Wisconsin Section, American Association of Physics Teachers

Minutes of the Annual Business Meeting

October 27, 2007, at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI


What did Matt say about the future?  Predictions are hard, especially about the future!  I think he was referring to trying to predict where our business lunch was to be held.  First he said Room 150, then he said Room 20x (but he wasn’t sure which one), then finally it was determined that lunch was in Room 216.  Even before Erik and the rest of the meeting participants were ready to start, because we were trying to munch on our delicious subs/chips, Matt said we would start the meeting without waiting for such nonsense…


Meeting Start Time:  12:36 pm (six minutes late!).  Interim President Matt Evans presiding.  His first order of business was to warn us all once again that he has never understood nor followed Robert’s Rules.  So, away we went!  The second order of business was for Lila Adair, President-Elect to AAPT, to jump in and give a BIG “Thank You!” to Melissa, Matt, Ruth (especially for the funds she acquired to assist with the meeting), and Marquette’s entire Physics Department!  Being from Georgia, she wasn’t too keen on the chilly temperatures of our beautiful Wisconsin fall days/nights, but she did say she was very impressed with the way the meeting ran.  She congratulated all of us, and then she had to head out to catch her flight.


1.  Minutes of the last meeting (October 28th, 2006) – Erik Hendrickson

            Motion to accept the minutes as distributed was made by Jim Madsen, seconded by Ken Mendelson.  Motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.


2.  Treasurer’s Report for 2006-7 – Erik Hendrickson

Please see the full text, including a nice graph, of Erik’s Report, but a few items were highlighted…

            A.  It was reported that our 1-yr CD earned $155.05 last year.  Expenses were described briefly.

            B.  We had 13 “first timers” this year, and the first 10 of them to register received up to $50 off of the cost of the meeting, plus travel reimbursement.

            C.  Motion to accept the printed treasurer’s report as distributed made by Matt Evans, seconded by Jim Madsen.  The report was accepted with no objection.


3.  Section Representative’s Report – Jim Mallmann

Please see the full text of Jim’s Report, but he highlighted a few items…

            A.  Jim pointed out that last year he mentioned 12 good suggestions/reasons for hosting a local section meeting, where one of the suggestions he made was:  To especially encourage us to consider inviting national AAPT officers to our future meetings.  As you can see, we followed through and had a lovely visit from Lila Adair this year.

            B.  He attended a retreat where the discussion centered around the future of AAPT.  One of the major points was to try to get more input from local chapters.

            C.  Mentioned that there are mini-grants available for running PTRA workshops at local meetings.  There is a 12/17/07 deadline.  Do we want to do this?  Maybe we could create a 2-day workshop at next year’s meeting?  We’ll chat more about this during New Business…

            D.  Motion to accept the report as distributed was made by Paul Nevins, seconded by Nathan Miller.  Motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.


4.  High School Representative’s Report – Judy Schmidt

Please see the full text of Judy’s Report, but she highlighted a few items…

            A.  High School Innovative Teaching Award = $500.  People should apply!

            B.  She provided lots of updates on the list provided, including the AAPT video contest.  Check it out!

            C.  The High School Committee website is still being worked on.

            D.  Teacher Preparation Committee.  Should WAPT be more involved?  Should our colleges/universities be more involved?  Discussion ensued.  There are some new ideas, like creating an Upward Bound – type program, creating apprenticeships programs, maybe using AAPT as some sort of clearinghouse of information about each of the states, etc.  If you have other ideas, please send them to Judy.

            E.  Motion to accept the report as distributed was made by Jim Madsen, seconded by both Matt Evans and Ken Mendelson simultaneously.  Motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.


5.  Two-Year College Representative’s Report – Roger Hanke

Again, please see Roger’s full written report, what follows are his highlights…

            A.  Big changes occurred regarding moving the physics courses offered by 2-year colleges from being classified as occupationally supportive to part of the general education category.  He listed the courses that have been approved, noting that more courses had been added in the last year.  It should also be noted, though, that fewer students took these courses in the past year.  Something to watch for in the years to come.  For descriptions of these courses, please see:  www.curriculumbank.org.

            B.  Thanked Theo Koupelis for all of his contributions and wished him well in his new position in Florida.

            C.  Motion to accept the report as distributed was made by Gary Baier, seconded by Jim Madsen.  Motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.


6.  Committee Reports

            a)  Awards Committee –Matt Evans

The only award that was given out this year was presented at last night’s banquet:

                                    Theo Koupelis:  Lifetime Achievement & Excellence in Teaching of Physics at the College Level

                        Thunderous applause for a marvelous job!!

If you think there’s someone deserving out there, make sure to share this with Matt Evans, who will be the Chair of the Awards Committee next year (one of the duties of being Past President).

A motion to accept the report as given (although not technically necessary) was made by Jim Madsen, seconded by Erik Hendrickson.  Motion passed unanimously by a voice vote

            b)  Publications Committee –Theo Koupelis

People just did not send enough stuff in.  He will pass along the items that were sent in to the next person (since he is leaving the state).

            c)  Workshops Committee – Melissa Vigil & Matt Evans

There were a huge variety of workshops this year!  Hooray!!  All were well-attended with great levels of participation.

Melissa & Matt asked for all of us to think about new workshops for the future.  When we know these ahead of time, we can really get some targeted advertising out there.

Again, a motion to accept this report was made by Steven Sahyun, Ken Mendelson seconded, and the motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.


