Dr. Peter Jolivette of the Hope College physics faculty has been elected a Fellow in the American Physical Society (APS).
The annual APS Fellowship Program recognizes APS
members for significant contributions to the field of
physics through either research, application of their
discipline or teaching, or for service to the APS.
Jolivette was recognized for his leadership in developing
undergraduate research in nuclear physics.
Fewer than 200 were named Fellows for the year
2000, and Jolivette and James Cederberg of St. Olaf College
in Northfield, Minn., were the only Fellows from
undergraduate colleges. Most are based at universities,
although some are with national laboratories or industry.
The Fellows are from the U.S. as well as abroad.
The honor came as a surprise to Jolivette, who
wasn't even aware that he had been nominated. "They hadn't
told me anything," he said of his Hope colleagues who had
recommended him for the recognition.
Those colleagues included Dr. Paul DeYoung, who
earlier this year had received top recognition himself from
the APS for his work as a faculty researcher at an
undergraduate institution. A 1977 Hope graduate, DeYoung as
a student conducted research with Jolivette, who was then in
his first year on the Hope faculty.
"He's the one who got me started," DeYoung said.
"He is an excellent teacher. I have a lot of respect for
his ability in the classroom."
Given Jolivette's similar influence on others
through the decades, DeYoung believes that his election as a
Fellow is richly deserved.
"I just can't express how happy I am for him,"
DeYoung said. "Here's a person who, because of his quiet
dedication to students, has really had an impact on the
Jolivette said that he has simply been part of an
emphasis that has run institution-wide, and credited his
predecessors and contemporaries for their role in developing
the physics program in particular.
"It's part of the overall work that Hope has done
in encouraging undergraduate research," he said. "We look
at it as part of the education process. The students do
indeed learn by doing the research. They become confident
in it because they've had experience doing it, which helps
them whether they go on to graduate school or industry."
He has also been active in undergraduate research
education beyond campus. He is a past councillor with the
national Council on Undergraduate Research.
Jolivette joined the Hope faculty in 1976 as an
assistant professor of physics, was promoted to associate
professor in 1983 and to full professor in 1990. He is past
chair of the department of physics.
His research emphasis is in nuclear physics, and
he has authored or co-authored many articles concerning his
work. Through the years he has received numerous outside
grants in support of his research.
He teaches introductory physics courses, as well
as advanced courses such as "States of Matter," "Quantum
He completed his bachelor of science degree at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1963, his master of
science at Purdue University in 1965 and his doctorate at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1970. Prior to
joining the Hope faculty, he held research and teaching
positions at the University of Notre Dame.
The APS, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in
1999, has more than 40,000 members. The society's
activities include programs in physics education and
outreach; several regional, divisional and national meetings
yearly; and publishing physics research journals, in
addition to recognizing professional accomplishment through
prizes and awards.