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Retired professor establishes scholarship for physics students

Dr. John Shaw

Dr. John Shaw, who retired in 2016 from Northwest Missouri State University, committed to giving $2,000 annually to award a scholarship to students majoring in physics or nanoscale-physics.

“I taught physics at Northwest for 28 years before retiring last June,” Shaw said. “The physics programs are being brought back to Northwest, and I wanted to help attract students to physics at Northwest by establishing a scholarship that could be used both to recruit freshman and reward continuing students.”

Shaw began teaching at Northwest in 1988 and taught courses in physics, astronomy, electronics, modern physics II and quantum mechanics. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Purdue University.

Since retiring, Shaw has been conducting research with Dr. Himadri Chakraborty, associate professor of physics at Northwest, and traveling to visit friends. But he misses the student interaction at Northwest. Shaw said the student body and his love for Northwest inspired him to establish the scholarship.

“Teaching is what I really enjoy,” he said. “Certainly, I still have relationships with the faculty I worked with and those relationships I maintain, but who I don’t see anymore are the students.”

He added, “I believe scholarships are even more important today given that the state provides only 30 percent of the costs of educating a college student in Missouri today as compared to 60 percent when I was a student. I hope this provides the recipients with some financial help as well as recognition for their academic abilities.”