2014 Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference Invited Speakers

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, a member of the PhysTEC Project Management Team, and was the Teacher-in-Residence at the University of Minnesota from 2007-2009.  Jon received both his BS and his MEd from the University of Minnesota and has taught physics for 26 years at 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.

Lauren Barth-Cohen, University of Maine

Lauren Barth-Cohen is currently a post-doctoral research and teaching associate with the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE) at the University of Maine.  She works with middle school physical science teachers in rural Maine through the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership.  She received her Ph.D. in Science and Math Education at the University of California, Berkeley in December 2012.  While at UC Berkeley she was lead instructor for a course in the the Cal Teach program that uses qualitative video analysis to scaffold pre-service teachers to develop their capacity to focus on student thinking.  In her research she uses video analysis methods to study how scientific practices, such as explaining and argumentation, support learning.

Katie Beck, Bolsa Grande High School

Katie Beck is a physics teacher at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove, CA. She was a part time Teacher-In-Residence at California State University, Long Beach in 2011-2012. Katie has been teaching for 16 years and has taught science and mathematics from grade 6 through college. She received her BS from Purdue University and MS from California State University, Long Beach. She was recently recruited to be a part of the NGSS rollout team for the state of California. Katie also regularly presents at local and state conferences and is looking forward to working with elementary school students and preservice teachers at the Young Scientists Camp at CSULB this summer for the fifth year.

Eleanor W. Close, Texas State University – San Marcos

Eleanor Close is currently physics faculty at Texas State University and directs the new Physics Learning Assistant (LA) Program there, which focuses on supporting student success by improving student learning of fundamental concepts via instructional materials based on physics education research, and by increasing student interaction, connectedness, and community inside and outside the classroom. Eleanor teaches the Physics Cognition and Pedagogy course required of all new LAs, runs the content preparation sessions for LAs serving in introductory calculus-based Mechanics, and teaches with LAs in her own Mechanics courses. In her previous position at Seattle Pacific University, she held a joint appointment in the Department of Physics and the School of Education and taught physics courses for STEM majors and future elementary teachers; science methods courses for elementary and secondary teacher certification candidates; and professional development courses for in-service K-12 teachers. Long ago and in a different part of the country, she taught high school physics and physical science for three years, and she has been invested in supporting teachers at all levels ever since.

Matt Cooper, SUNY Geneseo

Matt Cooper is an undergraduate physics and mathematics double major at SUNY Geneseo. He has been involved with SUNY Geneseo's PhysTEC project for two years, during which time he has helped carry out multiple learning demonstrations and presentations to local high school physics classes. In addition, he has worked to help carry out research developed by Dr. Fletcher regarding how students learn in the classroom. Matt will graduate from SUNY Geneseo in 2016 in hopes of pursuing a career in high school physics and mathematics teaching.

Michael Eisinger, SUNY Geneseo

Michael Eisinger is an undergraduate physics major and future high school physics teacher at SUNY Geneseo. He has been involved with SUNY Geneseo's PhysTEC project for three years, beginning in his sophomore year, and has been an undergraduate researcher for the project for the past two years. During this time, Michael has helped develop and present physics demonstrations in numerous local high school physics classrooms. He has also participated in research on the topic of Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs). Michael will graduate from SUNY Geneseo in December 2014 after completing his student teaching during the fall semester.

Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers University

Dr. Eugenia Etkina has 30 years of teaching experience in physics and astronomy instruction at middle school, high school and university levels. Before coming to Rutgers she taught high school physics and astronomy for 13 years in Moscow, Russia. She earned her Ph.D. in physics education from Moscow State Pedagogical University. In 1997, she was appointed an assistant professor at the GSE, became an associate professor in 2003 and a Full professor in 2010.  She created a unique program of physics teacher preparation in which prospective teachers enroll in five teaching methods courses mastering the art and science of teaching physics. She also created an Investigative Science Learning Environment (with A. Van Heuvelen) - a comprehensive inquiry-based physics learning system that engages students in experiences similar to that of practicing physicists who construct and apply knowledge. She also developed a new approach to helping students acquire scientific abilities.

