July 2023: Krista Wood
University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Member since 1995
- Professor of Physics
- Cincinnati, Ohio
In 6th grade, I became fascinated by electricity through a class project building a soda can lamp. This interest led to a career as an electrical engineer. After a decade in the auto industry, I realized I could have a bigger impact by bringing my skills to the classroom as a role model to students who may never have been encouraged to pursue a career in STEM. So back to school, I went.
I became the only physics teacher at a small high school. I learned about AAPT through another teacher who invited me to a regional AAPT meeting – and I was hooked. Wow! What a fantastic group of physics teachers I found. A founding member of the section took me under his wing and encouraged me to become active in AAPT as a section board secretary.
I learned about physics education research and wanted to know more. So back to school, I went. My advisor, Kathy Koenig, fostered my love of physics education research. I began teaching at a two-year college, finished my Ph.D., and participated in the AAPT Two-Year College (TYC) New Faculty Experience (NFE). The leaders of the TYC NFE encouraged me to attend National AAPT meetings. My mentors are still encouraging me and are lifelong friends, especially Tom O’Kuma and Dwain Desbien. They invited me to run for the National AAPT Board of Directors and are why I joined the OPTYCs grant leadership team.
I am currently the co-coordinator for the OPTYCs New Faculty Development Series, a 16-month professional development involving physics education research-based instructional strategies, mentoring through implementation, and support for presenting results at AAPT. I am also a co-coordinator for the OPTYCs Leadership Institute.
I have served on the Southern Ohio Section of AAPT as secretary, president-elect, president, and past president. I am currently serving on the AAPT Board of Directors as Member-at-Large, on the Committee on Physics in Two-Year Colleges, and on numerous other AAPT committees.
I pursue my interest in PER by working with a research team with a funded NSF grant focused on developing scientific reasoning (SR) skills. The team, led by Kathy Koenig, has developed an introductory lab curriculum that promotes SR skills and has developed a validated research instrument to assess SR skills.
AAPT is my professional home. I have learned more from other AAPT members than I could have ever imagined. It is just amazing to read an article in the American Journal of Physics or The Physics Teacher, then meet the authors at AAPT, and have wonderful discussions. I look forward to seeing my AAPT friends at each national meeting and catching up. My AAPT colleagues have supported all my efforts in improving physics education in my classes, as well as mentoring others. The energy, enthusiasm, and hard-earned wisdom that my AAPT colleagues share is incredible!