National Society
of Hispanic Physicists


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A Brief History of Our Society

The fledgling organization began to achieve reality in August, 1995. A grant from the Sloan Foundation was awarded to the Pan-American Association for Physics to establish the National Society of Hispanic Physicists. The Founding Meeting of the Society was held in Austin at the University of Texas the next April.

Founding meeting of the NSHP

The Founders of the Society
Austin, 1996

Later that year the By-Laws and Constitution were adopted and the first group of officers were elected.

Founding Officers of the Society    
President J.D. Garcia University of Arizona
President-Elect Jorge Lopez UTEP
Administrative Executive Officer David Ernst Vanderbilt
Treasurer Carlos Ordonez University of Houston
Technical Officer Mario Diaz UT Brownsville

The first annual meeting was held in Houston, Texas in October 1997.

The US-Mexico Workshop on Teaching Introductory Physics, the first major project undertaken by the Society, was also held that month in Monterrey, Mexico. The project was a joint venture between the NSHP and ITESM to explore the goals of the introductory physics sequence and pedagogical developments to meet those goals.

Poster from the US-Mexico Workshop on Teaching Introductory Physics

That year was also the year that Jorge Lopez, of the University of Texas at El Paso, became the editor and publisher of The Hispanic Physicist, the official newsletter of the NSHP and of the NSHP News, the official listserv of the community.

The Society adopted the tradition of meeting jointly with other groups. Primarily this was done in order to reach out to as many students and faculty as possible. But this also allowed the NSHP to offer much more benefit to our members.

The Society began its joint meetings with the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science(SACNAS)in the fall of 1997. The relationship between NSHP and SACNAS continues to be fruitful.

SACNAS/NSHP Joint 2004 meeting

SACNAS/NSHP Joint Meeting -- October 2004

In January 2003, NSHP and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) held a joint meeting in Austin, Texas. The two organizations again met jointly in Albuquerque, New Mexico in January 2005. These meetings were particularly useful since -- in addition to the usual sessions and workshops of an AAPT meeting -- AAPT and NSHP reserved time for Joint Forums where members of AAPT, NSHP, and the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) could meet to discuss common issues.

NSBP/NSHP 2005 Joint meeting

NSBP/NSHP Joint Meeting -2005

The NSHP and NSBP began meeting jointly in February of 2003. The common challenges and opportunities facing both organizations has led to a strong partnership that continues today.

Other organizations that have generously hosted us at their meetings include the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the Texas Section of the American Physical Society(TSAPS), and the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society (SESAPS).

NSHP continues to meet with other groups when it is beneficial to both societies.

In a concerted effort both NSHP and NSBP joined forces with the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) in an appeal to the American Insitute of Physics to help provide Minority Serving Institutions better access to the AIP journals that are pivotal to research programs. In 2008, AIP and APS began a program allowing MSIs to electronically access their entire journal collections at a reduced cost.

That same year NSHP and NSBP joined with AIP to form the Liasion Committee on Under-represented Minorities (LCURM)

LCURM provides a forum allowing the 10 AIP organizations, NSHP and NSBP to discuss issues of diversity and inclusion within the physics community.