2014 Lotze Scholarship Winners Named


College Park, Maryland, United States, February 23, 2015 –The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that the 2014 Barbara Lotze Scholarship for Future Teachers has been awarded to Leah DeWeez, Southern Adventist University;Raven Marie Hernandez, University of Wisconsin-River Falls;Nicholas Alexander McKinley, Towson University;Alexandra Judith Trunnell, Vassar College. Supported by an endowment funded by AAPT Member, Barbara Lotze, the scholarship provides a $2,000 stipend to outstanding future high school physics teachers.

About the recipients

Leah DeWeez, a student at Southern Adventist University said, "When I advanced to my next school, I spent my vacation days volunteering at my old school in any way that I could. It started with just grading papers, but it quickly grew into one-on-one help with students and teaching a few lessons … This past May I spent two weeks volunteering at the school during my summer vacation … The principal was so impressed with my ability to teach that he asked me to be the substitute teacher one day."  

Chris Hansen, Department Chair and Professor of Physics at Southern Adventist University praised her determination to become a teacher. "In the 18 years I have been teaching, I have not seen a student more intentional about his or her desire to teach physics at the secondary level –most who follow this path figure it out later in their academic career or even after graduating."

Raven Marie Hernandez currently attends the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Raven mentioned, "My journey to become a teacher has been riddled with experience and opportunities to prepare for my future profession. It started that very next year, my senior year, when I took a student intern class with my Physics teacher from the year before. I was able to help students with the material, help grade tests and labs, and observe a fantastic teacher and his different methods. The class cemented my choice, and was motivation to continue down this course."  

Timothy B. Kosiek, Physics/AP Environmental Science teacher at Buffalo Grove High School, said, "As a person, I have been fortunate to watch Raven grow as a student and a person. I have watched her develop a passion for physics, but even greater is her desire to make an impact on the lives of those around her. She has cultivated a gift for teaching in the classroom, as well as investing in the community. This is evident in her interaction with students both in a school setting as well as her church youth group where she consistently leads and connects with students in the community."

Nicholas Alexander McKinley will graduate from Towson University in the spring of 2017. "I am currently enrolled in the Towson branch of the UTeach program, in which I have taught science lessons to both 5th and 8th graders, the latter individually. In the spring I will be teaching a high school physics class, and I am very excited to experience what I love in my favorite subject area. For extracurricular activities I am a member of the Society of Physics Students where I am a large contributor in coordinating outreach events and activities. This is a perfect job for me because my favorite part of teaching is presenting and explaining demonstrations, which we have done many times in the last two years."  

Christine Roland, Master Teacher/Co-Director for Towson UTeach mentioned, "When Nick introduced himself in my class back in 2013 he told us that he plans on 'setting the world of physics education on fire!' At the time this elicited a chuckle with his audience, but since then I have no longer any doubt that this is exactly what Nick will do! His incredible enthusiasm for physics and physics education is simply contagious."

Alexandra Judith Trunnell is a member of the class of 2017 at Vassar College. Under the tutelage of an Honors Physics teacher Alexandra said, "I fell in love with physics, and became determined to find a career in which I could watch the understanding form in people's eyes as I explained the world to them. I began helping my classmates with their homework, being sure to always bring concepts back to the bigger picture like our teacher did, and I watched as they developed an intuition for the world. I went home to my family and gushed over the day's lesson at the dinner table."  

Christine B. Malsbary, Visiting Assistant Professor at Vassar College, said, "To my eye, with a decade of experience in training student teachers, Alex is a natural teacher. More importantly, she cares deeply about learning how to teach: she takes pedagogical content knowledge seriously. I observed Alex teach a rigorous lesson on mathematics inspired by Geoffrey Saxe's work in ethnomathematics. While she made mistakes that new teachers tend to make, she had a clarity of presence and commanded attention in a way that I have only observed in much more experienced teachers."

Previous Scholarship Winners
A list of previous winners can be found on the AAPT website at http://www.aapt.org/programs/grants/lotze.cfm.

About AAPT
The AAPT is the premier national organization and authority on physics and physical science education with members worldwide. Our mission is to advance the greater good through physics education. We provide our members with many opportunities for professional development, communication, and student enrichment. We serve the larger community through a variety of programs and publications. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.

For more information: Contact Marilyn Gardner, Director of Communications, mgardner@aapt.org, (301) 209-3306, (301) 209-0845 (Fax)