Texas State University: Champions
Hunter Close and Eleanor Close are physics faculty dedicated to physics education research and physics teacher preparation. They run the Physics LA program, promote it across campus, and work deals for programs in general and individual students in particular to make sure they are successful. They help students get jobs after graduation and follow up to make sure they are doing well.
Advocating for physics teacher preparation is a multi-dimensional effort that requires forming productive relationships across campus to achieve consensus and formalize new initiatives. The relationships themselves, and the ability to call someone across campus on the phone to negotiate a point of view, are evidence of success. New B.S. programs in physics with teacher certification require a team effort, with champions behind them to advocate for them with persistence and dedication.
Hunter Close is a tenured Associate Professor. Eleanor Close is a tenure-track Assistant Professor. Texas State has an institutional commitment to supporting efforts in STEM education by hiring education research faculty across the STEM disciplines and supporting their programs. The Texas State administration recognizes its role in the state in preparing teachers, both historically (it is a former normal school) and presently (a large number of elementary teachers are trained at Texas State), and also recognizes the current advantage it gains in research funding by supporting discipline-based STEM education researchers, since other institutions of higher education in Texas generally do not support them as much.