AAPT: American Association of Physics Teachers

AAPT Member Spotlight

Meet Nicole

I have always wanted to be a scientist of some kind, and I really fell in love with astronomy in middle school. By high school, my teachers encouraged me to study physics if I wanted to do astronomy, so I did! It wasn’t until I was well into my Ph.D. in Astronomy that I realized that what I really loved was teaching and communicating science. My current position has a significant emphasis on teaching and mentoring students, but I have also been able to participate in education research and developing educational programming. For example, we have supported college STEM majors in teaching after school courses to high school students. It lets us explore topics that are not typically done in a science course, such as radio astronomy, which is my background. I joined AAPT because I am excited to talk about topics in physics and astronomy education with colleagues who are equally excited about them. When I go to a conference, I often have a hard time deciding between multiple sessions since so many are interesting to me! I have also benefitted from the AAPT New Faculty Workshop in my early years as a professor, and I’ve found an amazing co-mentoring group through the AAPT eAlliances. I am the only astronomer in a small physics department at a small college, so the connections I make through AAPT are incredibly important.

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