2010 Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference Invited Speakers

Vera Ananda, Greenlee ECE, K-8

Vera Ananda has a degree in physics and a teaching certification from the University of Colorado, Boulder. As an undergraduate, Vera worked as an assistant physics T.A., and received the Noyce Fellowship in 2005. Vera is a fourth-year secondary science teacher in Denver Public Schools. She teaches sixth grade geology, seventh grade biology, and eighth grade physics & chemistry. She has also taught high school chemistry and physics in Denver. Vera works predominantly with inner-city students, including those who qualify for free-and reduced lunch, immigrants, and English-language learners.

Jon Anderson, Centennial High School

Jon Anderson is a physics teacher at Centennial High School in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. He is currently the Teacher Coordinator for the PhysTEC Project, the teacher representative on the PhysTEC National Leadership Council and was the Teacher-in-Residence at the University of Minnesota from 2007-2009.  Jon received his BS from the University of Minnesota in 1986 and his MEd in Physics Education in 1992.  He has taught physics for 23 years at both the high school and college levels.  Jon is also a member of the "Physics Force," an outreach team from the University of Minnesota and a QuarkNet Lead Teacher.  Previously, he worked as a researcher on the DZero detector at the Fermilab and was the Curriculum Coordinator for an Upward Bound Math & Science program for 13 years.

Michael Cavagnero, University of Kentucky

Dr. Michael Cavagnero is a Professor of Physics at the University of Kentucky and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He has served as Chair of the UK Department of Physics & Astronomy since 2005. His recent research endeavors focus on theoretical studies of collision processes at cold and ultracold temperatures, particularly those involving polar molecules, and on the role of few-body states in ultracold gases. The Department which he serves has long supported several faculty-driven efforts in teacher education and professional development, especially those aimed at improving content knowledge and active learning pedagogies for both in-service and pre-service elementary and middle school teachers: These include Online Physics for Teachers (a distance-learning course for in-service teachers nationwide), Newton's Universe (a science education research program funded by NSF), and Physics & Astronomy for Teachers (an active learning classroom that currently prepares 160 pre-service elementary and middle school science teachers each year). The Department is currently exploring ways to extend its reach to high-school teacher preparation.

Tom Clark, Teach for America

Joel C. Corbo, University of California, Berkeley

Joel Corbo is a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is pursuing a PhD in physics as a member of Birgitta Whaley's research group. His research focuses on quantum information and large-scale quantum systems, with specific interests in quantum Monte Carlo simulations of condensed Bose gases and the role of decoherence in the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Joel is also passionate about teaching and mentoring at the undergraduate level and has been a graduate student instructor for nine semesters. During that time, Joel received the physics department's Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor award and was named a UC Berkeley Everyday Hero by a survey of its undergraduates. Joel has also been affiliated with The Compass Project since the summer of 2007, first as a teacher, and then as a coordinator and mentor.

Diane Crenshaw, Florida International University

Diane Crenshaw majored in physics and minored in Latin American Studies at Mount Holyoke College.  To combine her academic interests and passion for social justice, she joined Teach for America and became a physics teacher in a low-income school called Turner Tech in Miami, Florida.  She taught regular and honors physics, and started the first AP Physics program at Turner Tech, with 89 students enrolled.  She sought training at Florida International University (FIU) in Modeling Instruction, and implemented constructivist strategies in her classroom.  As a teacher, she wrote and received over $10,000 in grants for fieldtrips and lab equipment, and advocated for educational equity through speaking at benefits, recruiting new teachers, and leading a new teacher group.  Diane currently works at FlU in their Physics Education Research group as a PhysTEC Teacher in Residence.  At FIU, she recruits and trains pre-service physics teachers, and works to improve physics education through instructional reform.

Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University

Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University where she has launched the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the School Redesign Network and served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program.  She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and member of the National Academy of Education.  Her research, teaching, and policy work focus on issues of school reform, teacher quality and educational equity. From 1994-2001, she served as executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, a blue-ribbon panel whose 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future, led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching in the United States.  In 2006, this report was named one of the most influential affecting U.S. education and Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation's ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the last decade.   She recently served as the leader of President Barack Obama's education policy transition team.  

