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Tennessee Academy of Science Honors Two
December 23, 2013

Walters State Community College left the 123rd Tennessee Academy of Science Meeting with two big honors. Dr. Eugene de Silva, associate professor of physics, was named a fellow of the organization, while Gabriel Baker of Sevierville received first prize for her research presentation. 

Being named a fellow by the Tennessee Academy of Science is one of the highest honors given by the organization. The award represents individuals who have completed noteworthy research work for the organization and the sciences in general. 

“For me, as a research and an educator, it’s exciting to have been recognized for the work I have done both as a teacher and as a researcher in chemistry and physics,” said de Silva. 

Baker was honored for her research into the physics of martial arts. This was her first research presentation, although she had done poster presentations. de Silva stressed the significance of Baker’s accomplishments.

“The annual meeting is open to everyone, even graduate students. Gabriel’s presentation was really at that level.” He added that this was the first time a Walters State student had won first place honors. 

Baker isn’t sure what her future holds, but she knows she will be involved in research somehow. 

“I know I want to be involved in research, and I am open to anything in the science field. I would like to continue working to earn a doctorate and to do research in physical therapy,” Baker said. 

“I have always been fascinated by the sciences. In this field, you can make real changes and I would like to be part of that,” she added. 

de Silva is an advocate of involving research in education.

“Students accept or reject some of the teachings, depending on personal experience. By giving students the own their own the principles of a subject, they realize and accept the facts,” said de Silva.

Walters State will host the conference next spring. 

In the photo: Dr. Eugene de Silva, professor of physics, and student Gabriel Baker both received major honors at the Tennessee Science Academy fall meeting.