Physics Major Wins Miller Award for Teaching and Academic Excellence

MELBOURNE, FLA.—At Florida Institute of Technology’s annual Honors Convocation, W. Douglas Cramer, who recently graduated with a doctoral degree in physics, received the John E. Miller Award. The award is for excellence in graduate student teaching and outstanding academic excellence.

This award signifies our graduate students’ enthusiasm for learning and teaching as well as a resolute desire to understand and communicate new scientific ideas and tools to our undergraduate students. It also celebrates a sense of partnership for our graduate students in the university’s educational mission,” said Hamid Rassoul, dean of the College of Science and professor of physics and space sciences.

Cramer specializes in magnetic storms on Earth. These storms, driven by variations in the sun and its solar wind, can lead to spectacular auroras in the polar regions, but may also cause space weather problems for modern technology. Advised by Niescja Turner, Department of Physics and Space Sciences associate professor, Cramer successfully defended his dissertation “Investigation of Ring Current Response to CIR-Driven Geomagnetic Storms” last month.

Originally from Amarillo, Texas, Cramer graduated from C.E. Ellison High School in 1986. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from

Texas A&M University in 1990 and a master’s degree in space sciences from Florida Tech in 2007.

Cramer’s past awards include the 2011-2012 Outstanding Graduate Student in PSS, a 2008-2012 NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program Fellowship, and a 2005-2007 NASA-Florida Space Grant Consortium Graduate Fellowship.

The Miller Award was established in 1995 in memory of the former physics professor and the university’s longtime vice president for academic affairs. Miller also briefly was university president between the terms of Jerome Keuper, founding president, and President Lynn Edward Weaver.

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