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Catalyst Members Attend Winter Conferences

AAPT 2013 winter meeting

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January 5-9, Catalyst Center director Michael Loverude, postdoctoral scholar Sissi Li and physics graduate student April Hankins attended the 2013 winter national meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in New Orleans, LA. The conference provided an opportunity to interact with researchers and teachers in physics education. The CSUF researchers presented research talks and posters, met with collaborators, and discussed ongoing and future research projects. Hankins collaborated on one poster with students and faculty from Cal Poly Pomona presented a second poster on her own research titled “Do Proportional Reasoning Skills Affect Student Performance in Intro. Astronomy?” Dr. Li presented research on how physics community norms are developed and supported in an upper-division course in a talk titled “Fostering Future Members of the Physics SissiPoster2Community.” Additional research findings and context for physics major identity development were presented in a poster titled “Peer Influence on Student Physics Learning: in Class and Beyond.” Li also co-organized a session titled “Insights and Benefits from Framing a Class as a Discourse Community” which was well attended. Dr. Loverude presented findings about ways in which students make sense of entropy in a talk titled “Student Connections Between Multiplicity and Macroscopic Entropy.” Additionally, Loverude was an invited speaker in a session on physics preparation for preservice elementary teachers; his talk was titled “An Inquiry-based Course in Chemistry and Physics for Pre-service Teachers.”


TUES conference

Michael-articleMichael Loverude was one of about five hundred PIs invited to the 2013 CCLI / TUES conference hosted by the NSF and AAAS in Washington, DC, January 23 to 25, 2013. 
The NSF’s TUES program (Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM) funds research and curriculum development projects focused on undergraduate science, math, and engineering education.  Loverude and his Collaborating PI John Thompson (University of Maine) presented posters on their current grant:  “Collaborative Project:  Teaching and Learning of Thermal Physics.”


Barbara Gonzalez appointed to ACS Exams Institute's Board of Trustees

Barbara GonzalezBarbara GonzalezCatalyst Fellow Dr. Barbara Gonzalez has been appointed to the Board of Trustees for the American Chemical Society's Examinations InstituteThe Board of Trustees oversees all aspects of the Exams Institute. They meet at each ACS National Meeting where they receive reports from the Director and set overall policy for the Institute. Member of the Board are appointed by the Executive Committee.



Postdoctoral Scholar Mary Emenike Leaves the Catalyst Center

Last group photoThe Catalyst Center bid a fond farewell to Dr. Mary Emenike on August 10. Mary had served since last November as the first postdoctoral researcher employed by the center. In that short time, Mary proved to be a capable organizer and productive researcher and played a key role in all Catalyst activities.  Most of all, Mary's thoughtful and cheerful demeanor was appreciated by all who had the opportunity to meet and work with her. Mary will be leaving California to start a new position at Rutgers University, where she will be serving as Director of STEM Support Programs and coordinating the new Learning Assistant program. Mary's primary researtch at CSUF centered on the College of NSM's Supplemental Instruction (SI) program, and she performed many hours of interviews with faculty, SI Leaders, and students in the courses with SI components.

Mary has presented posters on this work at two scholarly meetings, the American Chemical Society's 2012 national meeting in San Diego and the Transforming Research in STEM Education (TRUSE) Conference in St. Paul, MN in June 2012. She recently delivered a report on this work for the SI program, and will soon be preparing papers on her findings for publication in national journals. While we all certainly wish Mary could stay at CSUF, she will be starting a permanent position that is closer to her family on the east coast, and of course everyone wishes her success and good fortune.

Start ISI TRUSE  Office



Catalyst Center Hosts Dr. Barbara Dougherty

Catalyst center hosted Dr. Barbara Dougherty as the fall 2012 invited speaker on Friday Oct 26. Dr. Dougherty is a professor in mathematics education and the Richard G. Miller Endowed Chair for Mathematics Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She met with a variety of science and math education researchers during the day and enjoyed visiting Christine Mayfield’s class “Introduction to Mathematics Instruction in the Elementary School Classroom.” She gave a seminar titled “Beyond an Answer in Mathematics: Understanding what Students Understand” which was attended by well over 60 faculty and students. The presentation was videotaped and may be viewed here.

5 Catalyst Members attend TRUSE Conference

Catalyst Center Director, Michael Loverude, along with 4 other Catalyst members (Joel Abraham, Mary Emenike, Nicole Engelke, and Sissi Li) attended the 2012 Transforming Research on Undergraduate STEM Education (TRUSE) Conference, a conference to promote the integration of research on undergraduate mathematics, physics, and chemistry education, at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, MN.

  TRUSE conference   TRUSE conference  TRUSE conference


TRUSE conferenceTRUSE conferenceFour posters were presented by Catalyst members:

“Development of the Dominance Relationships Concept Inventory (DRCI)”
(Abraham, J.K., Meir, E.; Perez, K.E., & Price, R.M. ) 

“Investigating Supplemental Instruction through interviews with
faculty members and students”
(Emenike, M.E. & Loverude, M.E.) 

“Becoming chemists and physicists: A community perspective”
(Li, S.L. & Loverude, M.E.)

“Investigating Student Understanding of the Approach to Thermal Equilibrium”
(Loverude, M.E.)