7.  Old Business

            Erik Hendrickson announced that this was the first year WAPT gave out ten “1st year awards” to the first 10 people who registered for their first WAPT meeting ever.  For people who were driving to the meeting and needed lodging, the awards were $50.  For local attendees, the award covered the cost of the meeting (dues, lunch, etc.).    Erik asked the assembled crew:  Should we continue to do this in the future?  The answer was a resounding YES!!  Make sure to keep advertising this.  Invite new people from your schools to attend and sign up for this perk!


8.  Future Meeting Sites

2008:  Chippewa Falls High School, October 11th/12th.  It was noted that the meeting would need to be 2 weeks earlier than normal to fit into the northern half of the state’s school break.  The general consensus was to give it a try, but take data to evaluate the decision later (just like a bunch of scientists!).

            2009:  UW – Whitewater, October 30th/31st.  Note:  Back to the last weekend of the month.

            2010:  UW – River Falls, October 29th & 30th.

            2011:  UW – Stevens Point (will have a new building)?  UW – Plattville?

            2012:  UW – Eau Claire (their turn in the 10-year cycle)?

            These last 3 sites would depend upon if WAPT wanted to have back-to-back-to-back meetings in a similar part of the state or not.  Anyone else want to chime in as the host during some of these years?  We also need to discuss the outcome of the “date experiment” that Chippewa Falls will be doing this coming year to determine the dates of these last few meeting sites.


9.  New Business

A.  Website

Theo Koupelis has worked on getting this set up, along with Matt Evans & Joe Zoller.  We have our own domain name (wapt.org) so search engines will recognize us & people can find us easily.

Motion:  There really wasn’t one.  Matt said he would make sure that this happened.  It was also decided that Matt would be in charge of the website now that Theo is leaving.  Everyone said:  “Thanks, Matt!”

B.  Assessment

Should we develop an advisory committee to assist us in figuring out how WAPT could contribute to the assessment of physics education in the state?  Maybe we could advocate for the inclusion of the appropriate level of physics in the state tests and state science standards?

Motion:  Create an ad hoc Committee on Assessment.  This committee shall explore practical actions that WAPT might take to assure that the appropriate level of physics is included in the state level standards and assessment.  Members of this ad hoc committee include:  Nathan Miller, Gary Baier, Joe Zoller, Paul Nevins.

The motion was made by Ruth Howes and seconded by Joe Zoller.  It passed by a voice vote.

C.  PTRA Workshop Mini-Grant

As discussed in the Section Representative Report, there are mini-grants available for workshops at local section meetings.

Motion:  WAPT will apply for one of these mini-grants.  The “leaders” of this effort will be:  Matt Evans, Melissa Vigil, Steven Sahyun, Judy Schmidt, and Paul Nevinis.

The motion was made by Matt Evans, seconded by Ruth Howes, and passed on a voice vote.


10.  Elections

            Awards Committee – Past-President (needed to replace Theo, 1-year term):  Matt Evans

                        He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Jim Madsen and seconded by Erik Hendrickson.

            Awards Committee – College Representative (2-year term):  Nathan Miller

                        He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Jim Madsen and seconded by Matt Evans.

            Workshops Committee – President-Elect (1-year term):  Paul Nevins

                        He was elected by decree, since Chippewa Falls High School is hosting next year’s meeting.

            Workshops Committee – College Representative (replace Greg Martin, 1 year remaining):  Melissa Vigil

                        He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Jim Mallmann and seconded by Gary Baier.

            Publications/Promotions Committee – Chair (replace Theo Koupelis, 2 years remaining):  Jim Madsen

                        He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Theo Koupelis and seconded by Matt Evans.

            Publications/Promotions Committee – College Representative (replace Bill Welch, 1 year remaining):  Ken Mendelson

                        He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Jim Madsen and seconded by Paul Nevins.

            Vice President, Program Chair, for 2008:  Paul Nevins

                        He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Jim Mallmann and seconded by Jim Madsen.  A loud uproar if clapping ensued!  Thank you, Paul & Chi-Hi!!  See you next year!

            President:  Melissa Vigil

                        She was elected by a loud voice vote after being nominated by Matt Evans and seconded by Jim Madsen.


Not needed for elections this year…

            Secretary/Treasurer (entering the 2nd year of 3-year term):  Erik Hendrickson

            High School Representative (entering the 2nd year of 2-year term):  Judy Schmidt (with Gary Baier as her understudy)

            Two-Year College Representative (entering the 2nd year of 2-year term):  Roger Hanke

            Section Representative (entering the 2nd year of 3-year term):  Jim Mallmann


11.  Closing Remarks & Adjournment

            The following motion was made by Erik Hendrickson and seconded by Matt Evans:

A big THANK YOU to

Melissa Vigil & Marquette (& Matt from “under the covers”)

for an absolutely


The motion unanimously passed, as I could attest from the thunderously loud clapping of hands and stomping of feet!


            The following motion was made by Theo Koupelis and seconded by Erik Hendrickson:

A big “Thank You!” to Matt Evans for running such an efficient Business Meeting!

This motion unanimously passed, as well.


!!!See everyone in Chippewa Falls next year!!!

And remember that the meeting is 2 weeks earlier than normal!


Matt (the ever cost-conscious WAPT member) collected name tags from everyone left in attendance.


A short RAFFLE ensued, where amazing prizes were given away to those hardy souls remaining.  Yeah!!


The meeting ended at 1:45 pm (Whew!  That’s 15 minutes early!!).  Many of the remaining members were heading off to a “shopping trip” to American Science & Surplus…



Respectfully submitted,


            Erik Hendrickson