marsh W. White Award to start Demos in the Sun, an outreach event aimed towards college students. After I graduate, I plan to pursue a PhD in physics. In summer 2012 I did single molecule biophysics through the physics REU program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and in summer 2011 I did solar physics research through the REU program at the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, NM. I am currently doing research in an ultra-cold AMO lab at my university. I am interested in many areas of physics research, and although I have not decided definitively which area I will specialize in, I am looking forward to a career in physics research. Outside of physics, I enjoy reading, running, hiking, and generally going on adventures.