Texas Section AAPT Spring 2019 Officer Election

The Texas Section elects officers every spring.  This spring, we are electing a vice-president and a member at large for 4-year colleges.  Candidate information is below.



Vice-President Candidates



Dr. Rebecca Forrest
Instructional Professor
Department of Physics
University of Houston


As an Instructional Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Houston (UH), my focus is on helping students learn.  During my 15 years at UH I have taught thirteen different undergraduate physics courses, both at the introductory and advanced levels.  I use several active learning teaching techniques in my classes, and led the development of studio-style introductory physics courses at UH.  I received the UH Teaching Excellence Award in 2009 and 2015, the UH Group Teaching Excellence Award in 2017 as part of a Department of Physics team, and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Butler Teaching Award in 2012.  I promote student learning through my university service, including as a member of the Department of Physics Undergraduate Studies Committee (2006-present), serving as a Physics Academic Advisor (2007-present), and serving as a Sub-Committee Chair on the UH Faculty Senate Undergraduate Committee (2017 – 2019).  I’m also involved in promoting high school physics education.  I am one of a team of four UH faculty named PhysTEC Fellows to support and expand teachHOUSTON’s preparation of high school physics teachers, and from 2012 – 2019 I have been a leader of the STEM Teaching Equity Project high school physics teacher professional development program, which has served approximately 125 teachers and through them approximately 81,000 Texas high school physics students.  I also work with UH Society of Physics Students (SPS) to bring hands-on physics demonstrations to K-12 students in the Houston community. 


I am honored and excited to be nominated for the position of Vice President of the Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (TSAAPT) for 2019-2020.  My experiences with students and teachers at all levels have given me insight into the importance of the support of organizations like TSAAPT.  It would be a privilege to work with other TSAAPT members and officers to support and advance physics education in Texas. My involvement with the TSAAPT includes presenting at past TSAAPT meetings, participating in the planning of the 2018 Joint Fall Meeting of the Texas Section of the APS, TSAAPT, and Zone 13 of the SPS hosted by UH, and leading the planning for the 2019 National AAPT Winter Meeting Workshops at UH.  I now have a profound appreciation for those responsible for organizing these meetings, and have learned a great deal about the host’s roll in the process.  I hope to apply this experience to serving the TSAAPT in a leadership role.  Through my experience on committees such as the UH Faculty Senate, I believe that good organization skills, communication skills, respect for others’ opinions, and hard work at the leadership level are important to the success of an organization.  It would be an honor to use these skills in support of physics teachers and physics education through the TSAAPT.


Barbara Szczerbinska 
Texas A&M Chorpus Christi

Dr. Barbara Szczerbinska is a Professor of Physics in the College of Science and Engineering (COSE) at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) in Corpus Christi, TX. Dr. Szczerbinska earned her Master of Science degree in theoretical physics from University of Wroclaw in Wroclaw, Poland and her Ph.D. in Physics with an emphasis on theoretical nuclear physics from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. Before moving to the US, she spent over a year working at the Institute of Nuclear Physics (present Polish Academy of Science) in Krakow, Poland.

Dr. Szczerbinska joined TAMU-CC in fall of 2016 where currently she serves as a Physics Program Coordinator and Assistant Chair in Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences. Prior to moving to Texas, she was a faculty member at Dakota State University in Madison, SD.

Dr. Szczerbinska’s research focus on theoretical aspects of Neutrino Physics and Dark Matter and her intensive collaborations with scientists from around the world lead to her establishing, in 2011 The Center for Theoretical Underground Physics and Related Fields known internationally as CETUP*. The mission of CETUP* was to promote organized research in physics, astrophysics, geoscience, geomicrobiology and other fields related to the underground science via individual and collaborative research in a dynamic atmosphere of intense scientific interactions. She also organized multiple regional and international workshops and conferences (for example International Conference of Interconnections between Particle Physics and Cosmology (PPC), Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP), International Conference on Supersymmetry and Unification of Fundamental Interactions (SUSY)).

She is heavily involved in promoting STEM to people of all ages. As part of her multiple education outreach initiatives she established a regional ‘It’s All About Science’ science festival. Dr. Szczerbinska served on the Board of Directors for the Kirby Science Discovery Center and Community Learning Committee at the Washington Pavilion, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Leadership Council. Currently she serves on multiple college and university committees, technical review panels and is actively involved in education outreach initiatives in Corpus Christi.  She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi.


Member-at-Large for 4-year Colleges Candidates

Josh Fuchs
Texas Lutheran University


Dr. Josh Fuchs is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Texas Lutheran University. He received his B.S. from Rhodes College and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is passionate about physics education and preparing students for a variety of careers. He enjoys teaching and advising students at all levels. He recently participated in the PICUP Summer Faculty Development Workshop and the AAPT Workshop for New Physics and Astronomy Faculty. He enjoys and cares about outreach and science communication. He has been an author for the Astrobites blog, an ambassador for Universe Awareness and the American Astronomical Society, and enjoys beautifully designed figures and presentations.

Josh is scientifically interested in pulsating white dwarf stars. By studying the pulsations, the internal composition and structure of white dwarfs can be determined through a process called asteroseismology. He is currently working on multiple projects with students to find and characterize more of these unique stars.


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