Among Darling-Hammond's more than 300 publications are The Flat World and Education: How America's Commitment to Equity Will Determine our Future; Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and be Able to Do (with John Bransford, for the National Academy of Education, winner of the Pomeroy Award from AACTE),  Powerful Teacher Education: Lessons from Exemplary Programs (Jossey-Bass: 2006); Teaching as the Learning Profession (Jossey-Bass: 1999) (co-edited with Gary Sykes), which received the National Staff Development Council's Outstanding Book Award for 2000; and The Right to Learn, recipient of the American Educational Research Association's Outstanding Book Award for 1998.

Lizanne DeStefano, University of Illinois

Dr. Lizanne DeStefano is the Fox Family Professor of Education and the Director of the Illinois STEM Education Initiative (I-STEM) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Dr. DeStefano's research interests include the evaluation and sustainability of innovative programs, multi-site initiatives, and programs serving special populations such as students with disabilities or those at risk for academic failure.  Her work has been funded by numerous agencies and foundations, including the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Education, the Joyce Foundation, the Lilly Foundation, Chicago Community Trust and Illinois State Board of Education.  She received her doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.  She is a former special education teacher and trained and practiced as a clinical and school psychologist.

Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers University

Eugenia Etkina has an extensive teaching experience in physics and astronomy instruction at middle school, high school and university levels. She earned her Ph.D. in physics education from Moscow State Pedagogical University. She now is an associate professor of science education at Rutgers University. She taught middle school physics and mathematics, high school physics and astronomy and university physics courses. She is currently teaching pre- and in-service teachers how to teach physics and works collaboratively with the department of Physics and Astronomy to reform introductory physics courses. She developed an approach to teaching physics where students construct their understanding using processes similar to those used by scientists in real world research. She studies how students develop and transfer scientific abilities.

Noah D. Finkelstein, University of Colorado-Boulder

Noah Finkelstein is an Associate Professor of Physics whose research is in physics education, and particularly the role of context in student learning. He is PI or Co-PI six nationally funded grants to create and study conditions that support students' interest and ability in physics. These research projects range from the specific (how do students use representations or analogies in learning physics), to the course-scale (the role of computer simulations in learning, or implementation of Tutorials), to the departmental / institutional scale (what models of educational reform are sustainable and scalable?).This research has resulted in over 70 publications. Finkelstein serves on five national boards in physics education including: the American Physical Society's Committee on Education, the Physics Education Research Leadership Organizing Council, and the Executive and Advisory Council of the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC). In 2007 he won the campus-wide teaching award, and the 2009 Diversity and Excellence Award.  He currently serves as Co-PI and Co-Director of the Integrating STEM education initiative at Colorado.  More on iSTEM at http://www.colorado.edu/istem  and more on Noah at http://spot.colorado.edu/~finkelsn

Kumar Garg, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy

Kumar Garg leads the education efforts for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and works on President Obama's "Educate to Innovate" campaign to improve science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM). As part of Educate to Innovate, which already has secured over $500 million in private sector commitments, Mr. Garg works with a broad range of industry, foundations, philanthropists, states, non-profits, professional societies, and federal agencies to build on the President's call to action.

Mr. Garg portfolio also extends into the President's overall innovation agenda, including efforts across agencies to use technology to drive learning and on the importance of fostering youth entrepreneurship.

Prior to his time in government, Mr. Garg worked as a Supervising Fellow and Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, focusing on education issues and representing parents seeking educational reform. As part of his work, Mr. Garg worked closely with highly-challenged local school districts and educators on resource issues, system reform and broader state fiscal policy.

Peter Garik, Boston University

Peter Garik is Clinical Associate Professor of Science Education in the School of Education at Boston University. His doctorate is in Condensed Matter Theory from Cornell University (1981). Dr. Garik did postdoctoral research in pattern formation at the University of Michigan before moving to Boston to work on science education in the Department of Physics at BU. He joined the BU School of Education in 1996. Dr. Garik has been PI for the project Improving the Teaching of Physics (Project ITOP) since 2005. In addition to his ITOP professional development work, his research interests include using computer simulations to teach quantum concepts to chemistry students, and professional development courses in science for K-8 teachers that emphasize independent inquiry by the participants.

