Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Launching the Department of Physics at High Point University

Fall 2013 marks the birth of the Department of Physics at High Point University. We fissioned from the Department of Chemistry. Here's a brief history.

  • Fall, 2002:  I was hired as the first tenure-track physics professor at HPU.
  • Fall, 2008:  Martin DeWitt was hired.
  • Fall, 2010:  BS and BA programs in physics were created.
  • Fall, 2011:  Briana Fiser was hired.
  • Spring, 2012:  Our first graduating class of physics majors.
  • Fall, 2013:  Brad Barlow was hired.
  • Fall, 2013:  The Department of Physics is launched.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I think of how far we've come. Our success is due to the support of President Qubein, Provost Dennis Carroll, Dean Carole Stoneking, and colleagues Gray Bowman and Rob Harger. Our success is also due to the awesome students who believed in us. They are academic entrepreneurs.

Together, as a team with my colleagues, we are building a student-centered program that is founded on:

Physics faculty 

This is our core strength. We share the passion, enthusiasm, dedication, and talent to grow a strong program.

Undergraduate research

This is our core message. This impacts recruiting of freshmen, success of students' applications for summer research programs and internships, and success of students' applications to graduate school and industry.

A creative approach

This is our core vision. We are not held back by the way things have always been done. As a result, we are creative in the classroom and creative in our curriculum.

Students' success

This is our core evidence. We brag on our students, their work at HPU, their work in summer internships, and their work after graduation. Student success is our success.


  1. This is interesting, as it comes as a time when my department and the chem department are joining. We're doing it to streamline admin duties, not to really change either of our programs.

  2. Our primary reason for splitting the departments was to give physics an identity. We felt that recruiting majors depended on it since we are a budding program. BTW Andy, you would love to hear Jose Bowen speak. During his workshops this week, I kept thinking of you and the way you teach your upper-level courses. Now that I think about it, Bowen needs to meet Superfly!

    1. I stumbled on his stuff a couple years ago. I was really inspired!

  3. Congratulations for getting this far! The brief historic time period is also very interesting and I really like the approach of this department! Good work all of you!