Randy developed a passion for physics from experiencing many of the lectures from Harvey White’s Atomic Age Physics, the first Continental Classroom course broadcast by NBC in 1958. From this introduction he began to experiment with anything related to nuclear physics, right into college, too often seeing experiments and equipment that was not available to him. He developed a passion for laboratory experiences for undergraduate students that has only increased as ALPhA has created opportunities to interact with other like-minded faculty and entrepreneurs through the BFY conferences and the Immersion workshops. Randy was a co-PI for the first advanced lab topical conference at the University of Michigan in 2009, and has given two Immersion workshops. He has been a Board member of ALPhA and was president from 2014-2017.
Randy earned his engineering and physics degrees from the University of Tennessee, followed by postdocs at Johann Wolfgang University in Frankfort and the University of North Texas. He has held faculty positions at the University of Connecticut, the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, and The University of the South.
Randy is the Tom Costen Professor of Physics at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, where he teaches an advanced Physics course every semester for Junior physics majors as part of his teaching load. He prepares his students each spring for a set of accelerator experiments in a collaboration with the University of North Texas’ Physics Department. The results some of these experiments have been published in research journals, demonstrating the vast range of possibilities for the undergraduate, advanced laboratory course.
Besides working with the Jonathan F. Reichert Foundation to help increase its endowment to extend its present programs to more undergraduate physics advanced lab programs, he would like to develop a Foundation relationship with research labs around the country to provide some access to research equipment for non-research related experiments for undergraduate programs.