October 2022: Nicole Gugliucci

Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH

Nicole Gugliucci

  • Member since 2016
  • Associate Professor
  • Manchester, NH

About Nicole

I have always wanted to be a scientist of some kind, and I really fell in love with astronomy in middle school. By high school, my teachers encouraged me to study physics if I wanted to do astronomy, so I did! It wasn’t until I was well into my Ph.D. in Astronomy that I realized that what I really loved was teaching and communicating science.

My current position has a significant emphasis on teaching and mentoring students, but I have also been able to participate in education research and developing educational programming. For example, we have supported college STEM majors in teaching after school courses to high school students. It lets us explore topics that are not typically done in a science course, such as radio astronomy, which is my background.

I joined AAPT because I am excited to talk about topics in physics and astronomy education with colleagues who are equally excited about them. When I go to a conference, I often have a hard time deciding between multiple sessions since so many are interesting to me! I have also benefitted from the AAPT New Faculty Workshop in my early years as a professor, and I’ve found an amazing co-mentoring group through the AAPT eAlliances. I am the only astronomer in a small physics department at a small college, so the connections I make through AAPT are incredibly important.

My favorite thing about teaching physics and astronomy is seeing the satisfaction on a student’s face when something just WORKS. Physics is a struggle, like any rigorous field, but we seem to have a special talent for creating torturous problem sets or experiments! So, when a student gets to the end of a problem or gets an experiment working, the look of satisfaction, and relief, is a great payoff.

I really believe that physics is a field that can and should be enjoyed by anyone who wants to take part. We still have a long ways to go to make this field as accessible and welcoming as it should be, but I am glad to be part of the efforts to make it so.