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Mel SabellaMel S. Sabella to be Recognized as a 2016 Recipient of the Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT


College Park, MD, April 25, 2016—AAPT has announced that Mel S. Sabella will receive the association's Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT, during the 2016 Summer Meeting in Sacramento, California.

Sabella earned his BS in Physics at Binghamton University (SUNY) and his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. He worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Washington in the Physics Education Group before his current appointment at Chicago State University - a majority African American institution on Chicago's south-side. At Chicago State University, he has implemented PER based instructional materials into the physics program and developed a multi-discipline Learning Assistant (LA) Program to support students at CSU. He has been an advisor to physics majors, an Assessment Coordinator for the physics program, and a co-advisor of the Society of Physics Students and the CSU S-STEM Scholars Program for Chemistry and Physics majors.  Sabella also started the Science Fair Central - South Program at CSU which supports students in Chicago in developing Science Fair Projects.

Professionally, Sabella has been a reviewer for numerous publications including: Science Education, Physics Education Research Supplement, Physics Education Research Conference proceedings, Physical Review: Special Topics, Sessions of 2004 American Education Research Association Conference, The Physics Teacher, and The American Journal of Physics. He has been an active member of the Chicago Section of AAPT, a member of the Physics Education Research Leadership Organizing Council, a member of AAPT's Research in Physics Education Committee and Committee on Diversity, and a member of the planning group for the Chicago area conference "Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science Symposia." Sabella has also served on the American Physical Society Forum on Education Executive Committee and the Committee on Minorities. He has been a Guest Editor for the American Journal of Physics theme issue: "The Intersection of Physics and Biology". He co-organized the 2014 Gordon Research Conference: "Physics Research and Education" at Mt. Holyoke College and the 2008 PER Conference on "Physics Education Research with Diverse Student Populations." Additionally, Sabella has given numerous invited presentations on physics learning and has been a workshop leader for AAPT and PhysTEC conferences, as well as workshop co-organizer, and presenter hosted by several universities.

Sabella has said, "My membership in AAPT has been an essential piece of career building: it is the main conference for the professional community that I belong to.  AAPT is where I learn about new research in my field, connect to and collaborate with colleagues, and have an opportunity to talk about my work. The vast majority of my current collaborations have come from interactions at either the national AAPT meetings or our local Chicago and Illinois section meetings. AAPT is also where I get inspired. I often get so excited at AAPT meetings that I arrive back to my home institution wanting to incorporate everything I've learned! Incorporating everything takes time and I've learned over the years that I need to bring back one or two items and make changes to my teaching and research slowly and reflectively."

About the Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT
Established in 1953 and renamed in recognition of AAPT founder Homer L. Dodge in 2012, the Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT is presented to members in recognition of their exceptional contributions to the association at the national, sectional, or local level.

About AAPT
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 teaching 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.

For more information: Contact David Wolfe, Director of Communications, dwolfe@aapt.org, (301) 209-3322, (301) 209-0845 (Fax), www.aapt.org.