Who offers this program?

In 2002, the American Physical Society and the American Astronomical Society joined the American Association of Physics Teachers to expand the reach of the Faculty Teaching Institute (formerly known as the New Faculty Workshop). Financial support is provided by the National Science Foundation.

FTI Leadership Team

Robert Hilborn

PI, Project Management Lead, AAPT Liaison

American Association of Physics Teachers

College Park, MD

Stephanie Chasteen

Workshop Lead

Chasteen Educational Consulting

Louisville, CO

Melissa Dancy

Post-Workshop Engagement Lead

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Glen Davenport

External Evaluator

Elegant Insights

New York, NY

Laurie McNeil

National Advisory Board Chair

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

Edward Prather

Workshop Lead, AAS Liaison

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

Andy Rundquist

Post-Workshop Engagement Lead

Hamline University

St. Paul, MN

Rachel Scherr

Workshop Lead

University of Washington - Bothell

Seattle, WA

Marilyne Stains

Research Lead

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

Michael Wittmann

Project Management Advisor, APS Liaison

American Physical Society

Bangor, ME

Kathryne Sparks Woodle

Project Management Lead

American Physical Society

Longmont, CO

Tom Rice

AAS Liaison

American Astronomical Society

Washington, DC


Leadership Team

Robert Hilborn, PI, Project Management Lead, AAPT Liaison - American Association of Physics Teachers; College Park, MD

Robert C. Hilborn received a B.A. in physics from Lehigh University in 1966 and earned his physics Ph.D. in 1971 at  Harvard under Norman F. Ramsey. After a post-doctoral position at SUNY Stony Brook, he served as a physics faculty member at Oberlin College, Amherst College, and the University of Texas at Dallas. In 2011 he became the Associate Executive Officer of the AAPT. After serving as President of AAPT in the mid-90s, he chaired the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics, which led to the SPIN-UP report, fostering a tripling of the number of undergraduate physics degrees awarded in the U.S. He is also the PI for the Physics and Astronomy Faculty Teaching Institute series. Currently, he serves on the project teams for the APS-AAPT PhysTEC program to increase the number of highly qualified high school physics teachers, the joint APS-AAPT Effective Practices for Undergraduate Physics Programs (EP3) project, and TEAM-UP Together, working to double the number of African American students receiving undergraduate degrees in physics and astronomy. His research has focused on atomic and molecular physics tests of fundamental symmetries, nonlinear dynamics and chaos, computational modeling of gene regulatory networks, and gravitational wave polarization. He is a fellow of the AAAS, the APS, and the AAPT and the author of Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics 2 nd Ed. (Oxford, 2000) and, with co-author Alice Flarend, Quantum Computing: From Alice to Bob (Oxford, 2022).

Stephanie Chasteen, Workshop Design Lead - Chasteen Educational Consulting; Louisville, CO

Stephanie Chasteen is a physicist and education researcher with a focus on faculty development. After obtaining a PhD in condensed matter physics, Stephanie turned her focus to education reform at the Exploratorium Teacher Institute in San Francisco. At the Exploratorium she was inspired by the creativity and wonder of science teaching using simple materials and careful observation, and made it her mission to help more students experience the joy of scientific inquiry. In service of this mission, she joined the Science Education Initiative at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she spent over a decade learning about and leading research-based instruction and education reform. She now runs her own independent consulting business (Chasteen Educational Consulting) supporting broad use of evidence-based practices in STEM. She has been involved in dozens of educational projects, usually as external evaluator, including the previous iteration of the FTI (the New Faculty Workshop), the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3), the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) and the PhET Interactive Simulations. Stephanie’s passion is supporting the excellent work in the physics education community, spreading good ideas and innovation as a “change agent at large.”

Melissa Dancy, Post-Workshop Engagement Lead - Western Michigan University; Kalamazoo, Michigan

Dr. Dancy is a principal research associate in the evaluation center at Western Michigan University. She holds a PhD in physics and has been an active member of the physics education research community for more than 25 years. Her research frequently focuses on improving higher education STEM classrooms and working environments by improving teaching and/or addressing inequity. She also frequently serves as an external evaluator on NSF-funded education related projects. 

