2010 Election Bios - Gay B. Stewart

Gay B. Stewart

Gay B. Stewart 

Department of Physics, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701.



BS (Physics), University of Arizona (1988), MS, PhD (Physics) University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1990, 1994)

Professional Experience

University of Arkansas, Department of Physics (1994-2000 Assistant Professor, 2000-2011 Associate Professor). Involvement with physics education reform began formally with participation in the Workshop Physics Conference at Dickinson College as a graduate student (1993).


AAPT and AAPT AOK Section, American Physical Society


University of Arkansas Alumni Association 2007 Teacher of the Year; University of Arkansas Advising Award, 2006; Honors College Fellowship Advising Gold Medal, 2003; CASE Arkansas Professor of the Year, 2002
Fulbright College Master Teacher, 2002; Fulbright College Outstanding Adviser, 1998; Fellow, American Physical Society for contributions to physics teaching and physics teacher preparation, 2009.

AAPT Activities

Friend, Teacher Preparation Committee (2004-), PTRA National Advisory Board (2007-), Arkansas Regional Coordinator (2005-08); AAPT liaison to APS Forum on Education (FEd) Executive Committee; presenter at national meetings (1995-); publications in the American Journal of Physics PER Supplement and The Physics Teacher, (1996-);  Organized/hosted AOK Section meeting (2001); Helped organize/hosted PTEC national meeting (2006); NRC-BOSE K-12 Science Education Frameworks focus group (2010). One of four physics sites for the NSF/AAPT “Shaping the Preparation of Future Science Faculty,” (funded 1999-2001, still active). One of six initial primary program institutions of the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC ) (funded 2001-08, still active).

Other Activities (most relevant)

PhysTEC Leadership Council [created 2004] (2004-08); Steering committee [created 2006] (2006-10), Programmatic Review Board (2010-). PKAL Faculty for the 21st Century (1998-). APS FEd Executive Committee [AAPT liaison, and chair line] (1999-2006); APS Committee on Education (2002-05); APS Councilor (2009-12). College Board AP Physics Test Development Committee (1997-2003, Chair 2000-03); Science Academic Advisory Committee (2002-12, chair, 2003-09); Academic Assembly Council (2003-09); Jointly appointed by CB and NSF as co-chair AP Physics Redesign commission (2006-09); AP Physics Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee (2008-11); Development committee, College Board Science Standards for College Success (2006-09). Department: Teaching assistant mentor (1994-); Undergraduate Affairs Committee (1994-2006, chair 1998-2002, when average graduation rate increased by a factor of five), Secondary Education Adviser (2001-); Public School Liaison (1994-). University:  Teacher Assistant Effectiveness Advisory Committee (2001-); College of Engineering Task force on Retention (2006-); Chancellor’s Task Force for Recruiting and Retention (1999-2006). Served on review panels for multiple NSF programs; PI or Co-PI for NSF and DoE projects, CCD, CCLI, GK-12, S-STEM, Noyce, state and NSF MSP, (1995- ).


I am honored to be considered for the position of Vice President of the AAPT.  AAPT is an exciting organization with ties with industry, contact with educational policy makers, partnerships with other professional societies and, most importantly, a wealth of enthusiastic members. Together, we can accomplish much. My education research and experience of teaching introductory physics at a research university, advising, work with K-12 faculty and work with partner institutions at the secondary, two-year and four-year level give me a broad vision of some of the issues important to AAPT. My other activities, teacher preparation, graduate student teaching preparation, and work with in-service teachers (all AAPT programs), have given me insight into the issues facing high school as well as college faculty. Collaborating with master teachers in PhysTEC and PTRA projects, and working with our own graduates in their early teaching placements at both the K-12 and college level have helped me build strong ties to the physics teaching community, and a very clear vision of how college faculty can have a large impact on the preparation of future physics teachers, K-12 and college, and provide necessary support for the teaching community within their own practice. My extensive work with K-12 teachers culminated in my overseeing an NSF-funded 40 school district partnership to provide discipline-specific professional development, grades 7-16, and support improvement of university programs.
As a director for large education projects (external funding > $10M) and former vice-chair of my department (in charge of teaching assignments, preparation and class scheduling), I have administrative experience that will help me make a contribution to the AAPT as a member of the presidential line. As elected liaison between AAPT and the APS FEd, and serving in the chair line of FEd, I have had the pleasure to meet with the AAPT leadership and recognize the critical work required to carry its mission forward into organizational goals and plans to meet those goals. With this understanding of important issues and my background and experience, I believe I can work with the Executive Board to help AAPT grow and energize its membership, improving our organization’s financial position while increasing its potential for impact. We will improve the awareness of AAPT activities across the broader physics faculty at research universities as well as our working relationships with other professional societies with which we share goals and can collaborate to make our efforts more effective. We will do this while maintaining our focus on our primary mission, supporting working teachers in their efforts to enhance the understanding and appreciation of physics through world-class teaching.