Wisconsin Section, American Association of Physics Teachers

Minutes of the Annual Business Meeting

October 30, 2004, at UW – Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI


After wandering through the Quad from Halsey Science to the Reeve Union Ballroom, Mark herded us into Room 227 for lunch.  The room seemed a little empty without Rocky!  After another excellent meal, we saw some of the UWRF gang head out early, and then we began addressing the following agenda items...

Meeting Start Time:  12:42 pm (a little early!).  Past Past President David Tamres, presiding (the President, Gubbi Sudhakaran, was stuck in La Crosse chauffeuring around a Physics Nobel Laureate, and the Past President, Matt Evans, was off to some remote location in Minnesota to help coordinate next year’s meeting in Iowa, but more on this later).

1.  Minutes of the last meeting (November 1st, 2003) – Erik Hendrickson

                Motion to accept the minutes as distributed made by Theo Koupelis, seconded by Joe Zoller.  Motion passed by a voice vote.

2.  Treasurer’s Report for 2003-4 – Erik Hendrickson

                A.  Motion to accept the printed treasurer’s report as distributed made by Roy Knispel, seconded by Theo Koupelis.  Motion passed by a voice vote.

                B.  As instructed by a motion last year, the Treasurer placed $4000 of WAPT’s money into a 1-yr CD.  The bank is First Federal (same as our checking account).  Unfortunately, the interest rate is only 1.900%, but this next year the Treasurer hopes the economy will allow us to purchase one with a better return rate.

                C.  Once again, the discussion turned to what we should be doing with our money.  It was pointed out that the only other thing the Treasurer was directed to do at last year’s meeting was:  “Motion to have the Treasurer do a survey of the membership to determine the priorities for using this money was made by Joe Zoller, seconded by Earl Blodgett.  Motion passed by a voice vote.”  Thus, the Treasurer sheepishly had to tell the group that this task was not completed in the past year, but another attempt will be made in the upcoming year.  The Treasurer asked members to provide a variety of input at any time on this topic, which would help make the eventual survey an even better instrument.

                D.  Mark Lattery brought up an unforeseen event that may have an unexpected cost.  The t-shirts that were purchased for the meeting were misplaced by the shipper (or were never even printed) and never arrived.  Once the t-shirts do arrive, they will need to be mailed to the people who purchased them.  Mark made a motion to be able to request up to $200 of WAPT funds to cover this cost, and this motion was seconded by Lowell McCann.  After a brief discussion, where members asked that every attempt should be made to try to recover this cost from the vendor or the shipper, the motion passed by a voice vote.

3.  Section Representative’s Report – Jim Mallmann

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

                A.  Future National Meetings!  The Winter 2005 Meeting will be held in Albuquerque, NM, on January 8 – 12.  Jim commented that this is an excellent place to visit in the winter (hint, hint).  The Summer 2005 Meeting will be held in Salt Lake City, UT, on August 6- 10.  Jim mentioned that this is an excellent place to visit in the summer (hint, hint, hint).  There was some discussion that maybe Jim could send out an e-mail reminder to the WAPT list as the deadlines for future meetings approach, since it would be fun to have several representatives from our Section attend.  The experience is wonderful!  There is actually a “deal” that you get for being a first-timer to these national meetings, ask Jim for the details or check it out on the web (http://www.aapt.org/index.cfm).

                B.  World Year of Physics – 2005!  There are many involvement ideas out there, so jump right in.  For example, there will be a United States Physics Talent Search, and volunteers are needed.  Check out the World Year of Physics – 2005 web materials (http://www.physics2005.org/) or contact Dr. Andrew Gavrin (agavrin@iupui.edu).

                C.  A call for participation:  There are still openings on 16 different national committees (see handout for entire list).  Please contact Jim if you are interested in serving.  He will provide you with a Nomination and Volunteer Form and nominate you, if you wish.  More info on the different committees can also be found on the AAPT website and in the Announcer.  You can also contact the chair of the national nominating committee to get you name of the list.  Please realize that you can contribute and participate as a “friend” of the committee in an unofficial capacity.  This may help you decide it you want to fully participate at the national level in the future.

