From the Chair

John Stewart, West Virginia University

Officer roles change at the Forum on Education Executive Committee (ExComm) meeting held at the April meeting (held in January this year). I am writing this note a few weeks before the meeting, so I hope I also capture the sentiments of the still current chair, Tim Stelzer (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign). By the time this newsletter is published, Tim will become the Past Chair, I will be the Chair, Larry Cain (Davidson College) will be Chair Elect, and Laurie McNeil (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill) will join the ExComm as the newly elected Vice Chair. Larry discusses the election process and results in the article which follows. The Past Chair oversees the awards process including the nomination of APS Fellows, the Excellence in Physics Education Award, and the Jonathan F. Reichert and Barbara Wolff-Reichert Award for Excellence in Advanced Laboratory Instruction; be sure to pass on nominations to Tim. The Chair Elect is the chair of the program committee which sets the invited program at the March and April meetings. The FEd has also sponsored a session organized by Heather Lewandowski at the DAMOP meeting for the last few years. Heather finished her term on the ExComm last April. The program committee is always looking for ideas for interesting sessions and people willing to organize them; direct those ideas to Larry. I would like to welcome Noah Finkelstein as the new Forum Counselor, and welcome back Charles Henderson as secretary/treasurer. Both have already given extensively of their time to support APS and physics education. I am also pleased to once again work with new members-at-large Chuhee Kwon and Beth Lindsey. Chuhee has spent many years supporting the development of highly trained physics teachers through the PhysTEC project. Beth returns to the ExComm after a short break; she served 3 years as newsletter editor. Richard Steinberg, who took over for Beth, is just completing his first year as editor (and doing a fantastic job).

We said goodbye to past president Randy Knight who managed the complicated process of updating the Forum’s bylaws to conform to the new APS governance structure during his time in office. Gay Stewart also leaves after two terms as Forum Councilor; she was instrumental in giving education a voice with the APS Board of Directors. The counselor represents the Forum at APS council meetings and communicates the discussions at those meetings to the ExComm. Some members of the Board of Directors are elected from the council. We are quite pleased that Gay’s role will be in the capable hands of Noah Finkelstein. Also leaving the ExComm are members-at-large Jorge Lopez and Wendy Adams. I thank all departing members for their service.

The program committee put together a set of March Meeting invited sessions that should appeal to current and future educators. The Reichert Award session will feature award winner Richard Peterson as well as a number of other experts in improving advanced lab instruction; thanks to organizer Heather Lewandowski. The Preparing Physics Students for 21st Century Careers session will allow industry and academic experts to discuss how physics departments can produce graduates with the skills needed outside of academia; thanks to Ted Hodapp for organizing. For new faculty (or students who may become new faculty) we present The New (and Future) Faculty Workshop in Three Hours to introduce research-based educational methods; thanks to Mary Mogge for organizing. For students (or faculty who have students) we present an overview of the physics career landscape in the session How to Get a Job: Preparing for a Career in Physics. I hope those attending the meeting can find some time to get away from the cutting edge science to learn more about education and careers.

Disclaimer – The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Forum on Education Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the APS.