Kurt Fletcher, SUNY Geneseo

Kurt Fletcher is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Physics and the Project Director of SUNY Geneseo's PhysTEC Targeted Site.  He earned A.S. degrees from Jamestown Community College, a B.S. degree in Physics from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in experimental nuclear physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He has been teaching physics courses throughout the curriculum at SUNY Geneseo since 1993, and earned the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1997.  An active researcher in Geneseo's inertial confinement fusion group, Fletcher has been involved in physics education projects since 2009.  He is currently a co-director the New York State Master Teacher Program in the Finger Lakes Region.

Nicole Gillespie, Knowles Science Teaching Foundation

As the Executive Director of the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, Dr. Nicole Gillespie leads KSTF in its efforts to strengthen the teaching profession and improve the state of US STEM education. Nicole previously directed the KSTF Teaching Fellowship, the foundation's signature program that supports Teaching Fellows in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education nationwide. She joined KSTF in 2004 and has helped develop several of the foundation's key initiatives, including its Research and Evaluation Program and Senior Fellows (formerly Alumni) Program.

Nicole has given presentations on supporting and sustaining beginning STEM teachers and developing teachers as leaders to the National Association of Research in Science Teaching, American Physical Society, American Chemical Society and the National Science Teaching Association, among others. She is on the advisory boards of the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership and the joint project of The National Writing Project (NWP) and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) integrating science and literacy. A recognized spokesperson on the issues of beginning teacher recruitment and retention, she appears regularly in the media including USA Today, The Washington Post, Bloomberg Radio and NPR, among many others.

Bennett Goldberg, Boston University

Bennett Goldberg is the inaugural Director of STEM Education Initiatives in the Office of the Provost, working with colleges, departments and faculty in course transformation toward increasing the amount of evidence-based and active-learning in STEM instruction, and in developing and implementing training in teaching and learning for STEM PhD's and postdocs, our nations future faculty.

Goldberg is a Professor of Physics, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Professor of Education. He is a former chair of the Physics Department and his active research interests are in the general area of nano-optics and spectroscopy for hard and soft materials systems.

Goldberg received a B.A from Harvard College, an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Brown University in 1984 and 1987. Following a Bantrell Post-doctoral appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Francis Bitter National Magnet Lab, he joined the physics faculty at Boston University in 1989. Goldberg is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, has been awarded a Sloan Foundation Fellowship and is a recipient of the Presidential Young Investigators Award.

Goldberg is also the former Director of Boston University's Center for Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology, an interdisciplinary center that brings together academic and industrial scientists and engineers in the  development of nanotechnology with applications in materials and biomedicine. He is director of BU's nanomedicine program, bringing engineers and physical scientists together with medical researchers and clinicians.

J.W. Harrell, University of Alabama

J.W. Harrell is a professor of physics at the University of Alabama.  He participates in several teacher education projects at Alabama, including the UA PhysTEC project, the NSF-MSP Alliance for Physics Excellence project, which is designed to provide in-service training to approximately one-fifth of the HS physics teachers in Alabama as well as scholarships for pre-service physics teachers, and an NSF-Noyce program for pre-service physics, chemistry, and math students.  Dr. Harrell is a former Arts & Sciences Teaching Fellow and a former department chair.  He was instrumental in the establishment of the Studio Physics program at UA.  In addition to his interests in education, he has had an active career in magnetic materials research.  He received his PhD in physics from the University of North Carolina.

