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Galloway wins Distinguished Service Award

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Galloway wins Distinguished Service Award

Dallas, TX October 14, 2017 – Dr. Heather Galloway, dean of the Honors College and professor in the Department of Physics at Texas State University, will be awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Texas Section of the American Physical Society. This award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the section. She is the tenth person to win the award and first woman to be recognized. The award was presented at the banquet during the biannual conference and meeting on October 20, 2017.

Her service to the Texas Section and to the national branches of the American Physical Society has been continuous for 17 years. Positions include: Member Committee on Careers and Professional Development (2000-2003), Chair Committee on Careers and Professional Development (2002), Member Texas Section Executive Committee (2000-2003), Chair Line Texas Section Executive Committee (2003-2007), Council Observer (2007-2008), Councillor of National APS (2008-2011), Secretary/Treasurer Texas Section (2010-2017).


From 2003 – 2004, she helped organize a group of Texas physicists working as the Texas Physics Assessment Team that met to analyze state tests being given to high school students. These exams were the first statewide testing of high school students in physics. The group evaluated all the questions on the released exams and identified weaknesses. The group was able to engage the Texas Education Agency to encourage improvements.


Later, in 2011, a proposed change by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board would have led to the removal of physics degree granting authority at a number of public universities in the state. She worked with state and national physics and education leaders to make the case that these programs were valuable and to encourage the establishment of the Texas A&M coalition.  The APS president at the time, Barry Barish (Nobel Physics Prize, 2017), wrote to state officials to support this case. Students at a number of universities including two HBCU’s can still major in physics and a conference was organized in 2012 to support departments across the state as they responded to this crisis.


Although many others worked on these two projects, her willingness to establish contacts and maintain websites and arrange meetings was instrumental in serving physics education across the state of Texas.


At the national level, she encouraged the APS Council to add avenues of communication to the regional sections which continues to this day and served on a task force to establish a pricing model for physics journals published by the APS that would be fair for multiple types of institutions.  This task force also made APS article subscriptions free to all public libraries.


As a TSAPS member, she has participated in over 30 regional meetings and has served as a local organizer for two meetings on her home campus. These meetings serve the Texas Section of the American Physical Society, the Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the Society of Physics Students and bring together students and faculty from high schools, community colleges, and universities.