Kathy Harper - June 2017 Member SpotlightSpotlight Archive

Member Spotlight

Kathy Harper
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

My career and life would be completely different without AAPT.  I joined AAPT in 1994 as a graduate student who knew I wanted to teach university-level physics and probably wanted to conduct physics education research.  During my very first AAPT Meeting, I met people who completely changed the trajectory of what was possible for me to do.  I am a better teacher, better researcher, better citizen, and better person because of the friendships I have forged through AAPT.

During my career, I’ve taught almost every style of introductory university/college physics and astronomy, in addition to teaching engineering fundamentals for the past seven years.  I have also organized workshops in Modeling Instruction in central Ohio for the past fourteen years.  I particularly enjoy learning new ways to turn educational research results into practical teaching tools and then sharing those with other educators.  What I learned at AAPT meetings enlightens every class I teach.  One of the aspects of the annual AAPT meeting that I love the most and I think makes it relatively unique is the way all the members are truly regarded as equals.  Every member has the right to give presentations at a National Meeting.  We all can learn something from everyone else in the organization, and that is what makes it so vibrant.