Physics major Louis Varriano has been named a Torchbearer, the highest student honor bestowed by the University of Tennessee. The award recognizes seniors who have exemplified both academic achievement and a profound commitment to others via contributions to the university and the community.
Varriano has had an impressive tenure since he arrived at UT as a freshman in the fall of 2013, capping his initial year of study with the physics department’s Outstanding First Year Student award. He is the president of UT’s thriving chapter of the Society of Physics Students, which has won recognition from both the university and the national SPS office for their outreach and community service. He has also won the department’s Talley Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Leadership.
Varriano also has a notable list of leadership and research activities, including Editor-in-Chief of Pursuit, UT’s journal of undergraduate research, and service as departmental representative on the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee for the College of Arts and Sciences. He has won Chancellor’s Honors for both Extraordinary Professional Promise and Extraordinary Academic Achievement. He was also honored with the national 2016 Society of Physics Students Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research for his work on “Neutron-mirror neutron oscillations in a residual gas environment.” He spent the summer of 2016 working on a dark matter experiment at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) in L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy, where he was part of the XENON1T direct dark matter detection experiment.
Varriano, a graduate of White Station High School in Memphis, was surprised in class by Vincent Carilli, Vice Chancellor for Student Life, who stopped by to deliver news of the Torchbearer honor.
Learn more about UT’s Torchbearers.