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Julian Smith Wins Award in Academics

Earlier this month, Julian Smith of Vashon Island, Washington, was one of two Washington State University seniors honored with the2011 Big Ten Senior Award in Academics.

Smith graduatedfrom WSU in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a 3.48 grade point average. As an undergraduate, he shared his affinity for physics by serving his department and the campus community as a teaching assistant for a calculus-based physics lab.  

In addition to his rigorous academic course load, Smith was active in the WSU Physics Club and Astronomy Club. Nominator Gordon O. Johnson, director of undergraduate laboratories for WSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, calls Smith a dedicated tutor who unselfishly shares his time to assist others. Smith is “interested in trying to get students to understand and enjoy physics as he does,” writes Johnson in his nomination letter.

The Big Ten Senior Awards continue a longstanding WSU tradition by honoring one male and one female graduating senior in one of five categories: Academics, Athletics, Campus Involvement, Community Service, or Visual/Performing Arts. The awards date back to the early 1900s, when they were called the “Big Five Men” and “Big Five Women.” Winners are selected by WSU’s Student Alumni Ambassadors. For more information, visit