President's Commentary (Summer 2006)
Welcome New Executive Officer
I am happy to announce that the AAPT Executive Board has chosen Toufic Hakim to become our new Executive Officer. He will become Executive Officer on September 5, 2006. At the same time, I am sure we all want to express our gratitude to Bernie Khoury who announced his planned retirement over a year ago and agreed to remain Executive Officer until a new Executive Officer was on board. Bernie will remain on the AAPT staff as Executive Officer Emeritus until the end of 2007. During that time he will help smooth the transition and undertake special projects to advance the mission of AAPT.
Some members of AAPT know Toufic primarily through his active involvement in promoting undergraduate research. He was President of the Council on Undergraduate Research in 2000. For those who have not met him, let me give a very brief sketch of his career—he was very active in all aspects of teaching, including curriculum reform, teacher preparation, and undergraduate research. For his work, he received numerous teaching awards including the Florida Teacher of the Year from the Carnegie Foundation.
After a fellowship from the American Council on Education, he entered university administration first at the College of New Jersey and then at Kean University where he became Director of Research and Sponsored Programs.
Toufic has been an innovative physics teacher, a promoter of student research, a manager, a fundraiser, a motivational speaker, and a consensus builder. These experiences will serve him well as AAPT Executive Officer. His accomplishments show that he can analyze an organization and then actively assist its members in building on their past achievements to attain the desired new level. Looking beyond his experience and accomplishments, you will find that Toufic is a charismatic and caring person. When you talk to him for a few minutes, it is obvious that he has a deep and passionate commitment to improving physics teaching.
As we embark on the challenges and opportunities of our second 75 years, please welcome Toufic Hakim as AAPT Executive Officer. Do not hesitate to give him your ideas and suggestions to make our organization stronger and more vibrant. If you need assistance in your own efforts to advance physics teaching, please let him know. I am sure you will find he’s eager to help. Happy 75th to us all.