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The EP3 Project team is working to create the Effective Practices for Physics Programs Guide, to train physics program leaders and reviewers in how to use the Guide through workshops and online communities, to conduct research on the impact of the Guide, and to develop a plan for ongoing review and improvement of the Guide.
Best Practices for Undergraduate Physics Programs Task Force Members
David Craig, Le Moyne College & Oregon State University
Task Force Co-Chair
Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado Boulder
Robert Hilborn, American Association of Physics Teachers Society Liaison
Michael Jackson, Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Task Force Co-Chair
Courtney Lannert, Smith College and University of Massachusetts Amherst
Ramon Lopez, University of Texas Arlington
Willie Rockward, Morgan State University
Gay Stewart, West Virginia University
Gubbi Sudhakaran, University of Wisconsin La Crosse
Kathryn Svinarich, Kettering University
Carl Wieman, Stanford University
Lawrence Woolf, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
Stephanie Chasteen, Chasteen Educational Consulting
Stephanie Chasteen, Chasteen Educational Consulting, External Evaluator
Stephanie Chasteen is a physicist, education researcher, and experienced external evaluator with Chasteen Educational Consulting, will serve as external evaluator. She has integrated research on faculty and institutional change to lead and evaluate department-based change initiatives in multiple STEM disciplines. She has served as external evaluator for 17 STEM improvement projects since 2009, including national-level projects in the physics community such as the New Faculty Workshop (AAPT/APS/AAS), the Joint Task Force for Undergraduate Physics Programs (APS/AAPT), and PhysTEC (APS/AAPT). Her research focus is on faculty and departmental change. As an evaluator, she synthesizes multiple measures to provide a holistic description of a project’s progress and hurdles, providing practical, actionable recommendations for improvement.
Joel Corbo, University of Colorado Boulder, Community Engagement and Researcher
Joel Corbo is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Colorado Boulder. His work at CU focuses on implementing and studying mechanisms that align with the institutional change literature for improving undergraduate education in STEM departments. In particular, he co-created the Departmental Action Team (DAT) model to support departments in creating sustainable change around broad-scale educational issues and to help DAT participants become better change agents. He served as one of the first DAT facilitators and researchers and is currently PI on a project that has expanded the DAT model to two universities. Corbo (along with Turpen) was also part of the team that created Faculty Online Learning Communities (FOLCs), virtual communities of faculty who meet regularly during the academic year to support each other in improving their teaching. He also helped to found and lead the Berkeley Compass Project, a student-run organization dedicated to supporting underrepresented students in physics, and he co-leads the Access Network, a national network of student-centered equity programs inspired by Compass. Before coming to CU, Joel received a bachelor’s degree in physics from MIT and a Ph.D. in physics from UC Berkeley, where he studied ultracold atomic gases using quantum Monte Carlo simulation techniques.
David Craig, Le Moyne College & Oregon State University, Task Force Co-Chair
David Craig was the chair of the department of physics and the director of engineering programs at Le Moyne College for twelve years before taking his current leave at Oregon State University. His research interests are in the foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum gravity, and quantum cosmology. Dr. Craig received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, before becoming a National Research Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics. He has collaborated with physicists across the world, and enjoyed an appointment as a visiting scientist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Craig conducted research and taught at the University of Minnesota, Morris, Hamilton College, and the State University of New York prior to joining the faculty at Le Moyne. Dr. Craig served as a member of the APS Committee on Education and as a consultant to APS on the work which led to the formation of the EP3 Project.
Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado Boulder, Task Force Member
Noah Finkelstein is a Professor of Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder and conducts research is in physics education, specifically studying the conditions that support students’ interests and abilities in physics – developing models of context. In parallel, he conducts research on how educational transformations get taken up, spread, and sustained. He is a PI in the Physics Education Research (PER) group and a co-director of CU’s Center for STEM Learning. He co-directs the national Network of STEM Education Centers, is building the STEM DBER-Alliance, and coalitions advancing undergraduate education transformation. He is involved in education policy serving on many national boards, is a Trustee of the Higher Learning Commission, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and a Presidential Teaching Scholar and the inaugural Timmerhaus Teaching Ambassador for the University of Colorado system.
