Juan Burciaga Awarded 2024 Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT

Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics Dr. Juan Burciaga was awarded the 2024 Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).

“Burciaga is honored for his tireless efforts to promote the tenets of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the physics community and profound work to build the expertise of the AAPT community in the teaching of physics for the life sciences,” the award announcement states.

Burciaga has made significant contributions to the association’s mission through his active engagement in moving AAPT’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion forward, especially to Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). Burciaga is an active member of the National Society for Hispanic Physicists, which works to develop and support efforts to increase opportunities for Hispanics in physics and to increase the number of practicing Hispanic physicists.

Burciaga has worked tirelessly to increase opportunities for and the number of practicing Hispanic physicists. In 2018, Burciaga chaired the organizing committee for the Enhancing Undergraduate Physics Programs at Hispanic Serving Institutions conference. The conference was designed to define the challenges and opportunities of physics at HSI, and to make recommendations to key stakeholders at these institutions, such as faculty members, department chairs, and funding agencies.

In 2021, Burciaga served as a member of the organizing committee for the 2021 Inclusive Curriculum in Physics Workshop, which provided a space for physics educators to explore writing inclusive curricula.

Burciaga is passionate about and dedicated to the scholarship of teaching and learning, and much of his work at AAPT has been to help build the Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences (IPLS) area. One of his long-term projects has been developing and promoting the pedagogical revision of the introductory physics course for life science students. Burciaga also serves as the consulting editor for the Living Physics Portal, an online archive and community devoted to curricula for physics courses that support the life sciences.

“It is hard to capture all Juan has done for physics education,” award nominators said. “His efforts have had a major impact and have connected different organizations – most notably the National Society of Hispanic Physicists and AAPT.”

Award nominators noted that Burciaga truly embodied inclusive actions throughout the creation of inclusive curriculums in physics classes. “Students and significantly junior people were involved in the planning; throughout the workshop organizing, Juan worked to make sure these individuals were truly included in organizing the workshop without overburdening them,” nominators said.

“Receiving the Homer L. Dodge Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is both an honor and a humbling reminder,” Burciaga said. “Looking at those who have received the DSA in the past is a catalog of the people whose achievement and impact I have respected and now, being thought as being part of that group is a rare mark of distinction. But I am also aware that my work was only possible with the collaboration and cooperation of many others in AAPT who have worked as hard and as dedicatedly as I have, or more so, but have yet to be recognized.”

Burciaga has been a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers since 1992, and has served on the Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education and the Books Committee, as well as being the book editor for the Publications Committee.

AAPT is an international organization founded in 1930 that is made up of physics educators and physicists that is dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching.

The Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT was established in 1953 and is awarded to AAPT members who are recognized for their exceptional contributions to the association.

Report an issue - Last updated: 01/15/2024