                D.  Do you have ideas for our Section Representative?  Please let Jim know.

                E.  Report was accepted as distributed.

4.  High School Representative’s Report – Judy Schmidt (as read by David Tamres)

She mentioned that she misses us all and that she will make sure to be at next year’s meeting to keep her name clear.  David’s report highlighted a few items…

                A.  She attended the Summer AAPT meeting.  The major debate concluded that, yes, you need to be an AAPT member to win an award, but that you could join AAPT after you have been nominated.

                B.  She mentioned that she would be willing to continue on as the High School Representative.  She looks forward to seeing everyone in Iowa next year!

                C.  David added, that Matt added that Judy recently won an AAPT award:  Congrats!!

                D.  Report was accepted as distributed.

5.  Two-Year College Representative’s Report – Theo Koupelis

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

                A.  Theo also passed out a hand-out describing PET (Physics for Elementary Teachers).  This is an interesting initiative for members to check out.  It is a “course” that could be of interest to 2-year schools.

                B.  Another NSF-funded idea:  ISLE (Investigating Science Learning Environment).  This is a comprehensive learning system for introductory physics courses.

                C.  A new idea:  The 2-year schools should really put some effort into helping to create more engineers.  A group is working with the National Association of Engineers.  They plan on asking NSF for funds, but the direction is still a little unclear.  If you are interested in looking into such an endeavor, please contact Theo.

                D.  Report was accepted as distributed.

6.  Committee Reports

                a)  Awards Committee – Nathan Miller (reporting for the Minnesota-missing Matt Evans)

                  Six different awards were given out this year (it’s been a little dry lately!).

     Theo Koupelis, UW – Marathon County:  Excellence in Teaching & Service at the College Level

     Jeff Elmer, Oshkosh High School:  Excellence in Teaching & Service at the High School Level

     Jim Weidner, Stevens Point High School:  Excellence in Teaching & Service at the High School Level

      Steve Stevenoski, Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids:  Excellence in Teaching & Service at the High School Level

       Pat Westphal, Neenah High School:  Lifetime Achievement

       Converse Blanchard, UW – Madison:  Lifetime Achievement

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

                b)  Publications Committee – Earl Blodgett was not present, but we discussed anyway…

Joe Zoller mentioned that a “spin-off’ from this group is an internet discussion group, it is the “-d” Yahoo group that can be accessed via the website (see the Listery/Discussion link on our page, http://www.wapt.org, to see how to join).  There has not been much traffic on this group, yet.

WHYS-PHYS is still alive on-line, as well.  This is our one publication.  The question arose:  What do we want to do with this?  There have been few contributions recently.  One suggestion:  Ask the people who give WAPT talks to put a summary of their talk on this page.  Another suggestion:  The Chair of this Committee could send out reminders a couple of times a year to the whole group.  And one more suggestion:  When several submissions are received, the Chair of this Committee could send out an e-mail letting the members know to check it out when they get a chance.  Lowell said he would take these suggestions back to Earl for us.

                c)  Workshops Committee – Mark Lattery

The workshops went very well this year!  There were 12 – 20 people in each of the 5 different sessions.  Mark will analyze the evaluations and send out a report in the near future.

7.  Old Business

                Amazingly, there was none.  Can you believe that this group was actually quiet for a moment?

8.  Future Meeting Sites

    2005:  A joint Wisconsin/Iowa/Minnesota meeting!

As mentioned previously, Matt is currently in Winona, MN, working with the officers of MAPT to finalize the plans.  He will be meeting shortly with the officers of the Iowa Section to hammer out those details.  He will then send out an e-mail with all of the gory details.  So, get the word out!!  We will be meeting at Luther College in Decorah, IA, next year on October 28 & 29, 2005.

