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Lycoming College's physics and psychology departments will benefit from a $100,000 grant from the George I. Alden Trust in Worcester, Mass. The grant will be used to purchase physicsA> laboratory equipment and upgrade psychology classrooms and labs.
"Lycoming College is grateful for the generous and continued support from the Alden Trust," said Lycoming President Dr. James E. Douthat, noting that the College received a similar grant from the trust a few years ago for its biology department. "The upgraded labs will continue to foster a hands-on learning environment where our students gain valuable experience while engaging in collaborative research with our faculty. The grant will enhance the preparation of students in these two programs for graduate school and the many other paths that lead to their professional careers."
The physics department will acquire equipment in the areas of mechanics, electromagnetism, modern physics and condensed matter, and thermodynamics. During the last 10 years, 40 percent of the department's seniors went to graduate school in physics or astronomy, as compared to a national average of 35 percent, according to the American Institute of Physics, and in the same period, 45 percent of majors have been women, compared to just more than 20 percent nationally. Because of the department's emphasis on lab-based instruction, majors and non-majors alike learn experientially beginning in the freshman year.
Psychology is consistently one of the two largest majors at Lycoming. The department enrolls an average of 450 students per semester, nearly one-third of the student body. Lycoming is among just 5 percent of institutions nationally that offer introductory psychology with a laboratory component. In addition to classroom and laboratory renovation, the grant will fund a centrifuge and computers, along with built-in cabinets, benches and tables, for the department's biopsychology lab.
Established in 1912, Alden Trust supports "institutions that demonstrate a combination of educational excellence, exciting programming, and efficient and effective administration" and capital projects that "contribute significantly to the intellectual growth of students and will enhance an institution's mission."
Founded in 1812 and celebrating its bicentennial during the 2011-12 academic year, Lycoming College is a national liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. It offers 35 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation.