Biographies: University of Arkansas
Marc Reif, 2002-2003
I was born and mostly raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas by two artists from New York City. Throughout most of my childhood I thought I would be an archeologist or a biologist. I took degrees in anthropology (BA, University of Arkansas 1986) and teaching biology (MAT, University of North Carolina, 1989). I then worked as a middle school teacher in North Carolina and Central America for four and a half years. That was just long enough to thoroughly convince me that teaching middle school wasn't the career for me. After "quitting teaching" (I worked as a museum educator) for three years, I took a job teaching physics at the high school I attended, thinking it might lead to a biology position. Almost nine years later I've never taught biology but I'm still teaching physics. This is in no small part due to Dr. Gay Stewart of the University of Arkansas, who took me under her wing in my first, overwhelming year of teaching physics. It's also due to the beauty of the subject and to the opportunities it affords to interact with people (mostly students) on an intellectual level.
As a teacher, I am a modeler who loves technology and (almost) never teaches a topic the same way twice. I am a College Board AP Physics Consultant and I recently earned National Board Certification in Physics. My students complain that I answer every question with a question, but I consider it high praise.
I now live and work in Rhode Island with my wife Eden, and two daughters: Zoe (five) and Ana (three). I am proud of my association with PhysTEC and consider my year as University of Arkansas TIR ('02) as the high point of my teaching career (outside of the classroom). I enjoy the opportunities to make contributions to my profession, and most importantly to physics students.
David Young, 2003-2004
David A. Young (email@example.com) was the 2003-2004 Teacher In Residence (TIR) at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Mr. Young was the District (K-12) Mathematics Coordinator with the Fayetteville Schools until he took a two-year leave of absence to develop the Mathematics Computer Lab at ASMS the Arkansas School for Mathematics and Sciences in Hot Springs). He then returned to FHS to establish the FASST program at Fayetteville High School. He is a T3 (Teachers Teaching with Technology) instructor and has served on the development team of some of the T3 materials. He has been involved in several writing projects and co-authored Data Collection Activities for the Middle Grades with the TI-73 and CBL and CBR ,Getting Started with the CBL2 System and others.
Donna Owen, 2004-2006
As a positive professional educator my focus is on lasting learnings, empowering individuals by celebrating collective efforts in understanding, and impacting learners' lives so they are willing and able to become responsible, contributing members of society. Learning requires students, elementary through preservice teachers, to engage in a continuous process of accessing their prior world knowledge, elaborating and expanding this knowledge, and organizing and restructuring it into systematic frameworks. This is accomplished through providing powerful, meaningful and relevant curriculum where rapport and parameters are established and participation is nurtured.
My philosophy of teaching developed from 24 years of teaching in grades 2-6. During those years I received a Master's degree in elementary education and began pursuing a specialist degree in reading, and curriculum and instruction. My passion for teaching elementary students is not to be outdone by my passion for teaching preservice/in-service teachers. Therefore I've been honored to represent AIMS (Activities Integrating Math and Science) as a 15-year instructor traveling throughout the U.S. presenting hands-on, inquiry based science. My teaching philosophy has included integration of math and science within all subject areas. The integration continued when I team-presented a K-4 Integration Crusade in Arkansas for seven years. In the year 2000, I became a National Board Certified Teacher. Now my love for science and teaching continues, as a TIR within the University of Arkansas' PhysTEC program.
Teacher in Residence, 2006-2007
Visiting Master Teacher, 2010-2011
I received my training at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. I graduated in 2003 with an MA in physics as part of a degree program tailored to students who will go on to teach physics at the high school or two-year college level. After high school, I came into physics with no plans for my degree. I had loved my AP physics class and loved the subject more than any other. When I finished my undergraduate work without a clear direction for the future, my (wonderful!) mentor approached me regarding the MA program. The more I considered the possibility, the more right it felt. Teaching has become one of my great passions; I cannot imagine myself in another career. In addition to my love for physics, I discovered that I love to work with teens.
In 2002-2003, I took part in the inaugural year of an NSF program called GK-12. In this program, I was paired with a middle school math teacher. I came into her classroom two days a week, sometimes more. Working with the team's science teacher and her intern, we incorporated science and math technology into the curriculum. Prior to GK-12, I gained experience working as a teaching assistant for introductory calculus-based physics courses at the University of Arkansas.
I taught for three years (2003-2006) at Lutheran High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Beginning my teaching career at a young school gave me the opportunity to build the physics program from the ground up, which is invaluable experience. When I began at Lutheran High, physics had 15 enrollees. In the 2005-2006 school year, there were 41 students who chose physics. In addition to stocking the physics laboratory with necessary equipment, I founded and sponsored the Science Club. In the springs of 2005 and 2006, my students have competed in High School Physics Day at the University of Arkansas. In those two years of competing, our team placed first and second respectively, beating many larger schools. I also coached the boys' and girls' cross-country and track teams at Lutheran High; both teams received a state cross-country championship in 2003.
We moved to Northwest Arkansas in 2006 to be closer to our families. Since then, I have worked as a Teacher in Residence as part of PhysTEC and as an assistant to Gay Stewart at the University of Arkansas. During my work with PhysTEC, I mentored current and future teachers and helped organize and carry out High School Physics Day competitions and Red Ribbon Day presentations at a local elementary school.
Currently, I am mentoring Noyce Scholarship recipients as part of the program. Some of the mentees are currently teaching (locally and not) and some are still in classes. It has been exciting to get my feet wet back in the teaching community and I'm looking forward to working with these teachers more as the year goes on.
My husband, Wes, is a pharmacist and we have two lovely children. Olivia is five and attends a university-model school; she goes to school two days a week and I home school her on the other days. Keegan is almost two and is all boy (so I've been told!).