UC Box: A121
Office: Strain 107
2012 Oregon Professor of the Year
PhD at University of British Columbia, BC, Canada in 1983.
Master of Science at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL in 1978.
Bachelor of Science at Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA in 1976.
I have been teaching at Pacific since 1987 and I love it. My background is radiation biophysics. I did my Ph.D. at the British Columbia Cancer Center through University of British Columbia and my post doc at the University of Rochester Cancer Center. I have several interests related to the physics department; teaching, writing textbooks, nuclear physics, and summer camps for young girls.
I sometimes conduct research at the nuclear reactor at Reed College, in Portland. This is really interesting and allows Pacific students to work at a nuclear facility. I also occasionally help teach the Radiation Safety Officer course in the summer at Reed.
I am currently teaching Workshop Physics, our calculus based physics sequence. I love this class! Dr. Priscilla Laws at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania has carefully crafted this curriculum. There are no lectures, it is all hands-on, and it really addresses a lot of the misconceptions that are common in physics--and it is lots of fun!! This has really stimulated my interest in pedagogical issues.
During the past several years I have been working with colleagues on two books, this has taken up a lot of my professional time. W.T. Griffith, who retired from Pacific physics department, invited me to be co-author on his very successful text Physics of Everyday Phenomena. The sixth edition was published in September 2008 with both our names on it! I was surprised how incredibly satisfying it was to hold in my hand a book with my name on it. We have since created the 7th edition, which was published in 2011. I also worked on a text with two physical therapists (Ken Bush and Jim Swain) called Diagnostic Imaging for Physical Therapists. I wrote the chapter on the Physics of Medical Imaging. This was published in October 2008.
In the 1990s I worked, initially with my physics colleague Mary Fehrs, on a summer science camp for 7th & 8th grade girls. During my sabbatical in 2009 I did a longitudinal study to investigate where these girls chose to use their talents. It was very exciting to hear from them, and find out they felt the camp had significant influence over their college and career choices. More recently Dr. Shereen Khoja (computer science) and I received an NSF grant to create a summer camp focused on computer science for 7th & 8th grade girls. The summer of 2013 will be our 3rd year of the camp.
On the home front I am happily married and live on a couple acres where we compete with the deer for our garden produce. We have a wonderful daughter (also happily married—I made her wedding dress!) who graduated in May 2008 with a BS in business from University of Redlands. She is about to get her PhD from Portland State University. She went to elementary and high school in Gaston.