Robert Hilborn, American Association of Physics Teachers Society Liaison
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. He served as physics department chair and associate dean of the faculty at Amherst, where he was the Amanda and Lisa Cross Professor of Physics, and as head of the Science/Mathematics Education Department at 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 research has focused on applying nonlinear dynamics to analyze problems in neuroscience and the dynamics of genetic networks. He also served on the AAMC-HHMI Committee on the Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians and the AAMC MR5 MCAT review committee. For the past seven years, he has served as Principal Investigator and Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Faculty Workshop series.
Theodore Hodapp, American Physical Society, Director of Project Development and Senior Advisor to Education and Diversity
Hodapp is Project Director of the APS Bridge Program, which is erasing the achievement gap for underrepresented minority students at the Ph.D. level in physics. He helps lead a large NSF and APS-funded national effort, the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) that is increasing the quantity of highly-qualified high school physics teachers. He is Principal Investigator on several grants that support the APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics, which bring together nearly every undergraduate woman studying physics in the United States, and is currently leading a national effort to provide local mentors for underrepresented minority students studying physics, the APS National Mentoring Community.
For the past 12 years, Hodapp served as APS Director of Education and Diversity. Prior to this, he was Program Director at the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education, working with programs in curriculum development and implementation, teacher preparation, scholarships, education assessment, and digital libraries. Prior to the NSF, Hodapp was professor and chair of the Hamline University Physics Department in St. Paul, Minnesota. He served as chair of the Physics and Astronomy Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the AAAS.
Michael Jackson, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Task Force Co-Chair
Michael Jackson received his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from the State University of New York-Oswego and a doctorate in physics from New Mexico State University. He has held faculty positions at the State University of West Georgia, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UW-L), and Central Washington University (CWU). As a faculty member, he developed collaborations with scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Oxford to establish an externally funded research facility to detect and measure far-infrared laser emissions for their subsequent use in studying stable molecules and free radicals. A key aspect of his scholarship was meaningfully incorporating undergraduates into his research activities. To date, he has published over thirty peer-reviewed manuscripts with undergraduate co-authors, and his students have given invited presentations at national and international conferences. Additionally, he has served as department chairperson at UW-L and CWU. At CWU, he led the department through a successful revitalization that included a growth in the program from approximately 20 to over 70 physics majors within six years. Currently, he is Dean of the College of Science and Technology at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. He is an advocate for incorporating high-impact practices into the curriculum that includes providing research experiences for undergraduates. He serves as Physics and Astronomy Division Councilor in the Council on Undergraduate Research; is the recipient of several awards including the David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching from the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and is subsequently a Fellow of the AAPT.
Courtney Lannert, Smith College and University of Massachusetts Amherst
Courtney Lannert is an Associate Professor of Physics in a position based at Smith College and shared with UMass Amherst through the Five-College Consortium. She began her current position in Fall 2012 after ten years on the faculty at Wellesley College. She received her Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara in June 2002 and her B.S. in physics from Brown University in 1996.
Professor Lannert’s research is in the field of theoretical condensed matter physics, using numerical and analytical tools to model novel quantum phases and phase transitions. Her work spans systems from superconductors and frustrated magnets to ultracold atomic gasses where much of her recent work has explored novel geometries in Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs).
A KITP scholar from 2004-2006, Courtney is also a founding board member of the Anacapa Society for theoretical physicists at primarily undergraduate institutions. She served on the APS LeRoy Apker Award Selection Committee (2008-2010) and is currently a member of the Committee on Education (2015-2017).
Ramon Lopez, University of Texas Arlington, Task Force Member
Ramon Lopez received his B.S. in Physics in 1980 from the University of Illinois, and his Ph.D. in Space Physics in 1986 from Rice University. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) where he leads a research group working in both space physics and science education. He is also a Co-Director for the UTA UTeach teacher preparation program. His current research focuses solar wind-magnetosphere coupling and factors that lead to student success in physics. Dr. Lopez is the author of over 110 peer-reviewed publications, as well as the popular science book "Storms from the Sun." Dr. Lopez is active in promoting science education and diversity in science at all levels. He was one of the Co-Chairs of the writing team that produced the Next Generation Science Standards. He has also served on scientific or education committees of the American Geophysical Union, the American Physical Society (APS), the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). Dr. Lopez is the recipient of awards including the 2002 APS Nicholson Medal, the 2010 SACNAS Distinguished Scientist Award, the 2012 APS Edward A. Bouchet Award, and two NASA Group Achievements Awards. Dr. Lopez is a Fellow of the APS and of the AAAS.
