I am absolutely thrilled to announce that my partner and I are taking on tenure-track assistant professor positions at Cornell University! It has a been a long journey to get here but we are beyond ecstatic to be pursuing this new adventure together. Here are some things I’m particularly excited about:
I am being hired into a tenure-track assistant professor position as a physics education researcher. The department have shown great commitment to treating this like any other physics hire. They have been clear about what we will need to figure out over time, but have otherwise set clear and reasonable expectations. They have also provided support in a variety of ways to help me succeed at meeting those expectations. In particular:
Cornell’s Active Learning Initiative
In the past few years, Cornell has been piloting an “Active Learning Initiative“, partially modeled after the Science Education Initiatives at CU-Boulder and UBC. When I visited Cornell in early April, I met with a number of faculty in a range of STEM disciplines who were working on transforming, improving, and evaluating their teaching practices. The introductory physics sequence, in general, has been transformed with a variety of interactive engagement activities, with at least half a dozen faculty taking part. They even have a beautiful new “Learning Suite” space with flexible classrooms and open study space (see press release).
Fortunately, the faculty involved in the initiative seem eager for collaboration on evaluating the success of their courses, paving the way nicely for a PER group to join in.
Even more fortunately, they transformed the lectures and discussion sections, leaving the labs unchanged — for now 🙂
The two body solution
My partner and I have been living apart for almost 4 years now. We met during grad school at UBC and he, being 3 years older than me, moved to New Mexico for his postdoc at the Los Alamos National Lab. Two years later, the postdoc opportunity for me at Stanford was incontestable. Personally, it would at least put us in the same country. This meant that we both pursued our ideal positions professionally, but Job Season 2016 began with a strong desire [understatement] to get ourselves in the same city.
We are so incredibly thankful to have an incredible 2-body solution – with a strong condensed matter program for him and groundwork laid for a PER hire me.
We will begin our positions in January, leaving us lots of time in the meantime to finish up existing projects and even some much needed vacation time.
After almost 8 years on the west coast, my family are excited to have me within driving distance. Not to mention that Ithaca is in wine country, the finger-lakes region with mountain biking and hiking opportunities, and I’m a 3-hour drive to Broadway! Who could ask for anything more?