Skip to main content

Riggs receives 2024 Outstanding Senior Award

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is pleased to announce the 2024 Outstanding Senior Award recipient is Justin Riggs.
Justin Riggs at AGU 2023

The Outstanding Senior Award recognizes the achievements of West Virginia University’s most distinguished graduating seniors. The program was established in 1995 by the WVU Foundation, Inc. to commemorate its 40th anniversary of service to West Virginia University.

Riggs will graduate in May with a B.S. in Physics and minors in Applied Mathematics and Secondary STEM Education. “My research interests are in space plasma physics, specifically at collisionless shock boundaries like the Earth’s bow shock,” he said. “My past work has focused a lot on satellite observations of this location to work towards understanding how the energy changes as it moves from interplanetary space into Earth’s magnetosphere.” 

Riggs began conducting research under Professor Katy Goodrich as a sophomore. “I owe a lot of what I’ve learned as an undergraduate student to Prof. Goodrich, who spent extra time answering the questions I came to her with.”

"Justin has been wonderful to work with. His intelligence, ambition, and incredibly friendly curiosity made him a great member of our research group and we will miss him," Prof. Goodrich said. "I am excited to see what he does in graduate school! I know he'll do some great things."

Riggs is a native of Wheeling, WV. In his free time, he enjoys long distance running, playing pool with friends, and crocheting. In the fall, Riggs plans to continue his education at the University of Iowa Department of Physics and Astronomy, where he will work on plasma turbulence and its application to space environments under Prof. Gregory G. Howes.