AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

2017 National Board of Directors Election Candidate for Vice President

Genaro ZavalaGenaro Zavala

Department of Physics
School of Engineering and Sciences
Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico
genaro.zavala@itesm.mx

Education
B.E. Tecnologico de Monterrey, 1990, Physics Engineering
M. Sc. Syracuse University,1993, Solid State Science and Technology
Ph.D. Syracuse University,1997, Solid State Science and Technology

Professional Experience
Syracuse University: Visitant Assistant Professor (2000-2001), 
Tecnologico de Monterrey: Assistant Professor (1997-2000), Assistant Professor of Physics (2001-2003), Associate Professor of Physics (2003-2009), Professor of Physics (2009-Present), Department of Physics Chair (2011-2014), Professor of Physics and Education (2014-2015), Director of Innovative Education (2015-2017), Director of Undergraduate Studies (2017-Present)

Honors
Summa cum laude (1990)
Knowledge Award (1990)
Fulbright-CONACYT Scholarship (1991-1997)
Teaching and Research Award (2005)
Teaching and Research Award (2008)
Teaching and Research Award (2011)
National Researcher Level 1 of the National System of Researchers of Mexico (2009-Present).

Memberships
American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT)
National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST)
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE)
Groupe International de Reserche sur l'Enseignement de la Physique (GIREP)
Latin American Physics Education Network (LAPEN)
Mexico Section AAPT (AAPT-MX)
Consejo Mexicano de Investigación Educativa (COMIE),
Corporación Universitaria para el Desarrollo de Internet (Red CUDI),
Sociedad Mexicana de Física (SMF).

AAPT/Other Professional Organizations Activities
AAPT: Organizer of 17 AAPT meeting sessions (2007-2015), Co-organizer of 3 AAPT meeting sessions (2013-2015), Committee on International Physics Education member (2006-2009), Committee on International Physics Education Chair (2008-2009), Membership and Benefits Committee (2012-2015), Philanthropy Committee (2011-2013), Committee on Research in Physics Education (2015-Present), Physics Education Research Leadership Organizing Council (PERLOC) member (2015-Present).
Mexico Section, AAPT: Founder president (2008-2009), Section advisor (2009-2010), Section Representative (2010-2013).
GIREP: Coordinator of the GIREP Topical Group: Evaluation of Learning and Instruction (2015-Present).

Commentary
The American Association of Physics Teachers' Mission is to enhance the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching. I have been attempting to enhance the understanding of physics since I was a high school student 30 years ago, prior to becoming a member of AAPT. Of those 30 years, the first 15 of them were as a high school student, a university student, a graduate student and an assistant professor. I tried to enhance the understanding of physics in an unstructured way, reflecting on my own experiences. I learned about AAPT and its work in 2002, and did not hesitate to join. I found a strong and inspiring organization in which I could resonate internationally. I have been actively involved with the AAPT for the last 15 years in which I have worked hard to echo its mission in several latitudes, enjoying the experience and learning. Among some other activities, I was instrumental in creating the Mexican section of the AAPT (AAPT-MX) and served as president, hosting the first meeting back in 2008. Since then, we meet every November. I have also been quite active in the Committee on International Physics Education and the Committee on Research in Physics Education, organizing 20 AAPT sessions through the years. I would love to continue my journey as an AAPT member contributing from a new scope, providing service and leadership to the association and its members

The association has a series of noble programs and makes a great effort to finance them to benefit the community at large. The Physics Instructional Research Association (PIRA), Physics Teacher Resource Agents (PTRA), the Workshop for new physics and astronomy faculty and the Physics Education Research Conference (PERC), to name a few, are programs that have a major impact on teachers and students. We must continue to do a great job in our physics community by strengthening those programs. We also need to enhance our influence in the larger scientific and engineering community, since increasing our work with STEM groups across the country will help us fulfill and propagate our mission.

We need to unite and embrace equity and inclusion in our programs. We have done a great job, but we must continue to make efforts to be stronger and recognize our diversity. We need to strengthen our ties with other professional associations, listen to our area and advisory committees to understand their needs, and help them reach their goals. I have a great interest to increase our role in the international physics community promoting our values, propagating our programs and disseminating our mission. Our association has influence in other societies that we may not know. Interaction with a broader international community would not only increase our membership, which is a noble goal, but also, we would reach different places where we can significantly impact the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching.