Florida Tech Student Earns Excellence in Physics Award

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Alec Guenther has earned Florida Institute of Technology’s 2013 James G. Potter Award for Excellence in Physics. He qualified for the award based on his all-around academic excellence and his top score in a physics question and calculation competition. Guenther is currently working on his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering at Florida Tech.

“For me, this award shows that I can take pride in what I’ve done at Florida Tech and it proves to me that I am just as capable as I think I am,” said Guenther. “It shows me that I am on the right track and that my life is heading exactly where I want it to go.”

Guenther is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies and will become the president of IEEE-AESS (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society) next fall. He plans to follow Florida Tech’s FastTrack Program and graduate with his master’s degree in aerospace engineering with just one additional year of school. After his studies, he hopes to work for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., to help explore the deepest reaches of space. According to Guenther, “this is where humanity’s destiny lies, amongst the stars.”

Originally from Kissimmee, Fla., Guenther attended the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Gateway High School and graduated in 2011. The program offers excellent students an opportunity to pursue a challenging high school course of study.

Potter, the award’s namesake, retired as head of the physics department at Texas A&M University and became head of the physics department at Florida

Tech in 1968. In the 1980s, he retired as department head, but continued operating the physics laboratories and training graduate student assistants.

The Potter Award has been given in his memory since his death in 1992.

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