Barkotel Zemenu, a rising senior majoring in Physics (Intensive), co-president of Yale Society of Physics Students (SPS), and member of Yale Wright Lab’s Moore group, was named the 2023 recipient of the Jocelyn Bell Burnell Outstanding Leadership Scholarship. This award, annually given to one student in the nation for demonstrating academic excellence and leadership, is the highest honor in the scholarship program administered by SPS, an organization of the American Institute of Physics.
According to the official selection criteria, the SPS Scholarship Committee considers, with equal weight, three factors in evaluating award applications: “high scholarship performance both in physics and overall studies, the exhibition of the potential and intention for continued scholastic development in physics, and active participation in SPS programs.”
Zemenu expressed his gratitude to the mentors who have guided him in his journey, including his research advisor David Moore, associate professor of physics; and Sarah Demers, professor of physics, director of undergraduate studies and Yale SPS advisor. Zemenu said, “From hands-on research assistance to academic guidance to personal mentorship, their support is irreplaceable.”
Moore commented, “Receiving this scholarship highlights the exceptional work Barkotel has been doing in the department, not just in academics but also in research and through leadership positions in SPS. We are quite lucky that Barkotel has been working with us in our research group over the past few years. His research is key to qualify materials for use in future neutrinoless double beta decay experiments, and will have a significant impact on the design of the upcoming nEXO experiment.”
Demers said, “Barkotel’s leadership in the physics department has had a strong positive impact on our intellectual climate and strengthened our community. He has hosted speakers, made connections between students and faculty, supported his peers through academic advising, and worked as a tutor in our introductory classes. It’s fantastic to see his scholarship recognized with this award!”
For more information about the Jocelyn Bell Burnell Outstanding Leadership Scholarship, please see the link below.