Biographies: Ball State University

Jim Bogan, 2002-2003

BoganI graduated from a small (24 class members) high school in Indiana and went to Purdue University. What a shock to this small-town Hoosier when went from being the class president to one of over 600 incoming freshmen!. I graduated with a B.S. in mathematics and a physics minor. Still at Purdue, I earned an M.A.T. in Mathematics Education, under N.S.F. funding (Thank God and the government for those opportunities!!!).

I went back the next summer to Purdue for some more physics and attended other summer institutes at San Diego State in Astronomy Education and Project Physics. I took various courses in Indiana colleges in physics and science education at the elementary and middle school levels and never wanted to stop learning. I had over 60 semester hours in physics and science education since my graduate degree. In 1986 I was chosen as a PTRA and worked, until my medical retirement in 1995, with teachers from Indiana and other states sharing instructional and demonstration techniques.

I heard of an opening for a position called a TIR at Ball State and applied. George Hill and I team-taught as co-TIRs from Jan 2001 till sometime in 2003! We developed lab experiments for the algebra-based physics courses at BSU. This past semester (Fall 2005) I have been teaching physics and physical science at the Muncie campus of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (I think that is the name it has now...we call it IvyTech.)

I have three grown children and 5 grandchildren. My wife, Christine, a Yooper, and I live with our dog. Those of you in MI know what a Yooper is. Others should look it up! Shadow, near Muncie is where we can enjoy the lake, fresh air (there's a hog farm just down the road) and sunshine. Christine is the English Department chair at the Indiana Academy, the state school for gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors from across Indiana. We met while I was a Fellow at the Academy for the 1992-93 school year. My retirement fun includes researching my family's history, tying fishing flies and using them to entertain the local smallmouth bass and other pan-fish. After Christine's retirement we hope to move to Michigan and enjoy that beautiful state and travel as much as time and money allow!

George Hill, 2002-2003

HillI received both a BS and an MA from Ball State University with about equal hours in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. I first taught in a very small school, Spiceland High School, in Indiana where I taught 8th grade physical science, advanced algebra, trigonometry, analytical geometry, chemistry, and physics. After four years, (1960-64) I moved to Marion, Indiana where I taught physics every year for 39 years along with physical science, a few sections of chemistry (when physics was down and chemistry was up), and in more recent years AP physics.

After my retirement from high school teaching, I taught a class of Physical Science at Indiana Wesleyan University and a class at IVY Tech Community College both here in Marion. Jim Bogan and I shared the TIR position as Ball State first got involved, in the spring semester 2002 and continuing through the 2002-3 school year. We were both retired high school teachers so were a bit outside the parameters of the PhysTEC TIR, however at the time it did seem reasonable.

Our original assignments were to: (1) develop labs that would incorporate recent technology with concepts appropriate for the algebra-based physics course and working to make them more inquiry based. (2) work with prospective physics teachers and to be available to mentor them. (3) promote teaching of physics as a viable career. I participated in the PhysTEC conferences at Western Michigan and the University of Arizona. Presently, I am teaching a class of algebra-based physics at Ivy Tech Community College.

Mike Wolter, 2003-2004

WolterI began my physics experiences in high school (class of 1965, home of the mighty Muncie Central Bearcats) with the one of first releases of PSSC physics. Once exposed, forever involved.

I did my undergraduate study at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana where I majored in both physics and mathematics. Starting my junior year at Ball State I worked as a lab assistant teaching the Physics 100 labs. The Vietnam war provided a strong incentive to go to school every summer and to go into teaching. I graduated from Ball State with a BS in ED in 1969. Even before I finished my undergraduate degree, I started taking graduate level physics classes. During my student teaching at Muncie Central with my high school physics teacher as my critic, I continued as a lab assistant at Ball State with the interesting job of unpacking Army surplus resistors and capacitors that were individually shrink wrapped, a semi-truck full of them.

The day I graduated college I signed a teaching contract with Muncie Community Schools. I was hired "on assignment", which meant I had a job teaching something somewhere next fall. My teaching career began in a Jr. High School teaching 5 sections of 9th grade general math. I can still do a 16 x 21 times table in under 7 minutes. Muncie was building a new high school at the time and after two years of Jr. High School I moved to Northside High School as the physics teacher for the next 17 years.

Northside closed as a high school and I was transferred to Muncie Central to replace my original high school physics teacher. I will be returning to teach physics at Muncie Central next fall. During my first three summers out of Ball State I attended summer school at the University of Minnesota under an NSF program for physics teachers. As a result of that participation I received an M Ed with a major in physics and minor in mathematics from the University of Minnesota. Over the next several years, I completed a year beyond my Masters degree in physics at Ball State University.

Personally, I am married and between my wife and I we have 5 children and 15 grandchildren. As my children were growing up I threw a lot of energy into cub scouts, church, boy scouts, girl scouts, explorers, red cross, and sports gallore. As a teacher I was able to dedicate significant time to spend with my children. In the last few years I have been trying to use some of that energy and time that I am became used to spending with my children to put a little something back into the world of physics.

About six years ago I began developing the use of a "math engine" in my high school physics classes for problem solving. I have presented several papers and workshops about StudyWorks by MathCad. In 1999 I was selected as the Indiana High School Physics teacher of the year. Last spring I received one of the 2003 RadioShack National Science Teacher Awards during the NSTA convention in Philadelphia.