Glen Davenport, External Evaluator - Elegant Insights; New York, NY

Glen began his academic career with a bachelor’s degree in physics and then a master’s degree in STEM education at the University of Maine. He followed an interest in student assessment to the Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment doctoral program at the University of Connecticut. Glen applied his mix of methodological and STEM education expertise as a program evaluator at the Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, working on the Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching program.  He currently acts as Associate Director of Evaluation and Assessment at the Center for Teaching and Learning at Columbia University.  Glen is proud and excited to be an independent, external evaluator for the FTI Program.

Laurie McNeil, National Advisory Board Chair - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Chapel Hill, NC

Laurie McNeil is the Bernard Gray Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She earned an A.B. in Chemistry and Physics from Radcliffe College, Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  After two years as an IBM Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT she joined the faculty at UNC-CH in 1984.  She served as Chair of her department 2004-2009, and during that period and in the years following led the transformation of its introductory physics courses to use research-based active learning methods; these methods are now also widely used in other courses in the department.  APS named her department as a “Department of Distinction” for its support of effective practices in undergraduate education.  Prof. McNeil is a materials physicist who uses optical spectroscopy to investigate the properties of semiconductors and insulators.  She is a Deputy Editor at the Journal of Applied Physics, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.  She has worked throughout her career to enhance the representation and success of women in physics.

Edward Prather, Workshop Design Lead, AAS Liaison - University of Arizona; Tucson, AZ

Dr. Edward E. Prather is a Professor in the Department of Astronomy, at the University of Arizona (UA). Ed is the Executive Director of the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE). His research focuses on investigating the teaching and learning of topics in STEM. Ed and his collaborators have conducted numerous research studies to uncover students' conceptual, reasoning and problem solving difficulties over a wide array of physical science topics taught in astronomy, astrobiology, physics, geoscience and planetary science. The results from these studies have informed the development of innovative active-learning instructional strategies shown to intellectually engage learners and significantly improve their understandings, problem solving abilities and self-efficacy related to learning about science. Additional efforts have focused on development of classroom assessment tools, educational technologies, and public outreach activities. Ed has also led the development of a variety of education materials in support of several NASA and NSF funded science missions. Dissemination of this work has been provided through industry leading active-learning professional development workshops that have reached thousands of science educators around the world. Through his research, teaching and professional development efforts, Ed strives to create inclusive and equitable educational opportunities for students and professionals in STEM.

Tom Rice, AAS Liaison - American Astronomical Society; Washington, DC

Dr. Tom Rice is the Education and Mentoring Specialist at the American Astronomical Society. He works to coordinate the astronomical community’s efforts to improve effectiveness and equity in astronomy education. An astronomer by training, he earned his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and taught for several years at Columbia University and the City University of New York before joining AAS Education. Dr. Rice comes from a Deaf family who use American Sign Language at home, and he was a first-generation college student at Harvard University.

Andy Rundquist, Post-Workshop Engagement Lead - Hamline University; St. Paul, MN

Dr. Rundquist joined Hamline as an assistant Professor of Physics in the fall of 2000. During that time he taught in the Physics, First Year Seminar, Graduate Education, Online Degree Completion, and Computational Data Science programs. He earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2006 and was promoted to Professor in 2014. He has served as Chair of the Physics department, Administrative Head for the Biochemistry/Chemistry/Computational Data Science/Mathematics/Physics unit, Director of the First Year Seminar program, and Associate Dean for Undergraduates in the College of Liberal Arts. He was appointed as the Interim Provost in July of 2021.

Dr. Rundquist’s research has included the generation, optimization, and characterization of ultrashort laser pulses that he has used to produce the first ultrashort water-window coherent x-rays. He is also very active with physics education research, partnering with the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society to support the New Faculty Workshop for Physics and Astronomy Professors. He has worked with students on collaborative research projects ranging from coherent control of Raman interactions to optimizing the shape of drum heads to produce harmonic sound. He is also the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of CourseSource Physics, a peer-reviewed journal for physics teaching practitioners.

With strong skills in algorithmic thinking and data management, Dr. Rundquist has helped create and support numerous processes at Hamline that benefit students, ranging from the major declaration process to the use of space on campus during the global pandemic.

In addition to supervising and supporting the Academic Deans, Registration and Records, Institutional Effectiveness, and the Library in his role as Interim Provost, Dr. Rundquist can also be found playing with the Hamline University Wind, Jazz, and Orchestra ensembles and running the pep band at various Hamline sporting events.

