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ODU Physics Students Win Top Prizes in Jefferson Lab Poster Competition

Two graduate students in experimental nuclear physics at Old Dominion University, Jixie Zhang and Sharon Careccia, won the top two prizes in the Jefferson Science Associates (JSA) Student Poster Competition, which was part of the 2008 Users Group Meeting at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News.

Both students are members of the research group of Gail Dodge, chair of ODU's Department of Physics and a researcher at Jefferson Lab.

Zhang won first place and a $1,000 prize for his poster titled "Exclusive pi-Electro-Production from the Neutron in the Resonance Region." Careccia won second place and a $500 prize for her poster titled "Double Spin Asymmetry for Exclusive pi-Production from Deuterium."

"This is a fantastic achievement," said Dodge. "Sharon and Jixie have made Old Dominion University very proud."

Zhang received a bachelor's degree from Tsinghua University in China and a master's from ODU. Careccia has two bachelor's degrees and a master's from ODU.

Earlier this month, Zhang and another ODU doctoral student in physics, Giovanni Chirilli, won prestigious Jefferson Lab Graduate Fellowships for 2008-09. Chirilli is the student of Ian Balitsky, ODU professor of physics and a theorist associated with the lab.

The fellowship program is administered by JSA, the company that manages Jefferson Lab. JSA is affiliated with the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA), the university consortium with overall responsibility for lab operations.

Eight 2008-09 fellowship winners will share $110,000 in stipends and research-related travel grants. ODU is the only university with two fellowship recipients. Others are from Florida State University, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Rice University, Duke University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. To be eligible, students must be enrolled at one of SURA's 60 member institutions.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Jefferson Lab features a mile-long continuous electron beam accelerator that is used for basic research of the atom's nucleus at the quark level. The facility also has a free electron laser program.

This article was posted on: June 19, 2008

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