Physicist Andrew Zwicker received the oath of office from Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto on Tuesday to become a member of the New Jersey General Assembly.
“Andrew already has demonstrated the kind of tenacity that is instrumental to advancing causes that benefit middle-class and working people in New Jersey,” said Prieto. “Where others may see a challenge, Andrew sees an opportunity. That outlook will make him an excellent addition to the Assembly’s Democratic caucus.”
Zwicker, the head of science education at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, represents the 16th Legislative District, which includes municipalities in Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon and Somerset counties. He narrowly defeated Republican incumbent Donna Simon in the general election last November.
“At the heart of my experience as a physicist is an ability to find evidence-based solutions to complex problems. That idea is as applicable in the statehouse as it is in the lab,” Zwicker said. “The people of the 16th District asked for a new voice in Trenton, and I am committed to making that voice loud, clear and unwavering on their behalf.”
Named a leading contributor to physics education by the American Association of Physics Teachers, Zwicker is president of the Princeton University chapter of Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society, an 80,000-member society of scientists and engineers. He is the editor for the newsletter “Physics and Society,” a publication of the American Physical Society, where he is a fellow. Zwicker also serves as an academic adviser at Princeton University, an academic-athletic fellow for the Princeton women’s soccer team, and a part-time lecturer in the Princeton University Writing Program.
A graduate of Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, Zwicker holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Bard College and a master’s degree and doctorate in physics from Johns Hopkins University. His post-doctoral work focused on fusion energy research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and internationally.
Zwicker resides in Kingston with his wife and children.
He was one of several new Assembly members elected in November who took office on Tuesday. All 80 Assembly members were sworn in at the War Memorial in Trenton for two-year terms. Democrats will control the Assembly 52-28.
Vincent Prieto of Secaucus was named New Jersey General Assembly Speaker again, and Lou Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) returned as Assembly majority leader.
Jerry Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset) returned as Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore, Shavonda Sumter (D-Passaic/Bergen) returned as Majority Conference Leader, and Gary Schaer (D-Passaic/Bergen) was named Assembly Budget Committee chairman again.