Howard Gobstein, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Howard Gobstein is the Executive Officer and VP, Vice President, Research, Innovation and STEM Education of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.  He initiated and co-directs APLU's Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative, a movement of 121 public research universities, including 11 university systems, addressing the shortage of well-qualified science and math teachers in the U.S. He began his career with more than a decade with the U.S. GAO, where he led evaluations of government science programs and policies.  In the late 1980s, Gobstein joined the University of Michigan as Director of Federal Relations for Research, moving in 1991 to the Association of American Universities (AAU), where he served as Vice President and Senior Program Officer. In 1994, Gobstein became a fellow with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President.  In 1995, Gobstein joined Michigan State University (MSU) as Associate Vice President and Director of Federal Relations.  Gobstein left MSU in 2006 to join the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Gobstein has recently joined the advisory board of INSPIRE, Purdue's Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning.  He will be awarded the 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award of the Purdue University School of Engineering Education.

Hal Haggard, University of California, Berkeley

David Hammer, University of Maryland

David Hammer studied physics in college (Princeton), took a "break" to teach high school math and physics, and then went on to graduate school  (Berkeley), first in physics and then for his doctorate in science and math education.  After six years in Education at Tufts University, he moved to the University of Maryland, where for twelve years he's had a joint position in Physics and Curriculum & Instruction.  His research focuses on students' intuitive "epistemologies" (knowledge about knowing and learning), how instructors interpret and respond to student thinking, and on resource-based models of knowledge and reasoning.  He is currently pursuing these interests with students and colleagues at levels from elementary school through college majors. This fall, he will be returning to Tufts, where he will continue this work as well as begin more extensive collaboration with engineering education.

James Hamos, National Science Foundation

James E. Hamos received his Ph.D. in neuroanatomy at the Ohio State University, writing his dissertation on questions of synaptic circuitry in the nervous system.  After completing postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, he was recruited to the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1986 to apply techniques of cell biology to the study of Alzheimer's disease.  Ultimately, Hamos' work on Alzheimer's disease, especially in education and outreach efforts to families and the larger public, brought him into discussions of science literacy and illiteracy, and ultimately to local, state and national issues in mathematics and science education.  In 1993, the Chancellor of the Medical School asked him to create an Office of Science Education, an outreach endeavor that now involves thousands of students and teachers yearly.  From his Medical School positions, Hamos became intimately involved with Education Reform initiatives in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts including the Science & Technology Curriculum Framework Development Committee, the Science & Technology Assessment Committee, and the Mathematics and Science Advisory Council.  He also directed the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science, the state's only specialized high school.  For two years, Hamos held a joint appointment in the University of Massachusetts President's Office where he worked to construct K-16 linkages in the Commonwealth.  In 2002, Hamos accepted a role as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation where he now helps manage a broad national portfolio of projects in the Foundation's Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program.  Most recently, he has also begun to work in additional activities of NSF's Division of Undergraduate Education including the Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) and Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) programs.

Joseph Heppert, Kansas University

Joseph A. Heppert, Ph.D.  Currently, Associate Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Kansas (KU), Professor Heppert chaired the KU Chemistry Department from 2005 -2009 and was the inaugural Director of the Center for Science Education from 2001-2009. He has been active in projects to improve science teaching and science teacher preparation; sits on Senator Pat Roberts Advisory Committee on Science, Technology and the Future, is past chair of the American Chemical Society's Committee on Education, and works with the KU Center for Teaching Excellence on the introduction of more innovative teaching strategies in the natural sciences. Professor Heppert is currently the PI of a National Mathematics and Science Institute (NMSI) award to replicate the UTeach model of teacher preparation at KU. UKanTeach currently has over 160 enrollees at the beginning of its third year of implementation. He is also the interim director of a project to create an Educational Research Consortium involving researchers from four partner universities. This Consortium will assist with the research needs of the thirty-two regional school districts in the Kansas City Metropolitan area. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation funds this effort.

Felicitas Hernandez, University of California, Berkeley

Hernandez is finishing her junior year at UC Berkeley as a physics major and has been part of Compass since her freshman year. Her research experience includes work on single wall carbon nanotubes with Alex Zettl's group. She is also planning on pursuing applied mathematics research. Over this past fall semester, she worked with the Citizen Schools after school program, developing and teaching lessons on the physics of music for urban middle school students.