Ron Henderson, Middle Tennessee State University

Dr. Ron Henderson is professor and chairman of the department of Physics and Astronomy at Middle Tennessee State University. He obtained degrees from the University of Tennessee, Duke University, and the University of Virginia (Ph.D.) before joining MTSU in 1996. Since becoming chairman in 2008, the department has created a concentration in Physics Teaching (2009), won a Robert Noyce Scholarship Grant (2009), was selected as a comprehensive PhysTEC site (2010), and the university became a UTeach program replicate (2010). He is an outspoken advocate for inquiry-based pedagogy in both university and high school curricula, and strives to make a positive impact on the way science is taught in Tennessee.

Paula R. L. Heron, University of Washington

Paula R.L. Heron is a Professor of Physics at the University of Washington.  She holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in physics from the University of Ottawa and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Western University.  She joined the Physics Department at the University of Washington in 1995.  Dr. Heron's research focuses primarily on student ability to apply what they have learned about the dynamics of point particles in more advanced contexts involving elastic media, rigid bodies, etc.  She has given numerous invited talks on her research at national and international meetings and in university science departments.  Dr. Heron is co-Founder and co-Chair of the biannual "Foundations and Frontiers in Physics Education Research" conference series, the premier venue for physics education researchers in North America.  She has served on the Executive Committee of the Forum on Education of the American Physical Society (APS), the Committee on Research in Physics Education of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and on the ad hoc National Research Council committee on the status and outlook for undergraduate physics education.  In 2007 she was elected Fellow of the APS.  In 2008 she shared the APS Education award with colleagues Peter Shaffer and Lillian McDermott.  Dr. Heron is a co-author on the upcoming 2nd Edition of Tutorials in Introductory Physics, a set of instructional materials that has been used in over 200 institutions in the US and that has been translated into German and Spanish.

Robert Hilborn, American Association of Physics Teachers

Robert C. Hilborn is Associate Executive Officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers. A graduate of Lehigh University and Harvard University, he has held physics faculty positions at Oberlin College, Amherst College, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Texas at Dallas. His research includes work in experimental and theoretical atomic, molecular, and optical physics and in nonlinear dynamics. Author of Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics (Oxford University Press, 2nd Ed., 2000), his recent work has focused on applying nonlinear dynamics to analyze problems in neuroscience and the dynamics of genetic networks. He has served as President of the American Association of Physics Teachers and on the Advisory Committee for the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate of the NSF, on the Board of Advisors for the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology of Jackson State University, the AAMC-HHMI Committee on the Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians, and the AAMC MR5 MCAT review committee. During the early 2000s he led the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics and its SPIN-UP study of thriving undergraduate physics programs. He is also the leader of the Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshops, funded by NSF, that have introduced over 1600 new physics and astronomy faculty members to the latest science pedagogy and the research that supports that pedagogy. He has also served as staff organizer for the Physics Department Chairs Conference hosted jointly by the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Manher Jariwala, Boston University

Manher Jariwala is a Lecturer in the Department of Physics and a member of the PhysTEC team at Boston University.  In addition, he directs the department's Learning Assistant Program, which has expanded in just three years beyond the large introductory courses to encompass almost every course in the undergraduate major, thus also providing more early teaching opportunities for physics majors.  Most recently, he co-organized the first Northeast Regional Learning Assistant Workshop, helping STEM faculty from across New England initiate and develop their own Learning Assistant programs.  Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he received his B.S. in Physics from Stanford University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Karen King, University of Missouri

Karen King is an Assistant Teaching Professor of physics at the University of Missouri and directs the PhysTEC-funded TOP Teachers program for "Tomorrow's Outstanding Physics Teachers." She teaches introductory physics courses, including a course for pre-service elementary education majors, and has designed and implemented a new physics course for underprepared students. Karen serves on the instructional and management team for the professional development program for in-service ninth grade Missouri physics teachers, "A TIME for Physics First", funded by the NSF. Influenced by her experience as a founding faculty and science chair at the award-winning Denver School of Science and Technology (now DSST Public Schools), Karen is devoted to promoting science education for all, especially underserved and underrepresented populations. She completed her A.B. at Bowdoin College with a dual major in physics and philosophy, and earned her doctorate at Dartmouth College in engineering sciences.

