West Virginia University’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences has hired two faculty members to focus in the growing area of science education.

Dr. John Stewart will join WVU as an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy next January.

Dr. Gay Stewart will join WVU in August as an Eberly Professor of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Education in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and will serve in a leadership capacity for the STEM Education Mountain of Excellence at WVU.

The Stewarts began their research careers studying condensed matter and particle physics, but soon became interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning. They have since made many advances in physics education for college students and secondary school teachers, and collectively they have received major, nationally competitive grants for education in STEM fields totaling over $16 million.

“John and Gay bring tremendous experience and vision to West Virginia University. I’m very confident they’ll help us build a strong program of STEM education with our partner colleges,” said Robert Jones, Dean of the Eberly College.

Both John and Gay Stewart will be departing the University of Arkansas to join the Eberly College faculty.

“It is very important for us to have our (leaders) as soon as possible,” Jones said.

But he then added, “They are very busy people, and have very large programs at Arkansas. We want Arkansas to be successful in what they are doing as well, so we will be patient and work on a transition plan that will be best for both universities.”

Gay will be responsible for leading an effort to hire other STEM faculty for the Flexible Education Research Network (FERN) initiative, as well as write proposals for research projects in STEM education, train graduate students, work with high school teachers in the region and train future teachers still in college.

“We found there are over 60 faculty at West Virginia University who do research in the realm of STEM education,” Jones said.

“By adding these next hires, we’re very optimistic that we’re going to rapidly launch into national prominence.”

For more information, contact Robert Jones at Robert.Jones@mail.wvu.edu.

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CONTACT: Devon Copeland, Director of Communication and Marketing, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
304-293-6867, Devon.Copeland@mail.wvu.edu

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