Dr. Paul DeYoung of the Hope College physics faculty has received top recognition from the American Physical Society (APS) for 2001 for outstanding research and mentoring as a physicist at an undergraduate institution.
One of DeYoung's colleagues describes the award as
the highest recognition available to a physicist at an
"Each year, this award recognizes that person
doing premier research at an undergraduate institution,"
said Dr. John Krupczak, who is a member of the college's
physics and engineering faculty and was one of several
colleagues from Hope and elsewhere who nominated DeYoung for
the honor. "The award further recognizes that the recipient
is doing quality research in a way that benefits
The award, the "Prize to a Faculty Member for
Research in an Undergraduate Institution," was established
in 1984 by a grant from the Research Corporation. The award
citation recognizes DeYoung's "research on reaction
processes using short-lived nuclear beams and for his
outstanding leadership, both in his research group and his
institution, in creating an undergraduate research
Given the college's focus on undergraduate
research, DeYoung noted that he believes that any number of
his colleagues are equally deserving of the recognition. "I
happened to win the award, but I think we could have made a
case for many others who are doing outstanding research in
physics," he said. "This is what Hope College is about."
"And if others before us had not done the work
that they did, and if the college and others had not
supported our research approach, our work would not be
possible," he said. "I think this is the culmination of a long tradition
and an endorsement of what we plan to do in the future."
A member of the Hope faculty since 1985, DeYoung
conducts research in nuclear physics. His work of the past
three years has involved studying the way that the neutron
"skin" of the "helium 6" isotope affects fusion. His
research group collects data at the National Superconducting
Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University, at the
University of Notre Dame in Indiana and at Lawrence Berkeley
Laboratory in California, and then analyzes the information
back at Hope.
He values that students are doing the work.
"What we do that's unique is that the
undergraduates are doing this," he said. "At Hope College,
undergraduate research means cutting-edge science, and I
think that to some extent this award recognizes the validity
of the science that we do."
DeYoung estimates that some 35 Hope students have
worked with him on research projects through the years.
They have gone on to careers in a variety of scientific
areas. Former students are now researchers, college and
university teachers, doctors, engineers and high school
teachers, and several are employed at high-tech companies.
DeYoung is himself a product of the Hope
experience. He graduated from Hope summa cum laude in 1977.
He completed his doctorate at the University of Notre Dame
in 1982, and subsequently conducted research at the Nuclear
Structure Laboratory, SUNY, before returning to Hope to
His research has received continuous support since
1985 from agencies including the National Science
Foundation, Research Corporation and the Michigan Space
Grant Consortium. His work has resulted in more than 50
journal articles and more than 50 presentations at
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.
DeYoung will be recognized formally during the
society's annual meeting, which will be held on Saturday-
Tuesday, April 28-May 1, in Washington, D.C.