Kathleen M. Koenig, University of Cincinnati

Kathleen Koenig is an Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati where she holds a joint appointment between the Physics department and Science Education.  She earned a BS degree in Physics from Xavier University, Masters degrees in both Physics as well as Physics Teaching from Miami University, and a PhD in Physics Education from the University of Cincinnati.  She has taught high school physics for six years followed by six years as Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor at Wright State University, and she has been an Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati for the past three years. She is principal investigator for UC's PhysTEC grant and started an LA program at UC in 2012.  She has over 20 years experience working with pre- and in-service teachers and over 10 years experience teaching introductory physics on the college level.  She is part of a recent effort to provide a pathway to high school teaching through UC's engineering college. Her research interests center on the development and assessment of student scientific reasoning abilities.

Laird H. Kramer, Florida International University

Laird Kramer is the Founding Director of the STEM Transformation Institute and Professor of Physics at Florida International University, a minority serving public research institution in Miami, FL. His commitment to the development of future teachers began in 2008, when he launched the Learning Assistant (LA) program in physics. The program has now expanded into all of the STEM disciplines, including biology, chemistry, earth sciences, mathematics, engineering and computing. The LA program fostered establishment of discipline-based teacher certification programs in mathematics and the sciences. These efforts have led to the STEM Transformation Institute that situates FIU as a STEM education laboratory for research, development and dissemination of inclusive models that will transform institutional educational practices in order to meet the national need for qualified STEM professionals.

Chuhee Kwon, California State University, Long Beach

Chuhee Kwon is a Chair and Professor of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). She is the site leader for the CSULB PhysTEC project, a co-PI of APS Bridge Project at CSULB, a PI of NSF S-STEM grant and the Social Homework project supported by the California State University Chancellor's Office. Prior to joining CSULB, she was a director funded postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, received a Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Maryland – College Park and B.S. in Physics at Seoul National University, South Korea. As a condensed matter experimentalist, her research focuses the structure- property relation in high temperature superconductors, colossal magnetoresistant manganites, and gold nano-island films and has been awarded several research grants from Air Force Office of Scientific Research and NSF.

Patrick LeClair, University of Alabama

Dr. Patrick LeClair is currently an Associate Professor in the department of Physics and Astronomy. He joined the faculty in 2005. He primarily teaches introductory and mid-level physics courses, and maintains an active research group in magnetic and electronic materials. He has been actively committed to revising and innovating the undergraduate physics curriculum during his time at UA, and is currently the PI of the PhysTEC program. Since 2008, he has been the Undergraduate director in for Physics and Astronomy. He instituted personalized face-to-face advising for every major every semester, and championed a Physics - Electrical and Computer Engineering double major program. The latter has been largely responsible for a nearly threefold increase in majors in the last four years. Working with the teacher in residence, he has been developed and taught a Physics Pedagogy course for undergraduate learning assistants and graduate teaching assistants.

Arthur Levine, Woodrow Wilson Foundation

Arthur Levine is the sixth president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Before his appointment at Woodrow Wilson, he was president and professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He also previously served as chair of the higher education program, chair of the Institute for Educational Management, and senior lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Levine is the author of dozens of articles and reviews, including a series of reports for the Education Schools Project on the preparation of school leaders, teachers, and education researchers. Dr. Levine's numerous commentaries appear in such publications as The New York Times; The Los Angeles Times; The Wall Street Journal; The Washington Post; Education Week; and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

His most recent book is Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today's College Student (with Diane Dean, 2012). Among his other volumes are Unequal Fortunes: Snapshots from the South Bronx; When Hope and Fear Collide: A Portrait of Today's College Student (with Jeanette S. Cureton); Beating the Odds: How the Poor Get to College (with Jana Nidiffer); Higher Learning in America; Shaping Higher Education's Future; When Dreams and Heroes Died: A Portrait of Today's College Students; Handbook on Undergraduate Curriculum; Quest for Common Learning (with Ernest Boyer); Opportunity in Adversity (with Janice Green); and Why Innovation Fails.

