College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences recognizes outstanding mentors

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The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences offices can be located in the Eyring Science Center.
(Preston Crawley)

The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences honored professors for their involvement in mentored research programs and their diligence and dedication to helping students succeed through excellent teaching. Professors were awarded throughout all departments in the college at the annual University Conference Aug. 26.

Darin Ragozzine from the Department of Physics and Astronomy received the Young Scholar Award. Alongside the work he has contributed to exoplanet discovery and the Kuiper belt object study, Ragozzine has also been heavily involved in mentored student research.

“Research mentoring is a way that I can help students develop the skills and understanding that they need for their chosen futures,” he said. “I also enjoy how working on student projects helps push forward my research in answering scientific questions of importance.”

From the Computer Science Department, Seth Holladay was honored for his excellence in teaching. The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences describes him as a professor that is known for his “kind yet rigorous mentoring.” Holladay explained how important mentored research is for him and for students, especially at BYU.

“It is an important part of realizing BYU’s mission in helping students reach their eternal potential and helping their earthly experience. We all have had critical mentors that blessed us, and I enjoy passing it forward to others,” he said.

Department design engineer and machinist for physics and astronomy Jeremy Peterson was honored for his dedication to mentoring students in the physics research machine shop. He works with students to make their designs a reality.

“My favorite part about mentoring students is when they learn something new and their face lights up with excitement. You can physically see something click,” Peterson said.

Eric Hirschmann received the Outstanding Service Award in the college. He has been involved in changing the culture to create a community rather than a competition among graduate students. Hirschmann said he loves working at BYU because of the responsible and dedicated students that fill his classrooms.

“This makes them engaging in the classroom and that, in turn, makes me want to be as good as I can be in terms of preparation, explaining difficult ideas and assessing conceptual understanding of all students in my classes. Working with them makes me want to be better,” he said.

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