WKU emeritus professor named Fellow of American Association of Physics Teachers
- Tuesday, February 21st, 2023
Dr. Richard Gelderman, WKU Emeritus Professor of Physics and Astronomy, was named as a Fellow of the American Association of Physics Teachers at AAPT’s January 2023 national meeting in Portland, Oregon.
According to AAPT, the criterion for selection of Fellows is exceptional contribution to AAPT's mission to enhance the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching. Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one's professional peers for contributions to the physics education community.
The citation honoring Dr. Gelderman notes that he is a key member of the astronomy and physics teaching community. He has made appreciable contributions to the local, regional, and national communities of practice and research in deepening students' understanding of astronomy and physics. As commented by his colleagues, "He is dedicated to mentoring others in the physics education community for the purpose of improving physics education for all students."
Dr. Gelderman earned his B.S. in Physics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Astronomy at University of Virginia. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Western Kentucky University where he was also the Founding Science Co-Director for SKyTeach, Director of the Hardin Planetarium, and Observatory Director for the Robotically Controlled Telescope Consortium.
Dr. Gelderman was honored in 2017 with the AAPT Distinguished Service Citation. He has long served as the elected Section Representative for the Kentucky Section of AAPT. This year, he was elected Vice-Chair of Section Representatives and will serve on the AAPT Board of Directors for the next four years. He has also been instrumental in increasing the vitality, scope, and effectiveness of the AAPT’s Committee on Space Science and Astronomy and Committee on Science Education for the Public. Dr. Gelderman contributed to many other committees and activities in his many years of service to AAPT. His peers praise him for his passionate service to the physics and astronomy community: "He is often the first person to volunteer for organizing innovative events, and appreciatively, always comes through on his commitments.
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