Dr. Richard Gelderman Receives the OCSE Faculty Award for Excellence in Service
- Author: Tuesday, May 26th, 2020
Dr. Richard Gelderman from the Physics and Astronomy Department is the recipient of the 2019-2020 OCSE Faculty Award for Excellence in Service. Anyone who was near the WKU Campus or the greater Bowling Green area on the afternoon of August 21, 2017 was directly touched by the efforts of Dr. Gelderman. He was the prime driver behind the massive and wildly successful celebration of the “Great American Eclipse.” Images and sound from L.T. Smith Stadium were heard and seen locally, and around the world as part of the live coverage of the eclipse by timeanddate.com. This is just one example of the nearly endless list of aspects of the eclipse celebration that were either directly managed or inspired by Dr. Gelderman. While the eclipse is certainly the major highlight of his recent service work, Dr. Gelderman is consistently active in serving WKU and our local community for the purposes of science education and the involvement of students. His passion for service and science education are behind many events in the Bowling Green and surrounding areas. Dr. Gelderman is the primary organizer for the SKy Science Festival and the Just Add Science booths seen at arts and culture festivals regionally. He is also the catalyst for the local series of Science Café events in Bowling Green. The Physics Olympics, first conceived by Dr. Gelderman in 2002, celebrated its 19th iteration in 2020 with a theme of 20/20 Vision Physics. This half-day event is includes five different challenge and project competitions that reward teamwork, communication, and creativity. Dr. Gelderman is also on the Board of Directors of the Robotically Controlled Telescope (RCT) Consortium and serves as the Observatory Director for the 1.3-m RCT at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona.