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Duane MerrellDuane Merrell to be Recognized as a 2017 Recipient of the Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT


College Park, MD, March 31, 2017—AAPT has announced that Duane Merrell will receive the association's Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT, during the 2017 Summer Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. Merrell is Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

When notified of this award, Merrill said, "Thank you, but are you sure, there are many others that AAPT should recognize, but again thank you."

Merrell earned his A.S. in Pre-Engineering at the College of Eastern Utah, B.S. in Education, Math, and Physics from the Utah State University, and his M.S. in Instructional Design from Utah State University. 

From 1985 –2004 he taught high school at Snowflake High School in Arizona and Emery High School in Castle Dale, Utah. In 2004 he accepted a position at Brigham Young University. The physics teacher preparation program that Merrell has created there has been very successful in increasing the number of new physics teachers produced each year since 2006.

In addition to Merrell's leadership in the area of physics teacher preparation programs, he has played a significant role in the advancement of physics teaching in a number of other areas. He has been a stalwart PTRA, not only presenting dozens of in-service workshops to over a thousand teachers across the US, but also providing hands on support each summer during the annual PTRA summer training workshops for other PTRAs. Merrell also is a member of the American Modeling Association, Modeling training workshops during summer cohorts in Western State College, Colorado and at UC Davis, California.

He has also organized and conducted physics teacher's workshops each summer for the Utah State Department of Education for almost 25 years. Essentially every physics teacher in Utah has attended at least one of Merrell's in-service workshops. In addition to this he has made time to serve as the executive secretary of the Utah State Science Teachers Association for the past 16 years. 

Merrell, a member of AAPT since 1989, has served AAPT on the Committee on Laboratories (2005-08), Committee on Apparatus (2009-12), Committee on Teacher Preparation (2010-13, 2017-20), Lotze Scholarship Committee (2012-15), Committee on Physics in High Schools (2014-17), Special Projects and Philanthropy Committee (2016-18). Merrell is a long-time active member of the Idaho-Utah Section of AAPT, serving in the presidential chain from 2007-11.

He has been recognized repeatedly for his exceptional classroom teaching, receiving some of the highest teaching evaluations from his students. Recognition for his excellence in physics teaching has been recognized with the Physical Science Teacher of the year for Utah (1995), Emery School District Teacher of the Year (1991) Governor's Medal for Science and Technology (1998), Outstanding Physics Teacher for the state of Utah (2000). Merrell is also the recipient of the U.S. Presidential Award for Science Teachers, awarded in 1994 by President Bill Clinton.

About the Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT
Established in 1953 and renamed in recognition of AAPT founder Homer L. Dodge in 2012, the Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT is presented to members in recognition of their exceptional contributions to the association at the national, sectional, or local level.

About AAPT
AAPT is an international organization for physics educators, physicists, and industrial scientists—with members worldwide. Dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching, AAPT provides awards, publications, and programs that encourage teaching practical application of physics principles, support continuing professional development, and reward excellence in physics education. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.

For more information: Contact David Wolfe, Director of Communications, dwolfe@aapt.org, (301) 209-3322, (301) 209-0845 (Fax), www.aapt.org.