AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

2011 Election Candidate

Mary Beth (Todd) Monroe

Mary Beth Monroe_Department of Physics, Southwest Texas Junior College, Uvalde, Texas 78801

BS with Honors in Physics, Sam Houston State University (1970); MS in Physics, Sam Houston State University 1973)

Professional Experience
Part time Physics Instructor, 1971, Tarrant County Junior College, NE
Physics and Physical Science Teacher, Conroe High School, 1972-73
Physics Instructor, Pan American University, 1973-74
Physics Professor, Southwest Texas Jr. College, 1974-present
Chair, Department of Physical Science, Southwest Texas Junior College, 2007 - present

American Association of Physics Teachers, American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Texas Section AAPT, Texas Section APS, Society of Physics Students, Sigma Pi Sigma, Texas Community College Teachers Association

AAPT Activities

  • Secretary, 2001-2007
  • Chair, Publications Committee, 2001-2007
  • Chair, Governance Review Committee, 2007-2011
  • Meetings Committee, 2007-2009
  • Editorial Board, The Physics Teacher, 1987-90, 2008-2011
  • Executive Board Member-at-Large for Two Year Colleges (two terms) 1979-82, 1994-1997
  • Principal Investigator, "The Two Year College in the Twenty First Century
  • (TYC21)" DUE/NSF award ($1.2 Million) to AAPT, DUE 9450160, 1995-2000
  • Co Principal Investigator and Project Director, “Strategic Programs for Innovations in Undergraduate Physics at Two Year Colleges (SPIN-UP/TYC)”, NSF/DUE-ATE # 0203862, 2002-2004
  • Area Committees:

     -  Committee on Science Education for the Public, 1982-85

     -  Committee on Physics in the Two Year College, 1990-93

     -  Pre High School Committee, 1998- 2000     

     -  Committee on the Interests of Senior Physicists, 2007-2010

  • Steering Committee, APS-AAPT Chairs Conference, “Undergraduate Physics Education”, May 1997
  • Steering Committee, AAPT-APS Chairs Conference, “Revitalizing Undergraduate Physics Education”, October 1998
  • AAPT Liaison to the Society of Physics Students, 1996-1998
  • Task Force for Review of Constitution and Procedures, 1977-79

Texas Section of AAPT

  • Presidential Chain 1990-1994
  • Section Representative 1997-2000
  • Chair, Organizing Committee, "The Role of Texas Physics Departments in the Preparation of K-12 Teachers Conference", March 6-7, 2002

Other Activities   

  • AIP Advisory Committee for "Physics in the Two Year Colleges: A Neglected Resource (NSF/DUE # 9453180), Education and Employment Statistics Division, 1996
  • AIP Committee on Public Information 1995-1997
  • SPS Chapter Advisor, 1975-present
  • SPS Zone 13 Councilor, 1993 - 1999
  • Principal Investigator, "The Introductory Physics Laboratory at Southwest
  • Texas Junior College", an NSF/ILI grant DUE-9451959, 1994-96
  • Staff Member, Physics Enhancement Program for Two Year Colleges    
  • (PEPTYC), Texas A&M Univ. and Lee College, 1991-2004
  • Steering Committee, “The Integral Role of the Two-Year College in the Science and Mathematics Preparation of Prospective Teachers’ 1998 Workshop, a joint effort of NSF/DUE and Virginia Collaborative for Excellence in the Preparation of Teachers
  • NSF National Visiting Committee for the Collaborative for Excellence in
  • Teacher Preparation (CETP-PA), Pennsylvania, 2000-2005
  • NSF Reviewer (UFE, CCLI, ATE, STEP, TUES)
  • National Task Force for Undergraduate Physics (NTFUP) Project SPIN-UP Site Visit Team, Department of Physics at Angelo State University, Feb. 7-8, 2002


  • Southwest Texas Junior College Outstanding Teaching Award, 1988
  • NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) Teaching Excellence Award, 1989
  • AAPT Distinguished Service Award, 1998
  • Robert N. Little Award for Outstanding Contributions to Physics Higher Education in Texas, 2003
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 2004
  • Melba Newell Phillips Medal, 2010

I first learned about AAPT while an undergraduate student through my involvement in the Texas Section of AAPT in the 1960’s.  Subsequently during my first years of teaching physics, I naturally turned to the national AAPT as a physics teaching resource of knowledge and experience. One unique feature of our Association that attracted me is the diverse representation within the membership: physics teachers from all educational levels, physicists, physics education researchers, policy makers, and students.  This rich blend of talent, experience, and perspectives enables the AAPT to serve a broad and dynamic physics education community through multiple venues (publications, conferences, regional sections, area committees, topical groups, and special programs such as ComPADRE, PhysTEC, PTRA, and NFTE).  

During the last few years the AAPT Executive Board and Executive Office have had to contend with a financial deficit that would threaten to restrict some AAPT activities. My knowledge of the history of our Association and my experience as active member and leader in some of AAPT’s activities can bring additional perspectives to the Executive Board discussions, thus helping the Board members to discern which options would be the most effective in resolving our financial problems and also appropriate to the mission of AAPT.