This month we are pleased to announce the appointments and reappointment of department chairs. John McBride was appointed as the chair of the Department of Geological Sciences, replacing Scott Ritter who served for the past six years. Mike Dorais has also been appointed as associate chair, replacing John McBride who previously served as associate chair. Richard Vanfleet has replaced Ross Spencer, who served for the past six years as the chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, while Grant Hart has replaced Harold Stokes as the associate chair in that department. Greg Burton will continue to serve as the chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry along with his associate chairs, John Lamb and Adam Woolley. Their leadership will continue to help their departments flourish.

It has now been three years since we launched our redesigned website. Over the course of having, we have expanded our ability to reach our current and prospective students, alumni, faculty, and supporters. Along with the college website, our marketing team has developed into a skilled team that works hard to publicize events in the college, recruit potential majors, and inform about research being done.

We are constantly updating our website with news stories. We invite you to visit our website frequently and read about many exciting and interesting events that are taking place in the BYU world of mathematics and science.

Over a year ago, we asked for your help in finding a research development specialist to assist faculty in their pursuit of research funding. Conrad Monson, our research development specialist who joined us just over a year ago, has been a great asset in helping faculty find funding for their research.

His work has also opened up additional opportunities for our students in terms of mentored research. Through our on-campus mentorship program, undergraduate students who successfully apply for these mentorships receive funding to conduct cutting-edge research in their field of choice. Working alongside their professors, these mentored students are able to gain experiences that they consistently identify as one of the most valuable parts of their education.

Furthermore, mentorships can be incredibly helpful to students financially.

A large percentage of our students need employment now to help support their college education. Mentored research allows our students to work their way through school while also enhancing their future career prospects. It’s an astounding opportunity that I wish we could provide to every single one of our qualified undergraduates.

While money provided through college funds and through the research grants of our professors provides a very significant level of support for our students, there is still so much more we can do with the financial backing of our alumni and friends. Many of you have contributed significantly, and we are grateful for the added support we are able to provide to our students because of your generosity.

If you would like to help sponsor a mentorship and open up a whole new world of possibilities for one of our students, please contact Brent Hall via email at Brent can provide more information for you and even let you review student applications if there is a particular student or research area you would be most interested in.

We are also still accepting submissions for the Memory Bytes section of Frontiers. You can email us at with your anecdotes (of up to 200 words) about memorable times you may have had in our college.

Stay cool in the heat and enjoy the summer!

Continuing in His Element
Falling in Love with Chemistry
Grad Receives NSF Fellowship
New Chair Hopes to Achieve Goals
New Geology Chair Rocks
Skywalker Disappears into Sand
BYU gets another hall of famer
Cinderellas Are On the Ball
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Giving to the College
CPMS on Facebook
CPMS on Twitter
Spring 2013 Issue & Videos

Ping Pong Cannon


New mineral display donated by Lorin and Judith Pugh and housed in a display built by Joel Hall. Photo: Kurtis Dallon.


Geology Department Digs New Mineral Display

“Bad habits: fly fishing, mineral collecting, and riding horses,” reads Lorin Pugh’s autobiography.

Lorin Pugh’s “habit” of mineral collecting, a hobby he has enjoyed since his childhood, has led to a wonderful new exhibit for the Department of Geological Sciences and the Eyring Science Center.

“This is a collection built over many years. . . . Mr. Pugh decided to trust BYU with the collection because he knew it would benefit students,” said Jani Radebaugh, an associate professor in the department.

Pugh explained that three of his sons received scholarships to attend BYU, and he felt he should give back to the institution that gave so much to his family.

“It just seemed like a way to do something that would be of help to the university,” he said.

“The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new mineral display was held on Thursday, June 20, in the Pendulum Court. Attendees included donors Lorin and Judith Pugh, display designers Joel and Andrea Hall of JDH Group, faculty and administrators of the Department of Geological Sciences and the College of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and BYU president Cecil O. Samuelson.

Almost as beautiful as the minerals themselves, the display case was designed and built by Joel Hall, who also serves on the College Volunteer Leadership Council (CVLC). A great support to the university, he has contributed elsewhere on campus as well, including designing and building the displays in the Cougar sports “Hall of Champions.”

Read more of this story.


For more information about the college, contact Lynn Patten at
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