Sam McKagan, McKagan Enterprises, Editorial Director
Sam McKagan is the creator and director of PhysPort.org, a website that supports physics faculty in using research-based teaching and assessment in their classes and departments. She has conducted research into physics faculty members’ and department heads’ needs around research-based teaching and assessment, and conducted several meta-analyses of the impact of research-based teaching in physics. She is currently serving as Editorial Director for the Best Practices for Undergraduate Physics Programs Task Force, and for a multi-institution collaboration building IPLS-Portal, an online environment for disseminating instructional materials for Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences.” to “She is currently serving as editorial director for EP3, and as design and development director for the Living Physics Portal (livingphysicsportal.org), an online environment for physics faculty to share and discuss free curricular resources for teaching Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences. She has served as a physics education research consultant or evaluator for Seattle Pacific University, University of Colorado - Boulder, Augsburg College, and Boise State University. She was a post-doc with the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado - Boulder, and has a Ph.D. from the University of Washington for theoretical work on Bose Einstein Condensation.
Willie Rockward, Morgan State University, Task Force Member
Willie Rockward received a B.S. degree in Physics, cum laude, from Grambling State University. While completing a M.S. degree in Physics from State University of New York at Albany, he transferred into the doctoral program in the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). After completing his doctoral studies at Georgia Tech, he served as a civilian Research Physicist for the Advanced Guidance Division of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory located at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
Currently, Dr. Rockward is an Associate Professor of Physics at Morgan State University. Also, he serves as the Chair of the Department of Physics & Dual Degree Engineering Program and the Research Director of the Materials and Optics Research & Engineering (MORE) Laboratory. His current research interests include crossed phase optics, micro/nano optics fabrication, metamaterials, extreme ultraviolet lithography, terahertz imaging, and nanostructure characterization.
Among his professional and social organizations, he is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Society of Physics Students, the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society (National President 2014-18), the National Society of Black Physicists, the National Technical Association, the Optical Society of America, and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Among his community involvement, he actively serves as an Associate Minister at the Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, GA and as the Director of Science and the Coordinator of Special STEM Projects for the Miller’s Military Academy in Lithonia, GA.
Gay Stewart, West Virginia University, Task Force Member
Gay Stewart received her Ph.D. in particle physics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1994. In 1993, she attended a conference on undergraduate faculty enhancement and became interested in physics education research. She accepted a faculty position at University of Arkansas in 1994, where she and her collaborator John Stewart focused on three primary interrelated issues: improving the introductory sequence to better prepare students to succeed in science and engineering degrees, improving the preparation of physics majors for the variety of career options open to physicists, and the preparation of future faculty, for both the high school level and the professoriate. The undergraduate program at UA saw dramatic improvement, with a 10-fold increase in number of graduates, with many receiving national awards. UA was one of six initial primary program institutions of the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) and produces approximately two percent of the high school physics teachers with physics degrees nationally. Gay first received NSF support for her work in 1995. In 2014, Gay transitioned to West Virginia University, where she is the Eberly Professor of STEM Education, as well as professor of Physics and director of the WVU Center for Excellence in STEM Education. She is also co-director and PI of their UTeach replication site, WVUteach. Collaborator John Stewart leads WVU's PhysTEC implementation.
Gay is a Past President of the American Association of Physics Teachers. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society and has recently served as the councilor representing the Forum on Education and also on the APS Board of Directors. She previously served on the APS Forum on Education Executive Committee, both as the AAPT liaison and in the chair line; and the APS Committee on Education. She chaired the College Board’s Science Academic Advisory Committee, co-chaired the Advanced Placement Physics Redesign commission, and the AP Physics 2 Development Committee. She was an author of the 6-12 College Board Science Standards for College Success. Gay was chosen the 2002 CASE Arkansas Professor of the Year, and has received numerous awards for teaching and advising.
Gubbi Sudhakaran, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Task Force Member
Gubbi Sudhakaran currently serves as Professor of Physics and Interim Associate Dean of the College of Science and Health at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL). Prior to joining the UWL faculty in 1993, he taught at the State University of New York, Oswego, and at the University of Idaho. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Idaho where he specialized in Far-Infrared Laser Stark Spectroscopy.
