Gay Stewart

Gay StewartDr. Gay B. Stewart, Department of Physics, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Stewart received her Ph.D. in experimental high energy physics from UIUC in 1994. Her involvement with physics education reform began formally with her attendance at the Workshop Physics Conference at Dickinson College in 1993. Upon receiving her Ph.D., as a mother of two, she shifted her intellectual efforts purely to the condition of science education in the United States. In May, 1995 her work first gained NSF support through a DUE Course and Curriculum Development grant. She has served on education-related committees (APS FEd Executive Committee [AAPT liaison, and chair line], APS Committee on Education, “Friend” of the AAPT Teacher Preparation Committee) and the APS council and Executive Board, the PhysTEC Programmatic Review Board, and as an AAPT/PTRA National Advisory Board member and Regional Coordinator for Arkansas.

She served as chair of the College Board’s (CB) Science Academic Advisory Committee, was jointly appointed by the CB and the NSF as co-chair of the Advanced Placement Physics Redesign commission, and is on the new AP Physics Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee. She was a member of the development committee for theCollege Board Science Standards for College Success, designed for grades 6-12. She chaired her department’s undergraduate affairs committee during a transitional time, which saw the average number of graduating majors in physics increase by a factor of five in four years. She is the teaching assistant mentor, and developed a preparation program based in part on the University of Minnesota FIPSE-supported project. This program grew into one of four sites in physics for the NSF/AAPT “Shaping the Preparation of Future Science Faculty,” and is still active.

These efforts played a central role in preparing Arkansas to join the AAPT/APS/AIP Physics Teacher Education Coalition. She is co-PI of an NSF GK-12 project that places graduate students in middle school mathematics and science classrooms. The results of that project were so favorable that getting mathematics and science teachers the opportunity to work together is a major component of the $7.3M NSF-MSP project, of which she is PI, the College Ready in Mathematics and Physics Partnership. Through the NSF Noyce Scholarship program she has received $1,050,000 for support of student and master physics teachers. In 2009, she was named a fellow of the American Physical Society, for her contributions to physics teaching and physics teacher preparation. In 2010 she was elected vice president of the AAPT.