This year I am working as the "Teacher in Residence" in the physics department at Ball State University, where my first teaching experiences began as a TA. My responsibilities include working with TA's in introductory level physics classes and with new physics teachers just beginning their careers. What a cycle.

Mike, our friend and colleague, died on September 20, 2007 after a short illness.

Jeffrey Sayers, 2004-2005

SayerSince 1970 I have taught physics, physical science, and math in Indiana in the Clay Community School Corporation, first at Brazil High School until 1985 and then Northview High School from 1985-present.  NHS is a consolidation of Brazil and two smaller schools.  In 1992 I started the Advanced Placement program in CCSC.  Since then my teaching assignment has consisted of Physics 1, AP Physics B (and C on occasion), AP Calculus AB, and Algebra 2. 

During my teaching career I have been active in science education, participating in many professional development programs at the state and national level.  I have given presentations and workshops at the local level, and at state and national science conferences.  Special recognition includes Indiana High School Physics Teacher of the Year in 1997 and Radio Shack National Teacher Award in 2003

In recent years I have been especially interested in the applications of technology in science education and how modern technology allows students and teachers to participate in real scientific research.  For several years my students and I have participated in the Princeton Earth Physics Project (seismology) and in Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education (astronomy).

My educational background includes Ball State University (BS in Physics), Indiana University (MA in Astronomy & MS in Secondary Education) and Teachers College, Columbia University (MA in Computing & Education). 

My wife and I live in Bloomington, IN and have five grown children and two grandchildren.  During the year as TIR at Ball State I will be living in an apartment in Muncie, IN.

Neil Anthony, 2005-2006

AnthonyI am married, and my wonderful wife, Charlotte, and I have three (supposedly grown) children and two grandchildren.  I was born in Muncie, Indiana and raised on a nearby farm.  I attended Ball State University, and upon obtaining my bachelor's, I enrolled in a Master's program in secondary education.  I completed the master's and became licensed in science teaching with a primary area in physics and a supporting area in chemistry.  I taught at Decatur Central High School for two years.  The training and support I received at Decatur Central were excellent.

I returned to Ball State to begin a master's in computer science, and I also began to teach as an adjunct instructor for the local two-year college.  In addition to my computer science studies, I added a physics master's and a graduate minor in chemistry.  While completing my degrees, I was hired as a full-time instructor by Ivy Tech.  Within the next few years, I evolved into the chair of mathematics and physical sciences for the East-Central region.  As our community college has had rapid growth, the mathematics and physical sciences program was split into three parts, and I elected to chair the physical sciences.  In the summer of 2005, Mike Wolter described a wonderful opportunity to work with the PhysTEC program.  After a few dislocated shoulders from arm bending I enthusiastically, with the strong support of my administration, joined the ranks of the TIRs.

Elaine Gwinn

Teacher in Residence, 2006-2007
Visiting Master Teacher, 2010-2011

GwinnTeaching, as a profession, came to me later than most; I never would have dreamed of the impact it would have on my life.  Teaching, and all that goes with it, serves as a vocation that gives me hope and great joy - I believe in the ability of young minds to seek and search for truth and knowledge, and it is my goal to help them reach their dreams. I spent my younger years as a lab tech at a doctor's office, a cosmetic consultant at Dillard's, a dialysis technician, a wallpaper hanger, and most important of all, a wife and mother. As my youngest child reached the pre-school age I decided to go back to college. I returned to West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M University, and the college I attended straight out of high school) in 1990 to complete my education. I received a BS in Chemistry in 1992, did my student teaching that fall, and began teaching in January, 1993. I taught a semester of middle school science and then moved to Canyon, Texas, where I taught Physics I, Pre-AP Physics, AP Physics B, Chemistry I, Pre-AP Chemistry, and AP Chemistry (fortunately not all at the same time!).  While at Canyon I enjoyed all the varied aspects of teaching, some of which included being part of the Comprehensive Conceptual Curriculum of Physics (C3P) Project, being a UIL Science Coach and Science Bowl Coach for twelve years, being Science Department Chair for five years, and sponsoring several school organizations. 

Life went on, our children grew up, our daughter got married and moved to Indiana, and our son went to college at Butler University. Malcolm, my husband of 32 years, and I decided it was time for a change and the possibility of future grandchildren beckoned. We moved to Indiana in the summer of 2004 and I taught Physics and Earth/Space Science at TC Howe Academy in Indianapolis that year. Since 2005 I have been the physics and chemistry teacher at Shenandoah High School, a small rural school in east central Indiana.  I was blessed with the opportunity to be the 2006-2007 Teacher In Residence at Ball State University as part of the PhysTEC project.  That same year I had the pleasure of being selected to become a Physics Teaching Resource Agent (PTRA) and I am currently an active member of that organization. Many wonderful opportunities have arisen from being part of both of these organizations; I currently serve as a Noyce Scholars Mentor, I am the Indiana AAPT Section Representative and I serve on a national committee for AAPT. The doors that have been opened continue to allow me to improve my teaching skills and ability to positively impact my students.

My family is my pride and joy; my supportive, and understanding, husband and I are so fortunate to live in the same town with our daughter and son-in-law and the most important person in our family, our five year old granddaughter, Allison Joy!  Our son and daughter-in-law live in Bowling Green, Kentucky, so we are blessed to have all of our children close by.