    2006:  Manitowoc High School?

Joe Zoller will check into this possibility and get back to us soon.  Way to go Joe!

Theo Koupelis suggested that UW – Marathon County could host in 2006 or 2007 (depending on Joe’s answer).

Jim Mallmann suggested that MSOE could host in 2007 or 2008 (depending on Joe’s answer).

The remaining UW – River Falls crew mentioned that they are willing to host in 2010 (their 10-year cycle).

Following the order of previous meetings, UW – Eau Claire would then be in line to host in either 2011 or 2012.

This would depend upon if WAPT wanted to have back-to-back meetings in a similar part of the state or not.

Since we are on a roll, anyone else want to chime in as the host during some of the “open” years?

9.  New Business

    National SPS Advisor of the Year Award:  Earl Blodgett!

Lowell McCann wanted to make sure that we all knew that his esteemed colleague will receive this prestigious award this year.  Congrats to Earl!!

10.  Elections

                Workshops Committee – High School Representative

                                It seems that there previously was an error in the length of the terms for this position:  is it a two-year term or a three-year term?  Joe Zoller moved to make this position a three-year term (which also means that we do not need to elect anyone this year) and Mike (although I do not remember which Mike, I know his last name was not Faraday) seconded this motion.  This motion passed by a voice vote.  Theo, please make sure that this change in the length of term is reflected on the webpage (thanks!).

                Publications Committee – UW–River Falls Representative (1-year term):  Earl Blodgett

                                He was elected by a voice vote (even though he wasn’t present) after being nominated by Lowell McCann and seconded by Brad Hinaus.  It was duly noted that Earl either nominated people or seconded the nominations for almost every single committee position last year, so it makes sense that we elect him to a position (any position?) this year!

                Awards Committee – High School Representative (2-year term):  Paul Nevin

                                He was elected by a voice vote (even though he wasn’t present, see what happens when you skip the Business Meeting?) after being nominated by Erik Hendrickson and seconded by Lowell McCann.

                Vice President, Program Chair, for 2005:  Matt Evans

                                He was elected by a voice vote (even though he wasn’t present and even though he’s just gone through the Vice President / President / Past President cycle, but he is the only person who knows where Decorah, Iowa, actually is!) after being nominated by Nathan Miller and seconded by Lowell McCann.  Lead on, Matt!

                President:  Mark Lattery

                                He was elected by a voice vote (and he was actually present) after being nominated by Jim Mallmann and seconded by Ken Mendelson.

                Secretary/Treasurer:  Erik Hendrickson

                                He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Jim Mallmann and seconded by Nathan Miller.

                High School Representative:  Judy Schmidt

                                She was elected by a voice vote (even though she wasn’t present, mostly due to her wonderful acceptance speech, which she had already sent to David to read at this point) after being nominated by Joe Zoller and seconded by Lowell McCann.  Well, Judy, at least you know who you want to sit next to at next year’s meeting…

                Two-Year College Representative:  Theo Koupelis

                                He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Roy Knispel and seconded by Nathan Miller.

                Section Representative:  Jim Mallmann

                                He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Mark Lattery and seconded by Theo Koupelis.

11.  Closing Remarks & Adjournment

The following motion was made by David Tamres and seconded by Theo Koupelis:

A big THANK YOU to

Mark Lattery and Roy Knispel and Sharon Harwood

for an absolutely


The motion unanimously passed, as I could attest from the thunderously loud clapping that rattled the table settings!

The following motion was made by Joe Zoller and seconded by Erik Hendrickson:

A big “Thank You!” to David Tamres for running such an efficient Business Meeting!

This motion unanimously passed, as well.

!!!See everyone in Decorah next year!!!

The meeting ended at 1:33 pm (Wow!  This has to be in record time!).

Respectfully submitted, 

                Erik Hendrickson



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