January 19, 2011 — The Jefferson Scholars Foundation at the University of Virginia has awarded Louis A. Bloomfield its 2011 Faculty Prize. Bloomfield, a physics professor in the College of Arts & Sciences, has been a member of the faculty since 1985.
Awarded every other year to an outstanding U.Va. faculty member, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Faculty Prize is meant to foster an ongoing dialogue about Jeffersonian ideals. The recipient, selected by the Jefferson Scholars Alumni Advisory Committee, recognizes and celebrates commitment to leadership, scholarship and citizenship, the same criteria used in the selection of Jefferson Scholars.
"Professor Bloomfield's passion and commitment to his students have made him a powerful force at the University. His long list of accomplishments is unusually impressive, and he is a most worthy recipient of the Faculty Prize," Jimmy Wright, president of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, said.
Bloomfield said he shares the foundation's love of learning, sharing and discovery.
"In a culture that so often reduces higher education to the business of credentialing and career advancement, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation has been a steadfast champion of scholarship and of the academic community that is the University of Virginia," he said. "I am truly flattered and honored to be associated with the foundation."
As a recipient of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Faculty Prize, Bloomfield will receive $5,000 to support future research and inquiry and will be granted the opportunity to address the University community on the ideals of leadership and citizenship in the field of physics.
Bloomfield's class, "How Things Work," has long been one of the most popular offerings at the University. This class, along with his introductory textbook, "How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life," his book for general readership titled "How Everything Works: Making Physics Out of the Ordinary," and his website, have allowed him to introduce physics to legions of students and the general public.
He is a past recipient of the Phi Eta Sigma Teacher of the Year Award, the Henry St. George Tucker Award, the Alumni Board of Trustees Young Faculty Teaching Award and the Commonwealth of Virginia's Outstanding Faculty Award. He has also received awards from the American Association of Physics Teachers, the National Science Foundation, and the American Physical Society.
Bloomfield is the author of 104 publications in the fields of atomic clusters, physics education, autoionizing states, high-resolution laser spectroscopy, nonlinear optics and computer science. He has also presented 56 invited talks in the United States and internationally.
A National Science Foundation pre-doctoral fellow at Stanford University, he received a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford and his bachelor's degree from Amherst College. Prior to joining the U.Va. faculty, he was a post-doctoral member of the technical staff of AT&T Bell laboratories.
The 30-year-old, not-for-profit Jefferson Scholars Foundation serves the University of Virginia by identifying, attracting and nurturing individuals of extraordinary range and depth who possess the highest qualities of leadership, scholarship and citizenship.