April 2019: Shahida Dar
Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, New York
- Member since 2013
- Associate Professor
- Utica, New York
I first heard about AAPT when I was invited to attend a NY section meeting in 2009. I attended the Fall 2010 section meeting at Syracuse university and had a wonderful experience. That’s when I learned about the twice a year national conferences organized by AAPT. I realized that AAPT offers amazing opportunities to physics educators to enhance physics teaching. It also provides so many resources to the members like TPT and Physics Today.
I have benefited greatly from AAPT. From attending my first national conference in Winter 2014 in Orlando until today I always learn something new and useful at the national meeting. A few of the initiatives that I learned about at APPT meetings and then adopted them in my teaching are, Just in Time Teaching, more robust use of mobile devices in teaching physics, increasing efforts to recruit more women in physics, and many active learning strategies. Apart from physics teaching, at the institutional level we were able to start a conversation about student evaluations of teaching because of a session during Winter 2018 meeting. Last but not least, I learned a whole lot about AAPT by joining the area committee of Educational Technologies. I served as the chair of the committee from January 2018 to January 2019.
AAPT is lot more than just the national meetings. It offers so many resources to physics educators. There are publications, web resources like COMPADRE, and let’s not forget the connection we make with other physicists from literally all over the country and overseas. This is what motivates me to donate to AAPT.
I teach all kind of physics courses (for majors and non-majors, from basic to advanced) at my institution. My aim is to make my students appreciate the vast range of physics as a subject. I like to use several active learning techniques in class so students stay engaged. I extensively use mobile devices (specifically iPads) in my classrooms and labs.
My advice would be to become and active member of AAPT. Also try to become involved in committee work because that’s where they will get to appreciate how much AAPT is contributing to promoting physics education.
I am really honored that I am chosen for AAPT member spotlight. Over the years, I have learned a lot from the association and I will continue to be an active part of it.