AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

Beth A. Cunningham - Executive Officer of AAPTCunningham_Beth2013a

Beth is the Executive Officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Arts degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Kent State University. After receiving her doctorate, Beth was a post-­doctoral fellow at the Hormel Institute at the University of Minnesota. She taught for one year in the physics department at Gettysburg College immediately following her post-­doctoral fellowship. In 1989 she joined the physics department at Bucknell University as an assistant professor, attaining full professor in 2002. She was named associate dean of the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences in 2000. As a faculty member she involved students actively in her research and ran a Research Experiences for Undergraduate site. In 2006, she was appointed as Provost, Dean of the Faculty, and Professor of Physics at Illinois Wesleyan University. As provost, Beth initiated a strategic curricular review and revitalized departmental reviews to enhance academic programs. At AAPT since 2011, Beth provides leadership on a number of physics education initiatives including providing professional development opportunities for high school teachers of physics, supporting physics educators in higher education through workshops for new faculty and topical conferences, and the PhysTEC project to increase the number and quality of high school physics teachers. As a long time member of AAPT, she enjoys working closely with many members to improve physics teaching and learning at all levels. She has assisted AAC&U Project Kaleidoscope in developing STEM faculty leaders and CUR to incorporate undergraduate research into the curriculum. Beth’s current interests include the structure and function of phospholipid membranes, physics education research, and increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in physics.