Theodore Hodapp, American Physical Society

Dr. Theodore Hodapp is the Director of Education and Diversity for the American Physical Society (APS) in College Park, Maryland.  The American Physical Society is the largest professional society representing physicists in the United States, publishing the most significant international journals in physics, and facilitating programs to represent physicists and their interests.  The APS Department of Education and Diversity (www.aps.org/programs) runs programs that advocate issues relevant to minorities and women, and in areas of education and careers.  Ted is also Principal Investigator of a large NSF and APS-funded national effort, the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (www.PhysTEC.org), which seeks to improve the quality and quantity of physics and physical science K-12 teachers.   Before coming to the APS, Dr. Hodapp served as Program Director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Undergraduate Education, working with programs in curriculum development and implementation, teacher preparation, scholarships, and the National Science Digital Library (he is currently co-PI on the ComPADRE digital library project, www.compadre.org, that is collecting physics education materials throughout the country).  Prior to coming to the NSF, Ted was professor and chair of the Hamline University Physics Department in St. Paul, Minnesota.  He recently served as chair of the Physics and Astronomy Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (www.cur.org).  His research interests include laser cooling, optical modeling, and physics education research.

Bert Holmes, National Science Foundation

Bert Holmes received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Kansas State University in 1976 following a B.A. in mathematics, a B.S. in chemistry and a minor in physics from The College of Emporia, where he was valedictorian of the class of 1970. Bert's academic career began at Ohio Northern University in 1975 and he was tenured in 1982. The following year Bert moved to Lyon College to become the first W.C. Brown, Sr. Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Math and Natural Sciences Division. Bert's philosophy on the role of undergraduate research in the education of young scientists can be found in a 1987 article in the Council of Undergraduate Research Quarterly, Vol. 8, pp. 62. Bert is co-author of the CUR booklet "How to Get Started in Research at Undergraduate Institutions" that is now in its second edition. His primary research interests are in understanding the reaction mechanisms for both unimolecular and bimolecular processes and measuring/calculating rate constants for halocarbons that are being considered as replacement compounds for CFCs and that are also greenhouse gases.  He has been awarded six NSF-CSIP/ILIP/CCLI grants for curriculum improvement, six Outstanding Teaching Awards, and numerous research grants from Research Corporation, ACS-PRF, NASA and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation grants. He has had 18 consecutive years of funding for his research from the NSF and he has generated $3 million in external support. His current NSF research grant is for $271,000 and runs from 2007-2010. In 1992, Bert received the prestigious Chemical Manufacturers Association Catalyst Award for outstanding achievement in promoting undergraduate chemical education. Since 1998, Bert has been at the University of North Carolina at Asheville where was appointed as the first Philip G. Carson Distinguished Chair of Science.  In 2008, he became a rotator at the National Science Foundation where he works on the Noyce, STEP, CCLI and S-STEM Programs.

Angela Kelly, City University of New York

Angela Kelly is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Science Education at Lehman College, City University of New York, where 200 secondary science teachers are enrolled in the M.S.Ed. Program and teaching in Bronx schools. She formerly taught high school physics and chemistry in NJ public schools while completing her Ph.D. in Science Education at Columbia University. She is principal investigator of several grant-funded initiatives, and co-PI of an NSF Noyce Fellowship Program in science and mathematics at Lehman. Her research interests include expanding physics options for underrepresented minority students, science teacher recruitment and retention, and incorporating new technologies in physics instruction. Angela is a past recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award at Teachers College, Columbia University, for her work in preparing high school teachers of physics and chemistry.

Shirley Strum Kenny, Stony Brook University

Dr. Shirley Strum Kenny is the former President of the State University of New York at Stony Brook and currently is an APLU Senior Fellow.  Dr. Kenny became President of Stony Brook University in 1994 and was the first woman to be named to the Stony Brook presidency.  While at Stony Brook she developed Brookhaven Science Associates to manage Brookhaven National Laboratory.  She oversaw a major campus building and beautification program; significant growth in research funding and development; Stony Brook's election to the Association of American Universities; entrance into Division I athletics; the creation of Stony Brook Manhattan; the MBA program and the Center for Wine, Food and Culture.  Enrollments increased by 5,000 and SAT scores by more than 100 points.  One of Dr. Kenny's major concerns is the improvement of undergraduate education.  In order to achieve this goal she established the Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University to create a new model of undergraduate education for major research universities.  Funded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Commission in 1998 published Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for American Research Universities.  Dr. Kenny received a bachelor of journalism and a BA in English from the University of Texas; MA from the University of Minnesota; PhD from the University of Chicago; and honorary doctorates from the University of Rochester, Chonnam National University and Dongguk University in Korea.

