2023 National Board of Directors Election Candidate for Vice President

Debbie AndresDebbie Andres (she, her, hers)

Current Position:
Teacher of Physics and Engineering at Paramus High School
99 East Century Road, Paramus, NJ 07652

Current Doctoral Candidate for Ed.D. Teacher Leadership, Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, Anticipated Completion 2025
Ed.M. Science Education K-12 (Physics Education), Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, 2016
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Rutgers University School of Engineering, 2015

Professional Experience:
Teacher of Physics and Engineering at Paramus High School (September 2016 – Present)
Part-Time Lecturer at Rutgers University Graduate School of Education (June 2017 – Present)
Cooperating Teacher for Rutgers Physics Teacher Preparation Program student (January 2022 - December 2022)
Instructional Coach at Paramus High School (September 2020 – June 2021)
Instructional Technology Coach at Paramus High School (September 2017 – June 2020)
Independent Physics Education Researcher at Rutgers University (September 2020 - Present)
Research Assistant in Curriculum Development, Rutgers University Physics Department (June 2015 – June 2017)
REU at Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences “Optical Properties and Durability Studies of Elastic Nanostructures” (June 2013 - August 2013)
Physics Learning Assistant, Rutgers University (September 2012 - May 2015)

Honors and Recognitions:
Doc Brown Futures Award, American Association of Physics Teachers, 2022
Nancy Higginson Dorr Award, Rutgers Graduate School of Education, 2016
Outstanding Presentation Senior Design Project, MAE Industrial Advisory Board, 2015
Noyce STEM for Education Scholarship Program, National Science Foundation and Rutgers University, 2013

American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT)
New Jersey American Association of Physics Teachers (NJAAPT)
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)

AAPT Activities:
Meeting Planning Committee: Member (April 2022 – Present)
K-12 Task Force: Member (June 2022 - Present)
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force: Member (February 2022 - Present)
Committee on Special Projects & Philanthropy: Member (January 2022 – Present)
Committee on Physics in High School: Member (2016 – 2019, 2019 - 2022), Vice Chair (2021), Chair (2022)
National Nominating Committee: Member (2021), Chair (2022)
Bauder Endowment Fund Committee: Member (2019 - Present)
Membership and Benefits Committee: Member (January 2017 - January 2023)
NJAAPT: Executive Board Member-At-Large (April 2018 - Present)
NJAAPT: Section Representative (January 2019 – Present)
NJAAPT: Elections Committee Chair (February 2023 – June 2023)
High School Teacher Camp: Organizing Team (January 2020 - Present)

Other Professional Activities:
AIP Statistical Research Center Research Group Advisory Committee: Member (May 2023 – Present)
AAAS SEA Change Professional Societies Self-Assessment - Convenings: Member (June 2022 - February 2023)
EdCamp New Jersey: Executive Board Member/Sponsorship Co-Coordinator (November 2022 - Present)
Physics Education Research Conference 2021: Organizer (July 2020 – August 2021)
New Jersey Student Learning Assessment for Science High School Science Advisory Committee: Member (November 2017 – August 2022)

Candidate Statement:
As members of AAPT, we have the potential to make a big difference in physics education. The 2022 Strategic Plan provides a roadmap to how we can make a positive impact on the physics teaching community. Having played a role in shaping the AAPT DEI strategic plan, I understand the amount of time and effort that the AAPT Board put into developing the AAPT strategic plan. I am committed to using the strategic plan to guide my decisions in AAPT and strengthen our community. As vice president, I will work alongside other AAPT members to act on the strategies listed in the plan. As the 2022 AAPT National Nominating Chair, I modernized our nominations procedures and increased transparency in how AAPT leaders are selected. As the 2022 Committee on Physics in High Schools Chair, I co-wrote a letter, with my committee, to the AAPT Board with recommendations on re-thinking session formats at the National Conference. This has led to an emergence of interactive sessions at the National Conference that have been well received by participants. I share these examples to highlight not only my dedication to the strategic plan, but also the steps I have already taken to support the goals.

In March 2020, we faced an unimaginable amount of challenges as a world. As an organization, we were faced with transforming the way we taught, practiced, and researched physics. Along the way, we uncovered systemic inequities that have plagued the education world for over a century. These inequities have been brought forth by many people for as long as they’ve existed. It is time we stop, listen, support, and elevate these voices. This is what DEI at AAPT means to me. It means for everyone to pause and reflect on how they perpetuate harmful hegemonic perspectives within their spaces. And when I say everyone, it means everyone: including myself.

As a first-generation, Latina in STEM, my own unlearning journey has led me to explore more deeply my culture and even caused me to re-evaluate how I pronounce my own name.

As a high school teacher, I continually reflect on my interactions with students. Did I hold everyone to high expectations? Did I provide the necessary resources to make physics accessible for all?

As a doctoral candidate, I prioritize equity as a part of my dissertation. My research focus is on equitable teaching practices in the science classroom and how to design professional development catered to teachers.

As a member of AAPT, I have shared my experiences with other members and gotten to know many people from different areas of physics education who have taught me so much about physics education and the world.

As a leader in AAPT, I help elevate marginalized voices and advocate for resources to make AAPT more accessible. I truly believe AAPT is a great organization that all physics educators should be a part of. My commitment to DEI at AAPT is to continue reflecting, developing, and supporting all aspects of DEI in our organization and the education world.

From the moment I realized that I wanted to be a leader in AAPT, I dedicated my volunteering time to learning the inner workings of AAPT. I have been a member of AAPT since I began the Physics Teacher Preparation Program at Rutgers University in 2014. I attended my first AAPT National Conference in the summer of 2015 in College Park, MD. It was at this meeting that I realized the wonderful resource that AAPT can be for physics teachers around the nation. That summer of 2015, I elected to self-nominate myself to serve on a committee. At the time, a self-nomination involved signing up on a piece of paper that was passed around at area committee meetings. Seven years later, I became the Chair of the National Nominating Committee and digitized the process. This required me to learn the AAPT Bylaws, Constitution, and read the Board of Directors Handbook. This transformation made the entire nomination process more transparent, accessible, and efficient. I took the leap to make substantial changes and dedicate time to something I knew was important to the future of AAPT. I will continue to apply this same mentality to future leadership/member positions at AAPT. My current work in the Meeting Planning Committee has introduced me to the National Conference planning at a level I have not seen before. As a Vice-Presidential candidate, I know that the VP plays a huge role in National Conference planning and I want to bring not only my AAPT experience but also my graduate-student, researcher, and high school teacher perspective to reshaping how we view National meetings and AAPT as a whole. My various committee experiences in AAPT have contributed to my insight into the area committee structure, nominations process, DEI initiatives, financial/budgeting aspects, national conference planning, and section-level planning. While I could list everything I have done, my hope is that you’ve seen everything I have done, and my goal is to continue to be a leader in this organization and utilize my broad skillset to lead us into the future.