January 2020: Amber Stuver
Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania
- Member since 2008
- Assistant Professor
- Villanova, Pennsylvania
I joined the AAPT with my first postdoc appointment which had a strong outreach component to it. Through the AAPT, I got to meet amazing traditional educators along with educators who do outreach and demonstrations professionally. I now have a diverse network I can rely on that only the AAPT could have brought together. This network has led to my own increased visibility through invitations to speak at AAPT national meetings and department colloquia. This, along with the leadership opportunities I’ve been honored to serve helped to establish my reputation and take my career to the next level.
One of the best things about teaching is the “Aha!” moment. I remember as a grad student on a teaching assistantship, having a student come to my office hours who was struggling to understand a concept. I tried to explain it in every way I could think of and, just when I was starting to think they were never going to get it, I said something that clicked for them and I could see the comprehension light up in their eyes. I could see their pride that they had made the concept their own through hard work. It was that moment that I knew that I wanted to be a teacher as much as researcher. That’s exactly what brought me to Villanova with their emphasis on the teacher/scholar model. I get to be there for my students the way my mentors were and do cutting edge research with these same students. I also still love doing outreach! Besides doing talks and events for the public whenever I can, I also have worked with TED-Ed to write animation scripts and lessons. So far, I’ve done 2: “What are gravitational waves?” and “Einstein’s Twin Paradox explained”.