Mary Kirchhoff, American Chemical Society

Mary Kirchhoff is Director of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Education Division. She earned her Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of New Hampshire, an M.S. degree in chemistry from Duquesne University, and a B.A. in chemistry from Russell Sage College. Kirchhoff served as assistant director for special projects in the Education Division and was assistant director of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute for three years where she managed day-to-day operations of the institute. Prior to joining ACS, she worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and was an associate professor and an assistant professor of chemistry at Trinity College in Washington, D.C. In 2007, Kirchhoff was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science "for leadership in promoting the environmentally sound practice of green chemistry in education and research."

Sacha Kopp, University of Texas at Austin

Sacha Kopp completed his BS, MS, and PhD at the University of Chicago in experimental elementary particle physics, where he was a member of the CDF collaboration, studying 2 TeV proton-antiproton collisions at Fermilab.  He was first a postdoctoral fellow and later visiting assistant professor at Syracuse University, where he helped build a ring-imaging Cherenkov detector for the CLEO experiment at Cornell's Electron Storage Ring.  At UT Austin, he has continued his research in elementary particles, and studies neutrino mass and interactions with other matter at Fermilab.  Since 2008 he has served as Associate Chair of Physics (for Undergraduate Affairs), and has headed an initiative in pre-service elementary teacher preparation in the sciences.

Laird H. Kramer, Florida International University

Laird Kramer is an Associate Professor of Physics at Florida International University, a minority serving public research institution in Miami, FL. In 1996 he joined the faculty as a nuclear experimentalist and has in recent years turned to building a transformational education outreach model. Since 2003, he has led the Education Outreach component of CHEPREO, the Center for High Energy Physics Research and Education Outreach. CHEPREO uses its high-energy physics base as fertile ground for an extensive education and outreach effort based in diverse South Florida. CHEPREO-led efforts have transformed the undergraduate physics experience at FIU, creating more and better prepared majors by empowering students through the implementation modeling instruction-based studio physics courses, establishment of student-centric methodologies, and establishment of a high school/university research and learning community. These reforms have led to a rapidly growing PER group, the awarding of a PhysTEC Primary Partner Institute to FIU in 2007, and a recently awarded Noyce Fellowship program that encompasses mathematics, chemistry, earth sciences, and physics programs. The efforts have also served as basis for recent reforms of the secondary education science and mathematics programs at FIU, led by the PER group.

Angela Little, University of California at Berkeley

Angie Little is one of the founding members of The Compass Project at the University of California, Berkeley.   Having achieved her Masters in Physics at Berkeley, she is pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD in physics education, working with advisors Andrea diSessa and Alan Schoenfeld.  Her research interests include how undergraduate and graduate students understand and use physics models, equity issues in physics, and the interplay between language and learning.  Angie is currently teaching a course on physics models and problem solving for incoming freshman.  She has received both the Physics Department's Service Award for her work on developing The Compass Project and the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor award for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

John Loehr, Chicago Public Schools

John F. Loehr is the High School Science Manager for the Chicago Public Schools supporting science teaching and learning at over 120 high schools. In his 14-year teaching career, John has taught science and education courses to learners ranging in age from seven to fifty-seven at various schools, colleges, and universities in Illinois and Virginia. During his long association with the Chicago Public Schools, John has served as a science department chair, created technology infused science lessons, developed district-wide science curriculum frameworks and standardized assessments, helped develop new district accountability policies, and delivered numerous professional development workshops. In 2006, in conjunction with the American Institutes for Research, he coordinated the production of the first ever district-wide student attitude and engagement survey. His work as a classroom teacher and educational researcher has been published in the American Biology Teacher, Journal of Research and Science Teaching, Science Education Review, International Journal of Research & Method in Education, and the Handbook of College Science Teaching. He holds a B.S. in biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a M.S. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Ph.D. in science education from the University of Virginia.

Michael Marder, University of Texas at Austin

Michael Marder is Professor of Physics, Associate Dean for Science and Mathematics Education, and Co-Director of UTeach at The University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on mechanical properties of solids, particularly brittle fracture. He is a member of the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics, long a leading group studying complex nonlinear phenomena. He is the author of the graduate text Condensed Matter Physics, and working on a second edition. He has co-directed the secondary teacher preparation program UTeach at UT Austin since its first year. He also directs programs to help improve undergraduate instruction at UT Austin, and to increase access of under-represented K-12 students to careers involving science and mathematics.

