Several years ago, Purdue University, along with the Indiana Space Grant Consortium, began holding the annual Indiana Astrophysics Meeting. This meeting brings many experts and professors together to discuss their current findings in the field of astrophysics. Dr. John Millis, assistant professor of physics at Anderson University, has not only been a part of these meetings but also recently chaired the planning committee for the meeting.
Each year, NASA provides funding for grants distributed in each state. The money is then used to host competitions where monetary prizes are given to winners to fund further research. The Indiana Astrophysics Meeting is the state’s annual meeting that receives money from these grants.
“The idea of creating this meeting was to gather together faculty and students to talk about and hear about research in the various fields of physics,” said Millis. “One of the underlying motivations of this meeting is partnering with other great institutions that may not have the vast resources like larger universities to work on future research.”
Millis started attending these meetings a few years ago when he was invited to give one of the faculty talks. He spoke on research he had conducted with the VERITAS gamma ray instrument, studying how different stars evolve. “I spoke on my latest research and then, talking with the organizing committees, I expressed an interest in holding a meeting at AU.” Last year, the Indiana Astrophysics Meeting was hosted by AU, held at the Flagship Center.
Anderson University embraced the opportunity to host such a high concentration of physics scholars. “We were happy to host the astrophysics meeting, giving outsiders an opportunity to see and experience our faculty and share our hospitality,” said Dr. Marie Morris, provost at Anderson University.
The 2012 meeting was held Oct. 9 at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Three AU students attended the event.
“Attending the meeting was a great experience,” said Matthew Farlow, senior physics major. “It was a chance to see what studies are occurring at different schools. It was also a great opportunity to interact with faculty from various doctorate programs that I am interested in.”
As an overseer of the academic programs and faculty at AU, Morris appreciates seeing faculty involved in external professional development. “One of the president’s three strategic imperatives is reputation. Since I have been here, we have strived to tell the AU story and the accomplishments of our graduates and faculty,” said Morris. “Dr. Millis is one of our many exceptional faculty members who wants to be involved in his industry, but he also wants to integrate faith with learning.”
— Leah Streeval is a junior from Edinburgh, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in entrepreneurship. Streeval is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.