PERCoGS Mentoring Program

Thanks for being interested in the PERCoGS Mentoring Program. There are two forms below: Mentee Form and Mentor Form. You can complete both if you'd like to be a mentor and also a mentee!

To be a mentor we ask that you:

  • Have completed most of your course work

    • Masters students and PhD students are welcome!

  • Have experience with conducting Physics Education Research

  • Have enthusiasm for supporting junior scholars

To be a mentee:

  • Anyone that is a graduate student!

  • Be interested in PER, even if that isn't your major field of study

    • Asking whether you count as a PER person is like asking if you should put on safety glasses: if you're wondering, then the answer is YES.

We aren't able to support undergraduate students yet.

So you've completed the mentee/mentor form:

  1. PERCoGS will read your responses.

  2. We will contact prospective mentors/mentees.

  3. You will get an email from a prospective mentor/mentee to meet.

  4. Let us know if you are happy with your mentor/mentee!

    1. If you are not happy with your mentor/mentee, we are happy to help you find someone you're happier to pair with.

Expectations:

  • Meet regularly

    • That can look like an hour a month or once a week. Whatever works for both of you!

  • If you feel uncomfortable, please let us know.

  • Adhere to the AAPT Code of Conduct

Mentor: Devyn Shafer

Devyn Shafer is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in Physics Education Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Her research focuses on student transitions from high school to college engineering programs as well as high school physics teacher professional development. She has experience using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. As a mentor, she would be happy to help mentees think about research directions, find resources, and navigate the PhD process. She would also be willing to support mentees in sharing their work through writing, posters, and presentations.

Mentor: Diana Sachmpazidi, Ph.D

Diana Sachmpazidi is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park. Diana received her Ph.D. in Science Education/Physics at Western Michigan University in 2021. Her research interests lie in the area of departmental/institutional change, research on teams for instructional change, and student-group thinking in introductory physics labs. Currently, she is working on the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) project. This study focuses on understanding how departmental stakeholders within local departmental teams think about and change the culture of assessment. Diana enjoys swimming, hiking, and watching movies in her free time.

Mentor: Alanna Pawlak, Ph.D

Alanna Pawlak is an Assistant Teaching Professor at the University of Washington Bothell. She earned her Ph.D. in Physics from Michigan State University in 2018. Her research focuses on collaborative learning environments in introductory physics, including collaborative student reasoning, group dynamics, and learning assistant teaching approaches. Prior to joining UW Bothell in 2021, Alanna taught courses at the University of Colorado Boulder and Front Range Community College, and she was a Research Associate on two institutional change initiatives at the University of Colorado Boulder. Alanna is happy to support mentees in navigating the Ph.D. process and job searches, particularly for folks considering teaching-focused positions.

Mentor: Nick Young, Ph.D

Nick Young is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Academic Innovation at the University of Michigan. His work uses educational data at scale to understand how to make higher ed more equitable. He earned his PhD in physics education research and computational mathematics, science, and engineering at Michigan State University. His dissertation studied the graduate admissions process in physics using machine learning. Outside of the lab, he regularly engages in science communication efforts.