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Physics Education Research

West Virginia University continued a major initiative to grow its Physics Education Research (PER) presence with the hiring of Jason May in 2022. Dr. May joined John Stewart, Gay Stewart, Paul Miller and Wathiq Abdul-Razzaq in producing a cluster of PER faculty who are interested in introductory course reform, retention, inclusion, and departmental transformation.

Wathiq Abdul-Razzaq | Research Interests: Algebra-based introductory laboratory transformations to make the experience more relevant to life science majors.

Jason May | Research Interests: Physical sensemaking, mechanistic reasoning, student autonomy and agency in physics courses, instructional laboratory course transformation, learning sciences, and graduate TA training. Former NSF Graduate Research Fellow. Lab manager for introductory physics lab courses, lecture demo specialist, and lead faculty for graduate TA training and mentoring.

Paul Miller Research Interests: Undergraduate course transformation, departmental transformation, and the design of introductory laboratories. Leader of the implementation of the Physics for Everyday Thinking curriculum at WVU.

Gay Stewart (APS Fellow, AAPT Fellow) | Research Interests: Physics teacher preparation, departmental transformation, high school physics education. Founding director of the WVU Center for Excellence in STEM Education. Former President of the American Association of Physics Teachers and member of the APS Board of Directors. Co-chair of the NSF-supported AP physics redesign that launched Physics 1 and 2 which greatly expanded access of AP physics to underserved populations. Site leader of the University of Arkansas PhysTEC program. 2019 AAPT Oersted Medalist.

John Stewart (APS Fellow, AAPT Fellow) | Research Interests: Coherence of physics knowledge, physics class function, student retention, student recruitment, inclusion, departmental transformation, and online learning. Site leader: WVU Physics Teacher Education Coalition site. Chair American Physical Society Forum on Education (2017). PI for the WVU Robert Noyce Scholarship Program and CPHYS Computational Physics Scholarship programs. PI for STEM-R, a National Science Foundation grant to study STEM retention in the first two years of college.