Juliet Brosing Named 2012 Oregon Professor of the Year

Physics professor is the first faculty member from Pacific to receive the honor.

Pacific University physics professor Juliet Brosing has been named the 2012 Oregon Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education

The organizations have partnered in offering the U.S. Professors of the Year Awards program since 1981, and the program is recognized as one of the most prestigious awards honoring undergraduate teaching. 

Brosing is the first faculty member from Pacific to be selected, and among just 300 nominees from throughout the country to have been nominated for both a state and national honor. 

She is the 25th faculty member from an institution in Oregon to be named either state professor of the year or national professor of the year. 

This year, a state professor of the year was recognized in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Four national winners were also selected. 

CASE assembled two preliminary panels of judges to select finalists. The Carnegie Foundation then convened the third and final panel, which selected the four national winners. CASE and Carnegie together select state winners from top entries resulting from the rigorous judging process. 

Brosing began her tenure at Pacific in 1987 and is the senior member of the university's Physics Department

Her doctoral research centered on the biological impact of radiation, including work around measuring the impact of oxygen in the process of treating cancerous tumors with radiation. 

Brosing's research at Pacific, conducted with undergraduate students, has been primarily related to nuclear physics, including the characterization of nuclear properties at the Reed Research Reactor. 

Among her published work is the seventh edition of the textbook, "Physics of Everyday Phenomena," which she co-authored with Tom Griffith, Ph.D. 

Brosing is one of the original proponents of the Physics Department's project-based approach to teaching the subject, which has resulted in the development of a curriculum that is almost devoid of lectures and that relies, instead, on labs and realistic simulations that help put physics in a real-world setting. 

She was a principal investigator of a grant received to revamp the modern physics course to base it in the context of health applications. The content is the same as a traditional modern physics course, but the labs are designed to tie to health care applications, such as one that challenges students to identify hidden radiation sources much in the way a medical scan would. 

“There is real value in these types of projects,” Brosing says. “They are learning the same physics, but in a context. They will retain more. They learn other valuable skills. And they have fun, they really get into it.” 

As a teacher, Brosing finds herself advocating women in the sciences. In the 1990s, she utilized a Department of Energy grant to support a summer science camp for middle school girls. 

Her longitudinal study of the participants later found that a higher than average number of them went on to study and work in science and math, and many credited the camp for helping them stay interested in the field. 

Recently, she and associate professor Shereen Khoja received a National Science Foundation grant to conduct a similar camp focused on computer science education for middle school girls. 

The four-week camp, Girls Gather for Computer Science, brings together girls from cities and towns throughout western Washington County. After highly successful camps in each of past two summers, the third cohort will convene next June. 

“When girls came to camp, they’d say, ‘I didn’t know there were other girls like me,’” Brosing said. "A very fulfilling part of my work is helping girls and young women see the endless possibilities of pursuing careers in the sciences." 

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center that supports needed transformations in American education through tighter connections between teaching practice, evidence of student learning, the communication and use of this evidence, and structured opportunities to build knowledge. 

CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and other areas. 


Founded in 1849, Pacific University (Ore.) is a diverse and sustainable community dedicated to discovery and excellence in teaching, scholarship and practice.

Posted by Joe Lang (jlang@pacificu.edu) on Nov 15, 2012 at 8:41 AM

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