Physics Phenoms Nominees 2014

Carol Davis

Carol represents the heart of the department. She is available to undergraduates, graduate students and staff (and to faculty) whenever she is needed to provide a listening ear and a helping hand. She works hard and is conscientious. Carol is a team player who cares deeply about what happens in the department. I believe that she is the longest serving staff members and deserves to receive one of the first Physics Phenom awards.

Barbara Drauschke

Barbara is one of the most helpful, pleasant, and even-keeled people I've ever met.  We love her!


Barbara Drauschke has delivered another terrific semester of dedicated service to the Department of Physics.  She has worked tirelessly in support of every run of the mill duty and special project from the alumni reunion, to the open house, to the SEAS 8th grader festival, to the day-in and day-out needs of Professors Glauber, Hoffman, Jaffe, Manoharan, and Prentiss.

Jim MacArthur

I have never left Jim's electronics design lab without ideas on how to improve my design or things to try to debug the circuit I'm working on. He is always willing to help and never in a sour mood. Despite having a ton of projects put on him by various faculty, he always has the time to help individual students and never makes you feel afraid of asking questions. I've seen him help people who hardly know how to solder to people designing their own 6-layer boards.

Nils Sorensen

Nils has worked in the instructional lab group since 2008.  He is a gifted and enthusiastic physics teacher.  He works behind the scenes to make labs run smoothly, coordinates lab TF training and mentors lab students. He finds problems and fixes them without anyone's knowledge. And he regularly works evenings while balancing family responsibilities.

During Fall 2013, PS12b was offered for the first time. Nils took a leading role in designing and implementing the lab component of this course, which included three-week independent student projects. In addition to his laboratory function, he has become involved in a broader way with some courses, especially in FY13 when he collaborated in the development of PS12a.  During this course development, he was involved in lecture preparation and lecture demonstrations and participated in exam creation and grading.  Beyond his assigned duties, Nils has served several years as a teaching fellow in the Harvard Extension School and has been engaged whenever possible in outreach in and beyond Harvard, especially to the science teaching community.  He has enrolled in courses and workshops to augment his knowledge and teaching skills, and has attended professional meetings.

Students, faculty, and staff all recognize him as one of the most effective lab instructors in the physics department at Harvard.