Deborah Mason-McCaffrey Receives the AAPT 2020 David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that Deborah Mason-McCaffrey will receive the 2020 David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching. This award is given in recognition of contributions to undergraduate physics teaching and awardees are chosen for their extraordinary accomplishments in communicating the excitement of physics to their students. John Wiley & Sons is the principal source of funding for this award, through its donation to the AAPT.
Regarding her selection for this award, Mason-McCaffrey said, “It is a great honor to receive the Halliday and Resnick Award. The joys and challenges of teaching physics have made my ‘third career’ the most rewarding. I owe a debt of gratitude to my colleagues at Salem State University and in the AAPT for sharing their wisdom and innovative teaching methods.”
Mason-McCaffrey is Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Physics, Salem State University, Salem, Massachusetts. She earned her B.S.M.E. in Mechanical Engineering, with highest distinction, at the University of Rhode Island, her Sc.M. in Solid Mechanics at Brown University, and her Ph.D. in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics at Cornell University.
She is the Chair of the Undergraduate Research Symposium Committee at Salem State, the immediate Past-President of the New England Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), and an AAPT Fellow. Prior to teaching at Salem State, she worked as an engineer in product development and as a department manager at Polaroid Corporation, followed by several years as a consultant and trainer. Mason-McCaffrey’s interest is in understanding the link between mathematics preparation and students’ conceptual gains in introductory physics.
In nominating her for this award her colleague said, “Dr. Mason-McCaffrey achieves teaching excellence. Despite teaching rigorous courses, her student evaluations are consistently outstanding. Her course materials, including her syllabi, are meticulously organized. Her use of student-active learning techniques, such as in-class group problem solving, videos, applets and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs) is to be commended. In addition to experimenting with various student-active learning techniques, she assesses her methods using pre- and post-testing. Dr. Mason-McCaffrey has played a critical role in reviving the Physics Minor at Salem State and puts in countless hours personally interacting with potential and current students.”
About the Award
The David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching was established as the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1993. It was renamed and substantially endowed in 2010 by John Wiley and Sons. Named for David Halliday and Robert Resnick, the award recognizes outstanding achievement in teaching undergraduate physics.
AAPT is an international organization for physics educators, physicists, and industrial scientists—with members worldwide. Dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching, AAPT provides awards, publications, and programs that encourage practical application of physics principles, support continuing professional development, and reward excellence in physics education. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.
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