I taught high school physics for 36 years, retiring in 2010. The last 12 of those years I was also teaching at the university level as a lab instructor for entry-level physics classes-two years at Bucknell University and the rest at Susquehanna. Since retiring from public education, I have been doing all of my teaching at Susquehanna, which makes this my 16th year at SU.
I fell in love with this university years ago because of the one-on-one attention the professors give to their students. In the physics department, we believe that if any student has a question they can bring it to any of our professors. If your lecture professor is not available, ask one of the others. I find helping a student who is having a difficult time with physics both enjoyable and rewarding. Students who have had no physics in high school or had a difficult time with physics in high school find intro physics at the university level even more difficult. An old high school teacher with a lifetime of experience can be helpful for those in need. I like talking with students about the upper-level physics also, but we have three very good, full-time professors for that, so I consider my niche to be working with the intro physics students.
My favorite part of physics is application to the real world. Students have measured accelerations and forces on climbers and climbing ropes using accelerometers. Lead climbers are always climbing above their last anchor point. When a lead climber falls, gravity accelerates their body until the rope comes tight (or hits something else). The climber who has been accelerating must now be stopped (good thing the rope has stretch). Students have used video and computer programs (such as VideoPoint and Logger Pro) to analyze student athletes' techniques in long jump, triple jump and block starts. They see so much when they analyze their own technique. I once had a student who was is into baseball and wanted to study the Magnus force (back spin of the ball and lift). We contacted the softball coach who not only got us access to their pitching machine, but she also showed up to help and even brought a pitcher and catcher from the team for more data collection.
Out-of-school interests consist predominantly of outdoor activities. My favorite is wildlife photography, but I also enjoy kayaking, hiking, fly fishing and working around my home on top of Peters Mountain.
- PHYS-201 Introductory Physics I Lab
- PHYS-205 Introductory Physics II: Algebra-Based
- PHYS-207 Introductory Physics II Lab