Duane Merrell, Brigham Young University

Duane Merrell, assistant teaching professor of physics and astronomy was brought in specifically to work in preparing these future secondary science educators. Merrell has 18 years of science teaching experience in Utah public schools. Merrell came to BYU after teaching the past 18 years at Emery High School in Castle Dale, Utah. During those 18 years he was recognized and served the students and teachers of the State of Utah. Merrell is a past Presidential Award winner in science, Governor's Medal of Honor awardee, past president of the Utah Science Teachers Association (2 Times) and Utah Science Teacher Board Member for 20 years. Merrell has taught Utah State Endorsement Courses for under-prepared science teachers for the past 17 years.  Presently Brigham Young University is one of the leading Universities in the Nation in preparation of secondary physics teachers with the measure being the number of students graduating with physics teaching license credentials.  Summer efforts for 17 years have also certified many Utah Teachers with endorsements in teaching physics and physical sciences.

Valerie K. Otero, University of Colorado at Boulder

Valerie Otero is an associate professor of science education at the University of Colorado, Boulder and is involved in several university-wide projects. She is the director of the Colorado Learning Assistant Program, the Noyce Fellowship program, and the Streamline to Mastery program and is co-director of the CU-Teach initiative and the iSTEM initiative. Her research spans from studies on teacher knowledge to studies of how students learn various concepts in physics and the nature of science. Valerie has published broadly from Science magazine to Science and Children magazine.  She is co-author of the popular Physics and Everyday Thinking curriculum and co-author of the Physical Science and Everyday Thinking curriculum.  Valerie is principal investigator on over $6 million in grants to improve mathematic and science education and she and her colleagues have brought in an excess of an additional $7 million to fund efforts in discipline-based education research and science teacher preparation.

Jim Overhiser, Cornell University

Jim is a physics teacher at Cortland High School, a lead instructor for the Cornell CNS Institute for Physics Teachers (CIPT) and a 30 year veteran of the science classroom having taught at the intermediate, high school and college level.  He is currently on leave from Cortland and serving as the PhysTEC Teacher In Residence in the physics department of Cornell University. He has received several awards in his career including: Science Teachers Association of NYS Fellows Award – 2003,  Middle School Level Excellence in Science Teaching Award  - 1996-97,   Technology Club of Syracuse Teacher of the Year – 1998, Corp. for Public Broadcasting, Nat'l. Teacher Training Inst. Teacher of the Year 1995-1996, Outstanding Leadership in Science Ed. Award - 2001 - NYS Education Leadership Assoc. In his career, Jim has presented over 200 professional development workshops to teachers including Singapore, Puerto Rico, and Qatar. At Cornell, he runs the Undergraduate Teaching Assistance program and teaches an undergraduate/graduate course entitled, "Teaching and Learning Physics."

Monica Plisch, American Physical Society

Monica Plisch is Assistant Director of Education for the American Physical Society (APS) in College Park, Maryland.  She leads several initiatives within the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) project, including the PhysTEC coalition of more than 170 institutions and the PhysTEC Noyce Scholars program.  She is also leading  curriculum development projects to promote contemporary physics to high school students.  Before coming to APS, Plisch served as Director of Education Programs at the Center for Nanoscale Systems, at Cornell University.  She completed her doctoral studies in physics at Cornell University and her dissertation research was in nanomagnetics.

Jennifer Presley, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Jennifer B. Presley is Director of Science and Mathematics Education Policy at A?P?L?U, building on more than 25 years experience in education policy research and higher education management. Most recently, she was the founding director of the Illinois Education Research Council, an organization established to address P-20 state policy issues, and was a research professor at Southern Illinois University. Prior to joining the IERC, Dr. Presley was associate provost for planning and senior research scholar at the University of Maryland, College Park and a consultant/evaluator in Washington, D.C. She has also led offices of policy research with the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education, the University of Wisconsin System, and University of Massachusetts at Boston. Prior to graduate school she was management services officer of the Biochemistry & Biophysics Department at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Presley has more than 30 articles and reports on topics ranging from pre-school teacher supply to graduate education. She earned her bachelor's degree in political science from San Francisco State University, and her doctorate in higher education policy analysis from Stanford University.

Joan Prival, National Science Foundation

Dr. Joan Prival is a Program Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation.  She serves as Lead Program Director for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program while also serving as a program officer in the Math and Science Partnership program and the Advanced Technological Education program.  She received a B.A. degree in Biological Sciences from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.   As a research biochemist, she conducted studies on blood cell differentiation and leukemia at the National Cancer Institute.  Prior to coming to NSF in 1997, she served as an education policy specialist for 14 years with the Washington D.C. Public Schools.  In 1999 she was awarded a fellowship from the Japan Society for Promoting Science to study teacher preparation in Japan.  She has received six NSF Director's Awards, including the NSF Director's Award for Superior Accomplishment.

