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Senior Physics Major Receives SSAI Scholarship

Through a partnership with Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI), the Society of Physics Students (SPS) Awards Committee has selected senior Alex Pantoja as a 2022 SSAI Underrepresented* Student Scholarship recipient in the amount of $2,000.

"The selections for scholarships were made after careful review of all application materials by the SPS Awards Committee," said SPS Projects Manager Kayla Stephens. "This year, there were many exceptional applications and we hope Alex feels honored and encouraged that his application was among the best. We congratulate him on his outstanding academic performance and involvement in the SPS community. We also hope this award will serve to bolster Alex's connection and commitment to his local, regional, and national SPS community."

*The United States Department of Education defines underrepresented in science and engineering as: a minority group whose number of scientists and engineers per 10,000 population of that group is substantially below the comparable figure for scientists and engineers who are white and not of Hispanic origin. [This includes but is not necessarily limited to females and people who are Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and Hispanic or Latino.]

SSAI is a woman-owned business, which has been providing scientific and technological applications services since its incorporation in 1977. Based in Lanham, Maryland, SSAI specializes in Earth and space sciences, advanced computing, scientific analysis, instrument engineering, systems development, and information technology. The company's founders, Om and Saraswati (Sara) Bahethi, are naturalized U.S. citizens who have shown both compassion and commitment in supporting and assisting students studying to earn degrees in atmospheric and related sciences. Dr. Bahethi acknowledges the contributions of scholarships and financial assistance from educational institutions and the government to the completion of his own physics studies in the United States, and he and Mrs. Bahethi are happy to pass on their own assistance to others.

Pantoja has already been recognized by other organizations for his academic work and commitment to service. In April 2022, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) awarded him his second Thomas D. Rossing Physics Scholarship for 2022-2023 totaling $5,000. Each year, the ELCA less than 15 of these competitive awards for recognition of excellence in physics among undergraduates within their network of 26 colleges and universities. The scholarship demonstrates the ELCA's support for academic excellence as it conveys confidence, as well as the inherent value of physics departments at affiliated schools at liberal arts institutions with smaller physics departments.

About SPS

SPS is a professional association explicitly designed for students and their advisers. Membership, through collegiate chapters, is open to anyone interested in physics. The only requirement for membership is that you be interested in physics. Besides physics majors, our members include majors in astronomy, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, medicine, and other fields. SPS is open to everyone.