Georgia Southern University Physics Department Chair and Professor Mark Edwards, Ph.D. Named Fuller E. Callaway Chair
Georgia Southern University Physics Department Chair and Professor Mark Edwards, PhD has been named a recipient of the Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair. The distinguished award recognizes professional accomplishment in classroom education. Edwards is the second Georgia Southern professor to receive the honor. James Oliver, PhD, director emeritus of the James H. Oliver, Jr. Institute of Arthropodology and Parasitology, was a Callaway Chair prior to his retirement from Georgia Southern.
“This is a terrific honor for Mark Edwards and for Georgia Southern University,” said Georgia Southern President Brooks Keel, Ph.D. “Not only is he an outstanding teacher, but a scholar and noted researcher. He is a great example of the outstanding faculty members that work at Georgia Southern. I would like to personally extend my congratulations to him on this terrific and well-deserved achievement.”
The honor will allow Edwards to initiate some new interdisciplinary research projects to expand his research portfolio. In addition, he plans to increase the involvement of both graduate and undergraduate students in his research. Ultimately, Edwards hopes to be able to use the results of the new projects to improve physics classroom instruction.
“It’s a great honor for me to be named the Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Physics. It has been very easy for me to excel at Georgia Southern because I have had the chance to work with great students, faculty and administrators during my 22 years here,” said Edwards. “I hope to live up to this honor in the future and to do Georgia Southern University proud with my future work.”
The Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Trust was established in 1968 by the Callaway Foundation, Inc. with the purpose of encouraging enrichment of the academic programs of senior colleges and graduate schools located in Georgia by providing funds for the establishment of professorial chairs in order to enable the institutions to retain and add superior faculty members. Following an official nomination by the University, each submission is reviewed by a four person Board that consists of the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, the president of the private senior college or university in Georgia with the largest undergraduate enrollment (Emory University), the executive director of the Atlanta University Center and the Georgia Market President of Bank of America, N.A.
At Georgia Southern, Edwards not only serves as chair of the Physics Department, but he has taken a leadership role in fostering student learning and success. Edwards led the development of an innovative approach to teaching physics called Studio Physics. The unique course integrates separate lecture and laboratory classes into a seamless educational experience that is designed around active, inquiry-based learning. As a result of this integrated approach, Edwards and his colleagues have seen a significant increase in student success in this difficult subject area.
Edwards is a past winner of Georgia Southern ’s Excellence in Service Award, the College of Science and Technology Excellence in Service Award, the Excellence in Research and/or Scholarly Activity award, a Georgia
Southern University Foundation, Inc. Fellowship and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. His research interests include high-field effects in pulsed-laser/atom interactions and Bose-Einstein condensation of trapped, neutral atoms. He is a recipient of numerous National Science Foundation (NSF) grants for projects ranging from “Instrumentation for Studies of Optional Properties of Inert Gasses” to “Modeling Quantam Logic Operations with Ultra-cold Atoms in Optical Lattices.” He has also served as a visiting scholar at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) within the U.S. Department of Commerce.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in physics degree from Georgia Southern College (now Georgia Southern University), a Master of Arts degree and a Ph.D. in physics from Johns Hopkins University.