Dr. Levine has received numerous honors, including Carnegie, Guggenheim, and Rockefeller Fellowships as well as the American Council on Education's Book of the Year award (for Reform of Undergraduate Education), the Educational Press Association's Annual Award for writing (three times), and 25 honorary degrees. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently sits on the board of the Educational Testing Service and Say Yes to Education.

Dr. Levine was also previously President of Bradford College (1982-1989) and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Foundation and Carnegie Council for Policy Studies in Higher Education (1975-1982). He received his bachelor's degree from Brandeis University and his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Angela Little, Michigan State University

As one of the co-founders of the Compass Project, an APS award-winning educational organization at UC Berkeley, Angela Little is committed to creating supportive communities where students from all backgrounds thrive in science.  In addition to building Compass from the ground up, she designed and implemented new courses and evaluated and researched the student experience within the organization. Angie, a recent Ph.D. graduate in Math and Science Education at UC Berkeley with a Masters in physics, researches how students develop physics disciplinary skills.  Angie also has extensive expertise in supporting first time instructors.  She spent three years designing and teaching a new class for STEM undergraduates interested in high school teaching as part of the Cal Teach program at UC Berkeley.  She also developed pedagogy courses for science graduate students in two contexts: as first-time TAs and Compass instructors.  In 2011, Angie was elected to the APS Forum on Education and will continue her work improving STEM education both locally and nationally.

Michael Marder, University of Texas at Austin

Michael Marder is a member of the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics, internationally known for its experiments on chaos and pattern formation. He specializes in the mechanics of solids, particularly the fracture of brittle materials. He has published a graduate textbook on condensed matter physics which is now in its second edition, and an undergraduate textbook on research methods for science., Michael Marder is co-Director of UTeach, the University program for preparation of secondary math and science teachers and Executive Director of national UTeach replication.  He is working to introduce inquiry techniques into undergraduate teaching, is local director of the Siemens-Westinghouse Competition regional finals, and directs programs aimed at improving science education in Austin elementary schools.

Colleen Megowan-Romanowicz, American Modeling Teachers Association

Colleen Megowan-Romanowicz is the Executive Officer of the American Modeling Teachers Association.  After over two decades as a high school physics teacher she moved to Phoenix to do graduate study with David Hestenes in PER at Arizona State University completing her PhD in 2007. She was Assistant Professor of Science Education until 2011, when she gave up her tenure-track position to become Executive Officer of AMTA. A half-time appointment as Research Scientist in the Physics Department enables her to continue work on her funded research projects. Her research interest is in whiteboard-
mediated cognition in the physics classroom.

David E. Meltzer, Arizona State University

David E. Meltzer received a Ph.D. in theoretical condensed matter physics from SUNY Stony Brook in 1985, then went on to complete six years of post-doctoral work at the University of Tennessee and the University of Florida. In 1991 he joined the faculty at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond and turned his focus to research on the learning and teaching of physics. Since 1992 his primary work has been in physics education research and physics curriculum development, and he has been Principal Investigator on nine projects funded by the National Science Foundation. He joined the faculty at Iowa State University in 1998 and he was director of the Iowa State University Physics Education Research Group from 1998 to 2005. He later taught at the University of Washington in Seattle and joined the faculty at Arizona State University in 2008 as an Associate Professor. He has taught more than two dozen different university courses on physics, science, and science education, and has also regularly taught middle-school science classes since 2007. He has published 30 papers in refereed journals and proceedings, edited seven books, and given over 100 invited presentations in six countries. He is a consultant to the American Physical Society and the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC), and Senior Consultant to the National Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Donna Messina, University of Washington

Donna Messina, a former high school teacher, has been a member of the Physics Education Group (PEG) at the University of Washington since 1999. She received her undergraduate degree from Loyola University (New Orleans) and a masters degree in education from Seattle University. In 2008 she received a PhD in Education from the University of Washington, focusing her research on the effects of professional development on K-12 teacher practice. Since joining the PEG she has been an instructor in physics courses for preservice physics and math teachers and an instructor in the Summer Institute in Physics and Physical Science for Inservice Teachers, the NSF-funded professional development program conducted by the PEG.