Rachel Scherr, Workshop Design Lead - University of Washington - Bothell; Seattle, WA

Rachel E. Scherr earned her Ph.D. in physics at the University of Washington in 2001 and has held research and teaching positions at small, large, public, and private universities. She has extensive professional development leadership experience with educators at multiple educational levels, including undergraduate learning assistants, graduate teaching assistants, university faculty, and elementary and secondary teachers. A longtime physics education researcher, she conducts research to identify the seeds of sophisticated understanding in learners’ ideas and investigates physics disciplinary culture and practices. Her research on the teaching and learning of energy has led to new teaching tools, new research methodologies, and new theoretical perspectives on physics learning. Her research on diversity and equity in physics learning environments helps change the culture of physics to better support women and people of color in physics. As a teacher, she creates and experiments with a wide array of active learning strategies and develops new courses that embody principles of learning. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, cited for foundational research into energy learning and representations, application of video analysis methods to study physics classrooms, and physics education research community leadership.

Marilyne Stains, Research Lead - University of Virginia; Charlottesville, VA

Stains received her B.S. in Chemistry from the Université des Sciences de Luminy, France; her M.S. in Chemistry from the Université Paul Sabatier, France; and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Arizona. She conducted her postdoctoral studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She started her academic career at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011 and was promoted to Associate professor with tenure in 2016. Stains joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Virginia in August 2019 and was promoted to full professor in 2022.

Stains’ research is focused on characterizing the extent, nature, and factors involved in the gap between instructional practices in science college classrooms and education research. Stains is specifically interested in exploring how instructors think about their teaching, as well as identifying individual, departmental, and institutional factors that influence instructors' teaching decisions.

Stains’ work has been published in ScienceCBE- Life Sciences Education, and the Journal of Chemical Education. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation, including a CAREER award (2016). In 2019, she was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and the American Chemical Society Women Chemists Committee Rising Star Award.

Michael Wittmann, Project Management Advisor, APS Liaison - American Physical Society; Bangor, ME

Michael C. Wittmann is the Head of Education at the American Physical Society.  Michael was founder of the UMaine Physics Education Research Laboratory and co-founder of the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center), an interdisciplinary research center at UMaine, focused on discipline-based education research in the STEM departments and the College of Education and Human Development. His research in physics education included research on advanced physics topics such as quantum mechanics, investigations of both student and teacher knowledge of energy at the middle and early high school level, and the development of models of learning in physics. He served as editor of the Physics Education Research Section of the American Journal of Physics and was co-founder and co-organizer of the biennial conference on the Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research. He served as chair of the UMaine Department of Physics and Astronomy. For his work in education research, professional development, and community growth, he was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Kathryne Sparks Woodle, Project Management Lead - American Physical Society; Longmont, CO

Kathryne Sparks Woodle is an Education Programs Lead at the American Physical Society (APS) in College Park, Maryland. In addition to the FTI, she currently serves on the leadership team of the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) Initiative, which has created a set of resources covering every aspect of operating a thriving undergraduate physics program. Additional APS projects with which she has been involved include: the APS Innovation Fund, the Gordon & Betty Moore Fundamental Physics Innovation Awards, the APS National Mentoring Community, STEP UP, the NSF INCLUDES: Inclusive Graduate Education Network, the APS Bridge Program, and the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC). Through these initiatives, Woodle works to promote an inclusive professional community that supports marginalized groups.

Prior to coming to APS, Woodle received her PhD in particle astrophysics from the Pennsylvania State University. Woodle worked on detecting very high-energy emission from gamma-ray bursts with the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory. The HAWC observatory is an extensive air shower detector built at 4100m in Sierra Negra, Mexico. Woodle also has received a Master’s in Education from the Physics Department at Penn State and her BA in physics from Grinnell College.

National Advisory Board

  • NAB Chair Laurie McNeil, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Jesús Pando, Department of Physics and Astrophysics, DePaul University 
  • Adrienne Traxler, Department of Physics, Wright State University 
  • Nadya Mason, Department of Physics, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign 
  • Angela Speck, Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UT-San Antonio 
  • Anderson Sunda-Meya, Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Xavier University of LA 
  • Cassandra Volpe Horii, Associate Vice Provost for Education and Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, Stanford University
  • Susan Shadle, Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Studies, Boise State University