William and Mary Physics Student Awarded SPS Leadership Scholarship
by Prof. Tricia Vahle
September 15, 2016
Brandon Buncher has been awarded a Leadership Scholarship by the Society of Physics Students (SPS). These awards recognize a student's leadership role in their institution's chapter society andencourage the study of physics and the pursuit ofscholarship.
Brandon has been involved in William and Mary's SPS since his first semester of freshman year. He was elected vice president in his sophomore year, and served as president of the society for the past two years. Now in his senior year, Brandon has revitalized the campus group, hostinga series of lectures on how to succeed in physics, GRE review sessions,and weekly tutoring sessions. Beyond providing professional development activities, he developed fun, interactive meetings, such as "the physics of baking," as well as engaging projects, such as the construction of a VCR that ejects toast. Last year, with a grant awarded through the national SPS organization, the local SPS group built a giant pool to hold over 250 pounds of oobleck, a non-Newtonian liquid that displays surprising characteristics when compressed. The pool was a big hit with students at Demos in the Sun and PhysicsFest, two outreach activities open to the William and Mary community. Brandon says, his goal was to create an inclusive chapter in which everyone feels welcome, "I aim to enable all members of our department to achieve success".
The W&M SPS meets weekly on Wednesday nights at 8PM in Small 122. SPS also offers free physics tutoring on Thursday nights from 6-8PM.