John Rice, Common Sense Communications

John Rice is the owner of CommonSense Communications, a Baton Rouge-based public relations and marketing firm.  A public relations professional for more than 18 years, Rice mixes his experience as a newspaper reporter and analytical skills to implement strategic plans for clients that are designed to get real results. In 2008, Rice helped GeauxTeach, the UTeach replication program at Louisiana State University, increase Step One enrollment from 16 students in Fall 2008 to 112 in Spring 2009. Rice started working with the University of Texas Physics Department in Spring 2008 to increase the number of physics majors to address the shortage of high school physics teachers. Since then he has also consulted with physics departments at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and Florida International University.

Mel Sabella, Chicago State University

Sabella is an Associate Professor of Physics at Chicago State University whose interests focus on improving STEM education for underrepresented students.  Sabella is the director of an NSF - CCLI project that integrates diverse research-based instructional material in the introductory urban physics classroom.  He is also director of the Physics Van Inservice Institute, part of a project supported by the Illinois Board of Higher Education that supports inservice teachers through professional development and an equipment lending service.  He is also a Co-PI on an NSF-Noyce grant that focuses on the professional nature of teaching and supports preservice students pursuing science certification.  Sabella earned his PhD in Physics Education Research from the University of Maryland in 1999.  After Maryland, he began a position as a postdoctoral research associate with the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington.  He has published papers on physics education in the Physics Teacher magazine, the 2002, 2003, and 2008 PER Conference Proceedings, the Physics Education Research Supplement to the AJP and the 2008 Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education.  He is currently the President of the Chicago Section of the AAPT, a member of the AAPT committee on Research in Physics Education, and is a co-editor of the Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings.  In 2008, Sabella co-organized the annual Physics Education Research Conference which focused on Diversity in PER.

Shelly Stachurski, Welby New Technology High School

Shelly Stachurski is a physics, chemistry, and astronomy teacher at Welby New Technology High School in Denver, Colorado.  Welby New Technology is a Title 1 public high school where English language learners make up 34% of the student population and 64% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch programs.  Shelly has a degree in biochemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a teaching certificate from the University of Denver. As an undergraduate Noyce Fellow at CU-Boulder, Shelly conducted chemical education research and worked as an astronomy and chemistry teaching assistant. Shelly is currently a Boettcher Scholar at the University of Denver where she will complete her master's degree in urban education in July 2010.

Richard N. Steinberg, City College of CUNY

Richard Steinberg is a Professor in the School of Education and the Department of Physics at City College of New York (CCNY). As Head of the Science Education Program, he works with hundreds of secondary science teachers every year. Prof. Steinberg received a B.S. degree in physics and mathematics from State University of New York at Binghamton and a M.S. degree in physics, a Ph.D. in applied physics, and a secondary teaching certificate from the Teacher Preparation Program at Yale University. After graduation, he was a research associate in Physics Education the University of Washington and a Spencer Fellow in Physics Education at the University of Maryland. He joined the faculty of CCNY in 1999. In 2004 he was voted CCNY Teacher of the Year Award. During sabbatical in 2007-08, he was a full time science teacher in a public high school in Harlem. His activities focus on research and development aimed at improving the teaching of physics/science, innovative instruction, teacher education, and outreach to local schools. He has more than 25 publications, 50 invited presentations, and $3 million in funding on topics ranging from elementary school science to quantum mechanics.

