Blaer Awards

These annual awards are made to undergraduate students, graduate students or postdocs in the Columbia and Barnard Physics and Applied Physics Departments for outstanding efforts in education and public outreach involving underserved communities and/or efforts to increase diversity in the physics department community.  The award is named after Allan Blaer, Professor Emeritus, longstanding director of undergraduate studies and the Columbia University Science Honors Program, and an exceptional and passionate teacher.

Nominations for 2024 will open in April.


2023 Winners

Colin Adams is recognized for his numerous contributions and years of service to DEI initiatives in the physics departments at Barnard and Columbia. He has played a leading role in the Community Round Table discussion series, was central in organizing the Nevis Retreat, and was an experiment leader at Girls' Science Day. He is also recognized as a representative of the department at APS IDEA and AIP Team-up, and for his continued advocacy for and support of change in the department.

Ceaser Stringfield is recognized for his numerous contributions to DEI and community-building efforts, particularly for undergraduates in physics. He has a leading role in SPECTRA, including time spent supporting Snack&Solve, PSP and other outreach programs. He is also recognized for his work advocating for student interests as a member of the CDI and the countless hours he volunteers to DEI, community and social initiatives around the department.


2022 Winners

Emily Tiberi is recognized for her numerous contributions to DEI initiatives in the physics department: her organizational role in the Community Round Table series and for the Howard-Columbia open house, her central role on the physics department APS IDEA team and the AIP TEAM-UP team including her work on the departmental Community Survey, her foundational role in the new PhysREFs initiative, and her two years of dedicated service on the CDI committee.

John Staunton is recognized for his many contributions to the physics department community: for his work as a member of SPECTRA, including his organizational role in the Physics Scholars Program and in the weekly Snack & Solve events, as well as his implementation of an active learning initiative in TA sessions of the 1400 physics series.  He is also recognized for his foundational role in the new PhysREFs initiative.


2021 Winners

Anjali Verma is recognized for her work as the co-founder of Columbia Spectra, including developing a mentorship program for URM students in physics and the new Physics Scholars Program, as well as her work to help improve the introductory undergraduate classes, in addition to the many other initiatives she has engaged in to create a more inclusive department.

Noah Bittermann is recognized for his foundational role in developing and organizing the outreach program at Democracy Prep Harlem High School, including the DPHHS Coding Club.