He has received several teaching awards including the Innovations in the Teaching of Physics Award in 2000 and the Excellence in Teaching Physics at the University Level Award in 2006 from the Wisconsin Association of Physics Teachers (WAPT). He has also received several research and educational grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Dr. Sudhakaran is very active in undergraduate research and served as councilor to the Physics and Astronomy Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) for four three-year terms. He also serves as the Associate Director of Research for the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) and as a member of the WSGC Executive Committee.
The UWL Physics Program has been sighted in the SPIN-UP report by the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Education and in the Phys21 report by the Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs. The Program has also been honored with the UW-System 2004 Regents Teaching Excellence Award and, in 2013, the Program received the APS Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Education together with MIT, Kettering University, and Colorado School of Mines.
Kathryn Svinarich, Kettering University, Task Force Member
Kathryn Svinarich is the Associate Provost for Assessment and Academic Support at Kettering University. As a physics faculty member, then head of the department, she played a major role in leading the physics department to successfully achieve first-time ABET accreditation for both Engineering Physics and Applied Physics in 2012. The Applied Physics program at Kettering University is the first and only ABET accredited applied physics program.
In April 2015, at the University President’s request, she became the founding chair for the University Committee on Accreditation and Assessment which is charged with providing critical assessment leadership to the university and is responsible for establishing and supporting a process of institution-wide continual self-evaluation and improvement.
Dr. Svinarich brings experience on accreditation and co-operative education (Kettering University engages in a fully-co-operative educational model) to EP3.
She received her B.S. in Physics from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. in Physics from Wayne State University.
Chandra Turpen, University of Maryland, Researcher
Chandra Turpen is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park with the Physics Education Research Group. She completed her Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Chandra draws on perspectives from anthropology, cultural psychology, and the learning sciences to design and research contexts for learning within higher education. Chandra focuses on studying faculty as learners within professional-development and workplace settings, and studying undergraduate students as learners in undergraduate interdisciplinary physics and engineering classrooms. She build explanatory theories of learning and pragmatically links these theoretical insights to the design of learning environments. Through in-situ studies of classroom and institutional practice, Chandra focuses on the role of culture in science learning and educational change. Chandra pursues projects that have high potential for leveraging sustainable change in undergraduate STEM programs and makes these struggles for change a direct focus of her research efforts.
Carl Wieman, Stanford University, Task Force Member
Carl Wieman holds a joint appointment as Professor of Physics and of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. He has done extensive experimental research in both atomic physics and science education at the university level. Wieman served as founding chair of the Board of Science Education of the National Academy of Sciences and was the founder of PhET which provides online interactive simulations that are used 100 million times per year to learn science. Wieman directed the science education initiatives at the Universities of Colorado and British Columbia which carried out large scale change in teaching methods across university science departments. He served as Associate Director for Science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House in 2010-12. Wieman has received numerous awards recognizing his work in atomic physics, including the Nobel Prize in physics in 2001 for the first creation of a Bose-Einstein condensate. He has also studied student learning and problem solving and the comparative effectiveness of different methods for teaching science. The education work has been recognized with a number of awards including the Carnegie Foundation University Professor of the Year in 2004, the Oersted Medal for physics education, and a lifetime achievement award from the National Science Teachers Association.
Lawrence Woolf, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., Task Force Member
Lawrence Woolf is a technical fellow and manager of the Materials Science group in Mission Systems at General Atomics (GA) Aeronautical Systems, Inc. in San Diego. He received a Ph.D. in low temperature condensed matter physics from UCSD in 1980 and a BA in physics from Rutgers College in 1975. Woolf joined GA in 1982 after a post-doc at Exxon. He has been project manager or lead scientist for over 45 programs involving the design, development, and/or production of a variety of advanced materials. He is the author or co-author of 73 scientific publications in the area of materials physics and energy conversion systems, holds 24 patents, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is also President and Chairman of the Board of the GA Sciences Education Foundation, where he initiated the GASSSS program that involves employees in K-12 STEM education outreach. He has developed many educational modules, materials, and posters and has given over 100 workshops to teachers and students. He was curriculum advisor/technical reviewer for multiple Lawrence Hall of Science FOSS middle school modules and for the BSCS Science: An Inquiry Approach integrated high school curriculum. He has been a member of 25 NSF education related committees, ranging from elementary science education to national laboratory reviews. He has been involved in many APS education committees and activities, including the Forum on Education (as chair), the Second Graduate Education in Physics Conference, and J-TUPP, and has organized many sessions at national meetings.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1738311, 1747563, and 1821372. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.