Institution/Department/Title: Kennesaw State University, Biology and Physics, Associate Professor of Physics Education
Degrees & Institutions:
B.S. Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh
M.A.T., Physics and Earth and Space Science, University of Pittsburgh
Ed.D., Science Education, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Education Career & Background:
- 2012-present Associate Professor (tenured), Physics Education, Kennesaw State University
- 2007-2012 Assistant Professor, Physics Education, Kennesaw State University
- 2007-present Faculty Advisor, Phi Sigma Pi National Coeducational Honor Fraternity, Kennesaw State University
- 2006-7 Graduate Assistant, Eugenia Etkina was Supervisor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
- 2006-7 Lecturer, Science in the Elementary Classroom, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
- 2005-2006 Graduate Assistant, William Firestone was Supervisor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
- 2005 Student Teacher Supervisor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
- 2005-2006 Consultant, American Physical Society
- 2005 Substitute Recitation Instructor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
- 2003-2005 Graduate Assistant, Eugenia Etkina was Supervisor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
- 2003 Academic Instructor, Summer Camp, Bucks County Community College
- 2000-2003 Teacher of Physics and Physical Science, Bucks County Technical High School
- 2000-2003 National Honor Society Advisor, Bucks County Technical High School
- 1999-2000 Research Assistant, University of Pittsburgh
- 1998 Research Assistant, Center of Atomic Studies, Paris
- 1997-2000 Supplemental Instructor, University of Pittsburgh
- 1997 Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, University of Pittsburgh
- 1996-1999 Assistant, N.A.S.A. Educational Resource Center, University of Pittsburgh
I knew that I always wanted to help others and meshing that with my love of science turned me towards teaching. Though I had a select few faculty asking why I would waste my talents in teaching high school physics I knew this was part of who I was. I spent three years teaching physics in a technical high school that went comprehensive. This had its set of unique challenges and opportunities. I quickly learned that for me to have a greater impact then my own classroom, I wanted to work with future teachers and help them become better in the classroom. Lucky for me I had a great physics education research group close by that allowed me to truly develop my skills. I opted for the degree in science education as opposed to a degree in physics because I wanted to focus more on the cognition and learning aspect of learning physics. This is why I opted to become a professor in an education program. I have two main groups that I work with at KSU, both are equally important. I work with pre-service elementary education majors teaching them physical science content and I work with pre-service chemistry and physics teachers were I can help them develop their teaching skills. Now, not only do I get to work with future teachers, but I also get to do research to make education better. My most recent research currently involves analyzing students’ attention spans in lectures and then investigating how we can better teach those lectures to regain student attention for longer spans.
Description of role(s) on the project:
My role is to help with the MTF’s in their teacher development, more so with the later years to work on their research projects with them. I am truly excited about this opportunity because of the ability to not just share what I know to the teachers in the field but to also learn from them. Each MTF is unique which will be very challenging yet very rewarding for all of us. The goal is to also have the MTFs direct the path of this project so that they grow in their own respect. Thus with the multiple paths of professional development cause multiple new opportunities to learn. Helping the MTFs with their action-research will also help me grow as a faculty member. So I am excited to give them my 100% in helping construct their professional development and research goals. Finally, I am equally excited to be working with the teaching fellows. Teaching the TOSS course for the pre-service teachers allows me to also interact with the TF’s in the project for an extended amount of time by taking increasing their content knowledge while helping them develop pedagogical content knowledge.
What drew you to the Noyce Project? What do you hope to gain from your involvement?
I was drawn to the project because I believe in what the project is accomplishing. We get new teachers in the field to help meet the need for physics and chemistry teachers. We have very strong teachers who are in the field that we get to make even stronger by helping them become leaders in the profession. Even the faculty who are “running” the project learn and grow from it. I am excited to learn from everyone else in the project and I am excited to work with the MTFs with their research while at the same time expanding upon my own. Thus, why wouldn’t someone be drawn to this project?