Rai and Xiao receive Dean of Science Excellence in Service Awards

March 13, 2018
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From left to right: Colin Gay (PHAS Department Head), Swarn Rai, Simon Peacock (Dean of Science), and Hannah Xiao.

We are excited to share that two PHAS members have received the UBC Dean of Science Excellence in Service awards! Congratulations to Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics (PITP) administrator Swarn Rai and 4th year biophysics student Hannah Xiao for their invaluable services to the Faculty and the Department! The award ceremony was hosted by the Dean of Science, Dr. Simon Peacock, on Friday March 2 immediately after the Faculty of Science meeting. 

Since joining the Department and PITP in 2006, Swarn has organized 31 different conferences, 250 short- and long-term stays, and 80 public lectures. Among the referneces for Swarn's nomination was one from UK's Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees, who presented a public lecture on UBC campus in September 2017. "It's not every day we get a reference letter from the Astronomer Royal," said Dean Peacock. The two others came from Dr. Gordon Semenoff and Sir Roger Penrose.

Swarn is noted "[f]or warm efficiency, faultless organization, consistency, care, and exemplary service to the Faculty of Science and the University of British Columbia through the Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics."

Hannah Xiao is a 4th year undergraduate student in the biophysics program. She has served as the AMS rep for science, President of the Biophysics Society, VP academic for the Physics Society, and played instrumental roles in developing events that enhances student growth in all year levels. "Hannah is incredibly involved in practically everything on campus. She makes each role meaningful and makes waves with each action she takes. When Hannah puts her mind on something, it gets accomplished, period," said Department Head Dr. Colin Gay.

Hannah is noted "[f]or tremendous leadership, innovation, professionalism, and commitment to the support and growth of fellow students in the Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Faculty of Science". 

Congratulations again to both Swarn and Hannah. We are fortunate to have such wonderful contributors to the Department and the Faculty!