AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

2012 Executive Board Election Candidate for Four-year College Representative

Aaron Titus

Aaron Titus, 2012 candidte for Four-year College RepresentativeHigh Point University
High Point, NC  27262
atitus@highpoint.edu

Education
B.S. Pennsylvania State University, 1993, physics.
Ph.D. North Carolina State University, 1998, Robert Beichner, advisor.

Professional Experience
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Assistant Professor, 1998-2002
High Point Universit,Assistant Professor, 2002-2009, Associate Professor, 2009-present, Chair, Department of Chemistry and Physics (6/05-5/09)

Honors
Best pedagogical paper, Fall meeting of the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, 2001
Best pedagogical paper, Fall meeting of the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, 2011
Evening Degree Program Outstanding Faculty Member, High Point University, 2009
Meredith Clark Slane Distinguished Teaching/Service Award, High Point University, 2011

Memberships
American Association of Physics Teachers
North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers
American Physical Society
Society of Physics Students

AAPT Activities
Member, Committee on Instructional Media, American Association of Physics Teachers (2000-2001)
President, North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (2004)
Member, Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education, American Association of Physics Teachers (2009-2011)
Chair, Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education, American Association of Physics Teachers (2011)

Commentary
Any success that I’ve had as a physics teacher is mostly due to the influence of AAPT and the mentoring of AAPT members like Bob Beichner, Larry Martin, Wolfgang Christian, Mario Belloni, John Risley, Ruth Chabay, Bruce Sherwood, Andy Gavrin, Bob Teese, Priscilla Laws, Eric Ayars and many others. As a Member-at-Large (Four-Year College) representative, I hope to invest in others like others have invested in me. In the book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, authors Arum and Roksa describe a four-year study that tracked 2,322 traditional-age college students at 24 diverse colleges from 2005 to 2009. They found that 45% of students made no significant improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills during their first two years in college. After four years, 36% of students made no significant improvement in these skills. With a weakened economy, colleges are facing pressure from accrediting bodies and the public to assess student learning and improve their programs. Parents, politicians, and the business community want colleges to validate the expense of a four-year degree. Undergraduate physics programs are not immune to this pressure. Undergraduate physics teachers must recognize the importance of marketing our “product” to a skeptical public. Sometimes I wonder if we even know what our “product” is. (Teaching students how to solve a problem in a book? I hope not.) Physics programs must be intentional about defining goals, evaluating progress, and trumpeting successes. Four-year college physics teachers need practical tools, including program guidelines and assessment guidelines, to build strong programs. Professors and Chairs have called AAPT staff and asked for tools to help them respond to the demands of their administration. As a Member-at-Large (Four-Year College) representative, I hope to bring together AAPT members to collaboratively build and provide tools that teachers and departments need to survive and thrive in the current business and education climate.