Marisa Michelini, Udine University, Italy

Marisa Michelini is a full professor of Physics Education in the DCFA of the University of Udine. Responsible of the Physics Education Research Unit since from 1994. Rector delegate for Didactics Innovation and school-university cooperation. President of GIREP (International Research Group in Physics Teaching -49 Country member) from 2012. Director of 5 Master programs involving 20 Italian universities for teacher professional development. The main responsibilities held are: Department of Physics Director for 7 years; head of the Specialization School for Teacher Education 2003-2007; Vice-Director of the Italian University Consortium Youth Education and Orientation (GEO); member of the permanent Commission for Didactic of Italian Physical Society; responsible for Italy in 5 EU projects and of 18 at national level on innovation in teaching/learning and teacher education; editor of two Italian peer review journals.

The main research fields are: design based research for innovation in secondary school learning paths, learning processes in inquiry based activities, informal learning, ICT to overcome learning knots in secondary school, modern physics in secondary school proposals (quantum mechanics, superconductivity) and teacher education.
The research activity is documented with 520 publications in peer review books and journals, of which 157 are published internationally in English and 6 in other foreign language.

Cassandra A. Paul, San Jose State University

Cassandra Paul received her PhD in physics from the University of California, Davis in 2012.  As a member of the Physics Education Research group, she investigated the interactions between students and instructors and contributed to the development of the Real-time Instructor Observing Tool (RIOT).  She and a team of researchers at San José State University (SJSU) have recently been awarded NSF funding to develop a similar tool focusing on student participation; the Student Participation Observing Tool (SPOT) will give educators a better idea of the diversity of participation in their classroom. Cassandra is an Assistant Professor at SJSU, where she is engaged in the transformation of introductory physics courses to a more interactive environment using the CLASP curriculum.

Monica Plisch, American Physical Society

Monica Plisch is Associate Director of Education and Diversity for the American Physical Society (APS). She leads the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) project, which has a mission to improve the education of future physics teachers. PhysTEC has more than doubled the number of physics teachers graduating from supported sites, and has a national coalition of 300 member institutions. Monica is also engaged in efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the physics community, and is a member of the leadership team for the APS Bridge Program, with a goal to increase the number of minorities who earn a PhD in physics. In addition, she co-chairs the APS Diversity Working Group, and works with the new APS committee on LGBT+ physicists. Before coming to APS, Monica led an institute for in-service physics teachers at Cornell University, and developed and taught an introductory laboratory course on nanoscience for undergraduates. She completed her doctoral studies in physics (nanomagnetics) at Cornell University.

Rachel E. Scherr, Seattle Pacific University

Rachel E. Scherr has been involved with physics teacher education for over 20 years. Most recently, she has served as PhysTEC's Sustainability Consultant, working with APS staff to conduct a year-long study of PhysTEC's legacy sites to determine whether and how they are sustaining their production of physics teachers. In past decades, Scherr has also contributed to physics teacher education through innovative programs at the University of Maryland and the University of Washington. Scherr's current research at Seattle Pacific University focuses on physics teacher learning of energy and practices of formative assessment.

John Simonetti, Virginia Tech University

John Simonetti received his B.S. in Physics and in Space Sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1978.  He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Astronomy and Space Sciences from Cornell University in 1985.  After a few years as a postdoctoral research associate at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, in Charlottesville, Virginia, he joined the faculty of the Physics Department at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he has been the Associate Chair of the department since 2005.  In 2009 he won the university's most prestigious teaching award, the William E. Wine Award for Teaching Excellence, an award given to faculty that have been exceptional teachers over a long period of time. Dr. Simonetti is the site leader for the Virginia Tech PhysTEC project.

