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Physics Education Research

West Virginia University continued a major initiative to grow its Physics Education Research (PER) presence with the hire of Gay Stewart in 2014, John Stewart in 2015, and Seth DeVore and Kathryn Williamson in 2016. These researchers join Paul Miller and Wathiq Abdul-Razzaq producing a cluster of PER faculty interested in introductory course reform, retention, inclusion, and departmental transformation.

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, an National Science Foundation grant to study STEM retention in the first two years of college.

Gay Stewart (APS Fellow, AAPT Fellow) – Research interests: Physics teacher preparation, departmental transformation, high school physics education. Site co-director of WVUteach and 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.

Kathryn Williamson – Research interests: Astronomy education and informal science education. Director of outreach for the WVU physics department.

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.

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