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Physicist Gail Dodge Earns New Physical Society Honor

By Tom Robinson

Old Dominion University's physics professor Gail Dodge has been honored as Woman Physicist of the Month by the American Physical Society (APS).

Dodge, who won an Outstanding Faculty Award last year from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, is the second female physicist to be recognized in a new APS program.

In January, the society's Committee on the Status of Women began honoring one woman in physics per month who has positively impacted other lives and careers.

At ODU since 1995, Dodge recently coordinated the Mid-Atlantic region's Undergraduate Women in Physics Conference that was held at the University. The regional conference was part of a nationwide series aimed at supporting and promoting female college students in science and other STEM disciplines.

The former chair of Old Dominion's Department of Physics, Dodge is a top researcher at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News. ODU is J-Lab's leading research partner.

Dodge directs a vigorous research program at J-Lab studying the fundamental structure of the neutron. That work has led to articles in several high-profile publications, presentations at international conferences and five Ph.D.s awarded to her graduate students.

At ODU, Dodge co-founded the Women in Physics group and co-hosts dinners for female students. Her mentorship is credited for allowing Old Dominion to attract and retain an unusually large percentage of female graduate students - about 30 percent - in physics.

January's honoree was Caroline Nowlan of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Each monthly winner of the APS honor will be featured on the Women in Physics website, announced in the APS "Gazette," and recognized at a reception at an APS national meeting.

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