aapt_program_final_sm13 - page 17

July 13–17, 2013
The 2013 David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching is
presented to
Michael Jackson,
in recognition of his contributions to undergraduate physics teaching and his ex-
traordinary accomplishments in communicating the excitement of physics to students. John Wiley & Sons is the
principal source of funding for this award. Jackson earned his BS in Physics and Mathematics at the State Uni-
versity of New York, Oswego and his PhD in Physics at New Mexico State University. He taught at the University
of Wisconsin-La Crosse and State University of West Georgia-Carrolton before going to Central Washington
University, where he is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics.
During his career Jackson has established an exceptional record of accomplishments in all three key aspects of a
faculty member’s responsibilities (instruction, scholarship, service). He is an excellent and popular teacher who
has accumulated a superior record of peer-reviewed scholarship while carrying out sustained contributions to
the university, profession, and community, all while serving as a transformative chair for CWU’s physics depart-
ment during a particularly challenging and demanding period for the department and the university.
While serving as the chair of his department, Jackson typically teaches a full load of undergraduate courses at
both the introductory and upper division levels as well as teaching in and contributing to CWU’s NSF funded
Science Talent Expansion Program (STEP), and teaching a range of other credit bearing courses. He is highly
regarded by the faculty and staff in the department and the college for his commitment to, success in, and
championing of highly effective teaching. Qualitative and quantitative Student Evaluation of Instruction survey
results and other assessments of his teaching have consistently portrayed Jackson as an exceptional and dynamic
instructor who is deeply invested in student learning and is constantly seeking out and applying best practices
techniques. In addition to classroom instruction, Jackson has maintained an outstanding record of mentoring
undergraduate research projects including mentoring students in CWU’s competitive and demanding Science
Honors Research Program.
Beyond the classroom, Jackson has engaged the general public and K-12 students through a variety of outreach
programs. From rockets and solar observing to the construction of kaleidoscopes, these programs were designed
to spark an interest in physics and science.
Teaching Physics and
Its Role in the Survival
(and growth) of a Physics
Monday, July 15
10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
Grand Ballroom I
Michael Jackson
Central Washington
University, Department
of Physics, Professor and
Chair, Ellensburg, WA
David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award for
Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching
Established as the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1993; it was renamed and substantially endowed in
2010 by John Wiley & Sons. Named for David Halliday and Robert Resnick, authors of a very successful college-level
textbook in introductory physics, the award recognizes outstanding achievement in teaching undergraduate physics.
Thomas F. Haff
Issaquah High School
Issaquah, WA
The Paul W. Zitzewitz Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching Award for 2013 is presented to
Thomas F.
in recognition of his career-long concern for and attention to quality education at the pre-college level. A
high school physics teacher from Seattle, WA, Haff earned his BA and MEd from the University of Washington.
He began teaching in 1976 at Mercer Island High School. He taught at several high schools and at Edmonds
Community College before taking a position at Issaquah High School in 1996. He is a National Board Certified
The Washington Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers honored Haff with an Outstanding
High School Teacher Award Oct. 9, 2010, at its state meeting. This is the first time the chapter has given the
award, and it will now be called the Tom Haff award, in honor of its first recipient.
Haff epitomizes the qualities most desired in a teacher. He is an enthusiastic, expert teacher; he explains physics
so the subject comes alive for students, inspiring them to seek and grasp a deeper level of understanding. He
truly understands that his job is not only to teach science concepts to his students; rather to instill in them a
curiosity and enthusiasm for learning science. He is an effective mentor, providing opportunities for students to
interact with physics educators and physicists at local and national meetings. He immerses himself in his physics
classes. He ran his AP Physics for nine years after school hours so all students in the district would have an op-
portunity to participate. His passing rate was well over 98% on the AP exam and his students did exceptionally
well on the college level.
He consistently applies for grants so that he can keep the curriculum up-to-date with new textbooks and sup-
plies, supports his students with personal letters in their college applications, and supports their efforts to obtain
summer internships after graduation. Haff noted, “When it is all said and done….the bottom line…whether we
build a new building or buy a pencil…. It is about the kids….bottom line.”
Established as the Excellence in Pre-College Teaching Award in 1993 then renamed and endowed in 2010 by Paul
W. and Barbara S. Zitzewitz, the Paul W. Zitzewitz Award for Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching recognizes
outstanding achievement in teaching pre-college physics.
Paul W. Zitzewitz Award for Excellence in
Pre-College Physics Teaching
Creating an
Environment that
Lets Learning Occur
Monday, July 15
10:30 a.m. –12 p.m.
Grand Ballroom I
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