2013 Lotze Scholarship Recipients


College Park, Maryland, United States, January 27, 2014—The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that the 2013 Barbara Lotze Scholarship for Future Teachers has been awarded to Lauren Albert, University of Minnesota; Rebecca Napolitano, Logan Nelson, Illinois State University; Angela Moore, Chicago State University; and Michael Yohn, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.

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
Lauren Albert, will graduate from the University of Minnesota in 2014. Of her plans to become a high school physics teacher she says, “Ever since my first physics class in high school, there has never been a subject that I have been more passionate about…The experiences I have had in my life so far have proven to me that teaching physics is the best path to success for me. There is no greater achievement I can have than becoming a high school physics teacher, and I will not let anything stand in my way.”

Leon Hsu, Associate Professor, Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning at the College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota noted, “What impressed me most about Lauren is her initiative in taking advantage of the resources and opportunities at the University of Minnesota related to her interest in becoming a high school physics teacher.”

Rebecca Napolitano, a student at Connecticut College, is receiving the 2013 Scholarship for the second time after her first scholarship in 2012. Of her aspiration to become a high school physics teacher Lauren says, “I was inspired six and a half years ago by my high school physics teacher. She was this amazing woman who made students the center of the classroom whether it was taking a free throw shot on a basketball court, shooting a Nerf gun at a stuffed monkey, or calculating our deceleration rate in our car. She brought the physics out of the textbook and into our lives; she helped us see the wonderful world of physics which we are participants in for life. This teacher, in addition to being my inspiration, is my mother.”

Lauren Anderson, Visiting Assistant Professor, Connecticut college noted, “Becca has proven herself capable of disciplinary depth, as well as interdisciplinary breadth. For example, while most students in the Education Department certify to teach one subject at the secondary level, Becca becoming certified in three: physics, her first love, as well as math and Latin. Additionally, and to her credit, she has excelled at providing feedback to peers who are pursuing certification in a range of other content areas (e.g., history).

Angela Moore is a member of the Class of 2014 at Chicago State University. A non-traditional student, she has been a PhysTec fellow, a Robert Noyce Intern and scholar, received an award for her presentation at an APS meeting (based on research with a CERN project); and worked as a teacher and teacher’s assistant for Chicago State University's CAT’s (Cougar Academy for Teachers), a summer enrichment program for junior high school students.

Mel Sabella, Professor for Physics and Chair of the Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering Studies at Chicago State University said, “Angela is one of the brightest, most motivated students I know but her path toward her degree has been filled with major challenges and obstacles. She is the one responsible for taking care of her family because, unfortunately, there is no one else who can take on most of these responsibilities. Angela often shares details with me and I am constantly amazed at what she has accomplished and I am amazed by her perseverance. She never gives up and is now quite close to finishing her degree and obtaining her certification.”

 “I think Angela is going to make a major impact in her community on the south side of Chicago and will be a role model to many students underrepresented in the sciences. In addition, Angela can offer motivation and guidance to students who encounter extreme obstacles, like she has, which unfortunately are quite common in the communities where she will most likely be employed.”

Logan Nelson is a member of the class of 2015 at Illinois State University. “My experiences with tutoring physics and other subjects, observing quality high school physics teachers at two different schools, teaching physics in a real classroom without prior planning, and my coursework at Illinois State University have all made me committed to teaching high school physics and provided a clear path to that as a profession.” Nelson says.

Kenneth Wester, PTE Coordinator of the Physics Department at Illinois State University, says, Logan “has proven that he is responsible through his various employment engagements as well as his successful completion of his first three years of college. Logan has been an active tutor through the academic advisor center and through individual students requiring assistance in physics, math and other sciences. I have no reservations about Logan’s intent to become a very masterful teacher in the near future. As you know teaching is part knowledge and part art, Logan possesses both these traits.”

Michael Yohn is a member of the class of 2015 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Of his path to becoming a high school physics teacher Michael says, “To achieve licensure I plan on going through the education program in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. I am currently enrolled in the introductory teaching course here at the university, which provides an overview of teaching methods and the job itself. In March I will be applying to enter the College of Education and Human Sciences. Once admitted I will spend a semester (planned for Fall, 2014) taking a variety of education courses (8 in total) including classroom culture, math/science methods, SPED inclusion, and others. The following semester (planned for Spring, 2015) I will be involved in student teaching in both a middle and high school for one semester each. Following this I will be taking the Praxis II examinations and following through on the other necessary steps to achieve licensure for the state of Wisconsin, with hopes of beginning to teach in the Fall of 2015.”

Matt Evans, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and President of the Wisconsin Association of Physics Teachers noted, “Michael goes out of his way to take on challenges. He has tutored for the department in the past and is currently volunteering to be a mentor for my first year experience course. His transformation from awkward freshmen to outstanding senior is definitely apparent as he serves as both a class resource and a mentor for these incoming freshmen. His effectiveness in this learning community is obvious from the students’ actions. They often will call out specifically for him when they have a question, and even more impressively they have convinced him to lead study sessions before each test, as he makes them feel completely at ease with his teaching style.”

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 in more than 70 countries 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)