Gay Stewart, West Virginia University

Stewart is site leader for the UArk PhysTEC site, and a member of the PTEC Steering Committee. She received her Ph.D. in experimental high energy physics from UIUC in 1994. Her involvement with physics education reform began formally with her attendance at the Workshop Physics Conference at Dickinson College in 1993. Upon receiving her Ph.D., as a mother of two, she shifted her research purely to the condition of science education in the United States. In May, 1995 her work first gained NSF support through a DUE Course and Curriculum Development grant. She has served on education-related committees for APS (FEd Executive Committee, Committee on Education) and the APS council, and as an AAPT/PTRA National Advisory Board member and Regional Coordinator for Arkansas. She served as chair of the College Board's (CB) Science Academic Advisory Committee, was jointly appointed by the CB and the NSF as co-chair of the Advanced Placement Physics Redesign commission, and is on the new AP Physics Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee.  She chaired her department's undergraduate affairs committee during a transitional time, which saw the average number of graduating majors in physics increase by a factor of five in four years.  She is the teaching assistant mentor, and developed a preparation program based in part on the University of Minnesota FIPSE-supported project. It grew into one of four sites in physics for the NSF/AAPT "Shaping the Preparation of Future Science Faculty," and is still active. These efforts played a central role in preparing Arkansas to join the Physics Teacher Education Coalition. She is co-PI of an NSF GK-12 project that places graduate students in middle school mathematics and science classrooms. The results of that project were so favorable that getting mathematics and science teachers the opportunity to work together is a major component of the new $7M NSF-MSP project, of which she is PI, the College Ready in Mathematics and Physics Partnership. Through the NSF Noyce Scholarship program she has received $1,050,000 for support of student and master teachers.

Terri Taylor, American Chemical Society

Terri Taylor is the Assistant Director for K-12 Education at the American Chemical Society (ACS) and co-chair of the staff working group supporting the ACS celebration of the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) 2011. Taylor has worked with many ACS projects including the ACS-Hach scholarship and grant programs, ChemMatters magazine, the Chemistry in the Community textbook, Chemistry in the National Science Education Standards, 2nd Edition, and a variety of K – 12 teacher professional development activities. Prior to joining ACS in 2005, Taylor taught high school and community college chemistry in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas. She holds a Bachelors degree in Chemistry from Florida A&M University and a Masters degree in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Janice Trinidad, Manor New Technology High School

Dr. Janice Trinidad is a 2007 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned both a Ph.D. in physics and her teaching certification through UTeach, the latter as a Noyce Scholar. That same year, she began teaching at Manor New Technology High School (MNTH), which is a T-STEM academy, an Apple Distinguished School, and a demonstration site for the New Tech Network, a network of schools that uses project-based learning as the primary vehicle for instruction. Since MNTH opened in 2007, she has co-taught and written curriculum for several project-based courses that integrate the physical sciences with mathematics. She currently co-teaches Phylgebrics, a junior-level course that integrates Algebra 2 and Physics, and also manages Team 2789, the MNTH FIRST robotics team. This year, she worked as a PBL trainer for the Texas High School Project, the KSTF Scholars Program and the Think Forward Institute. The Think Forward Institute, housed at MNTHS, is a teacher residency program focused on training teachers to implement project-based learning.

Stamatis Vokos, Seattle Pacific University

Stamatis Vokos, Professor of Physics at Seattle Pacific University, has directed several projects on the learning and teaching of physics and has contributed to local and national science reform efforts in grades K-20.  In particular, he has provided leadership to teacher education and enhancement programs in Washington State, in which two thousand pre-service and in-service educators have participated.  He is currently PI of two NSF-funded projects, which strive to improve teacher diagnostic skills in physics and physical science.  Before joining SPU in 2002, Vokos was a senior member of the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington and contributed extensively to the Group's efforts.  At SPU, Vokos and his colleagues in physics and science education are involved in research and development projects on undergraduate course reform and teacher professional preparation and development. Funding from NSF, the Boeing Co., and the PhysTEC project has enabled a multi-year collaboration with FACET Innovations LLC and several of the largest school systems in Washington State to improve the effectiveness of the teaching of physics at a systemic level.  Vokos has served as member and two-term chair of the AAPT Committee on Research in Physics Education, member of the AAPT Committee on Graduate Education, and chair of the AAPT Physics Education Research Elections Organizing Committee.  He is member of the APS Executive Committee of the Forum on Education and chair of the National Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics (T-TEP), which is sponsored by APS, AAPT, and AIP.

John West, Seattle Pacific University

John H. West is the Executive Director, Corporate, Foundation and Major Gifts at Seattle Pacific University.  He joined SPU in 2001 to re-establish a Corporate/Foundation Relations Department as an integral component in the University's Capital Campaign.  He secured Capital Campaign endorsements from over 500 national and community leaders to energize giving and participation. As a result, he increased giving from Corporate and Foundation donors by a factor of six over a 4-year period, contributing to the most successful Capital Campaign in the University's 118 year history, and achieved and sustained an approved grant request average of about 60% for the past 7+ years.  At SPU he leverages his extensive prior business experience in international consulting and technology; his expertise with non-profits and NGO's; as well as his significant ongoing community involvement and service, both in the US and abroad.