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Vote for Next Year's President

The primary duty of the section president is to produce the next meeting.  Thus, the election of the President is really a decision about the location of our meeting next year.  This year we are honored to have two excellent institutions and their hosts as candidates;  David Laman  of Heritage University and Erik Aver of Gonzaga University.  Each candidate has prepared a statement for your consideration.  Please read the rules below, then the candidates statement and finally vote at the bottom of the page.


To vote you must be on the Washington section mailing list and your vote must be received by midnight Friday December fifth.  You must use the email address that is on our list in the form below so that we can confirm your vote.  If you would like to be on the list please use the contact page (not this page) to get on the list.  Once you have been confirmed you may vote.  We will process messages as rapidly as possible but there is still a chance that confirmation may not arrive before the polls close December fifth.  Only one vote per person please.

Erik Aver - Gonzaga University:

Hello WA-AAPT, My name is Erik Aver, and I am an Assistant Professor at Gonzaga University in my 3rd year.  My research is in astrophysics/cosmology on the primordial helium abundance, and I teach a mix of introductory calculus-based physics, primarily for engineers, and upper division physics courses for our physics majors.  

Gonzaga is a private, Jesuit, Catholic University founded in 1887 and located in Spokane.  In case anyone is not familiar with Spokane, Spokane is the second largest city in Washington and is located on the eastern half of State, approximately 20 miles from Idaho along I-90.  GU's current enrollment is approximately 7400 students, 4800 of whom are undergraduates.   Gonzaga's campus is located along the Spokane River, just northeast of downtown.  

​The Physics Department is primarily a service department, providing calculus-based physics to 200-300 engineering & science majors and approximately 130 students in the algebra-based sequence each year.  The Department offers a B.S. degree in Physics, with 10-20 declared majors (10 currently).  The Department is currently composed of three tenured, one tenure track, and six fixed term faculty (two of which are positions for which a tenure track search is underway).   


    David Laman – Heritage University
    My background in is optical physics and condensed phase laser spectroscopy with postdoctoral work at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  I have taught physics for a total of ten years, including algebra/calculus based introductory physics (many times), optics, electromagnetism, advanced physics laboratory, quantum mechanics, analytical mechanics, statistics, differential equations, and linear algebra.  Heritage University (HU) does not have a physics major; however, I have been able to teach a few upper division physics courses as special topics.  I enjoy incorporating material from my other interests (climbing and mountain rescue) in my introductory courses.I am a proponent of engaging all undergraduates in some form of scholarly work as a requirement for graduation.  I have mentored roughly a dozen students in undergraduate research, and am currently supervising an HU student in his senior thesis project on the optical properties of conjugated polymers.

    HU is a nonprofit four year liberal arts institution located on Yakama Nation lands in Toppenish, WA.  Our students are drawn mostly from rural eastern Washington and about 60% of them are from underserved populations.  HU does not currently maintain any degree programs in the physical sciences; however, chemistry and physics are required for other degree programs.  Modern facilities for hosted meetings became available with the completion of two new buildings in 2014.A modest laser spectroscopy capability at HU might be of interest as an example of a small scale research program that produces publishable results with undergraduates.  This “facility” shares space with the physics, geology, and environmental science teaching laboratories.  Methods in use for studying the photophysics of conjugated polymers include quasi-steady state photoinduced absorption, picosecond pump-probe, and microsecond-millisecond transient absorption spectroscopies.  LabView is used as a versatile data collection tool.

    ​Meeting participants will need to stay in Yakima, about 30 minutes to the west.  Toppenish does not offer many amenities; it has good Mexican food, terrible Chinese food, and fast food as culinary choices.  Restaurant choices in Yakima are much better but not stellar.  My dean has offered resources for catering if that is desired.


    To vote, Select the subject line as appropriate below and past it into the subject line of the form.  Complete the remaining lines and submit.  Your message can just be "Here is my vote." or even a simple period "."

    Voting Subject Line choices and action taken.

    • Gonzaga University. 
      - No reply.  Your vote will be counted for Erik Aver.
    • Heritage University
      - No reply.  Your vote will be counted for David Laman.