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Two Old Dominion University physics professors have been elected as fellows of the American Physical Society.

Rocco Schiavilla was honored for advancing the theory of nuclei as systems of nucleons bound together by two- and three-body forces, and particularly for studies of their electroweak interactions. He is closely associated with the Jefferson Laboratory, where he is presently interim head of the theory group.

Leposava Vuskovic was given her fellowship for important and sustained work on electron collisions with ground state and excited atoms by creating a number of remarkable experimental techniques.

Both Schiavilla and Vuskovic were promoted to the rank of professor this year.

The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who may have made advances in knowledge through original research and publication or made significant and innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. They may also have made significant contributions to the teaching of physics or service and participation in the activities of the society.

Vuskovic is an experimental atomic physicist who leads a group at Old Dominion with a remarkably wide range of interests, ranging from studying the effects of weakly ionized gas on propulsion and aerodynamics to studying collisions involving laser excited atoms to the development of new, more sensitive real-time techniques for ambient measurements of chemically significant trace gases which is being used to develop a gas-trace analysis of the human breath for lung cancer studies.

Vuskovic was recently honored by the Commonwealth of Virginia with an outstanding achievement award for her work with NASA. She is chairman of the GEC, succeeding at this nationally-recognized position the representatives from Sandia National Laboratories and the General Electric Co. She has recently been appointed to the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Conference of Balkan physicists.

"This is a great achievement," said Colm Whelan, chair of the Department of Physics at Old Dominion. "Only one-half of one percent of the membership of the American Physical Society are elected as fellows in any one year. We are very proud of our new fellows."

This year's election brings to seven the number of fellows in Old Dominion's physics department. The others are: Whelan; eminent scholars Mark Havey and Anatoly Radyushkin; Bernhard Mecking, a professor based at JLAB and; eminent scholar and faculty emeritus Wynn Harries.

More information on the fellowships is available at www.aps.org/fellowship/2002/index.html.

This article was posted on: November 19, 2002

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