Susan R. Singer, National Science Foundation

Susan Rundell Singer is Division Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at NSF and Laurence McKinley Gould Professor, in the Biology and Cognitive Science Departments at Carleton. She pursues a career that integrates science and education. In addition to a PhD in biology from Rensselaer, she completed a teacher certification program in New York State. A developmental biologist who studies flowering in legumes and also does research on learning in genomics, Susan is a AAAS fellow and received both the American Society of Plant Biology teaching award and Botanical Society of America Charles Bessey teaching award. She directed Carleton's Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching, was an NSF program officer in Biology, and is a co-author of the Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology report and an introductory biology text. She has served on numerous boards, including the NSF EHR advisory committee, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study Board, and the Botanical Society board of directors; is a member-at-large for the AAAS Education Section; participates in the Minnesota Next Generation Science Standards team; and was a member of the National Academies' Board on Science Education. She has participated in six National Academies studies, including chairing the committees that authored America's Lab Report, Promising Practices in STEM Undergraduate Education and Discipline-based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering.

Gay Stewart, West Virginia University

Prof. Gay B. Stewart, Department of Physics, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Stewart is site leader for the UArk PhysTEC site which is still thriving over five years past funding. 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 intellectual efforts 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 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 has served on APS education-related committees, council and Executive Board, and PhysTEC committees. In 2009, she was named a fellow of the APS for contributions to physics teaching and physics teacher preparation. She is past president of the AAPT. She served as chair of the College Board's Science Academic Advisory Committee, was co-chair of the Advanced Placement Physics Redesign commission, and is on the new AP Physics 2 Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee. She was a member of the development committee for the College Board Science Standards for College Success, designed for grades 6-12. She is the teaching assistant mentor, and developed a preparation program based in part on the University of Minnesota FIPSE-supported project. This program 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 PhysTEC. 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 $7.3M 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 physics teachers.

Brian D. Thoms, Georgia State University

Dr. Thoms is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Georgia State University in Atlanta.  He currently serves as the department's Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies.  He earned his bachelor's degree in physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his doctorate in physics at Cornell University.  He performed postdoctoral research on diamond surface structure and reactions at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, before joining the faculty at Georgia State in 1995.  Dr. Thoms has been involved for many years in efforts to grow the physics undergraduate program and in the introduction of a physics teacher certification program within the BS in Physics.  After many years of research on semiconductor surfaces he shifted his research efforts to physics education.  Recent project topics include the efficacy of SCALE-UP in algebra-based physics, student and faculty expectations regarding undergraduate quantum mechanics, and the integration of computations in high school and in online college physics classes.

Stamatis Vokos, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo

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, member of the APS Executive Committee of the Forum on Education, and chair of the AAPT Physics Education Research Elections Organizing Committee.  He is vice chair of AAPT's Committee on Teacher Preparation, chair of the National Task Force on Teacher Education and an APS fellow.

Michael C. Wittmann, University of Maine

Michael Wittmann founded the UMaine Physics Education Research Laboratory and is co-founder of the Maine Center for STEM Education Research (RiSE Center), an interdisciplinary center with education research faculty across the STEM disciplines and in the College of Education and Human Development. One of Michael's research activities is to investigate students' knowledge of energy (using surveys and classroom video) as well as teachers' knowledge of what their students know and are thinking. This work takes place primarily in middle school and high school classrooms and in teacher professional development activities. A second research activity is the study of embodied cognition and interaction using examples from kinematics, the analysis and manipulation of equations, and molecular geometry in chemistry. This research uses individual interviews and classroom video as its focus. In both research areas, Michael's work emphasizes what people do well and how their actions and interactions lead to progress on the task at hand.