Beth A. Cunningham
American Association of Physics Teachers
F21 Class of 1995
Beth A. Cunningham is Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Beth joined the staff of Illinois Wesleyan University on August 1, 2006 as Provost and Dean of the Faculty. She was also appointed as Professor of Physics. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Arts degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Kent State University. After receiving her doctorate, Beth was a post doctoral fellow at the Hormel Institute at the University of Minnesota and she taught for one year in the physics department at Gettysburg College immediately following her post doctoral fellowship. In 1989 she joined the physics department at Bucknell University as an assistant professor and progressed through faculty ranks to full professor in 2002. In 2000 she was named associate dean of the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her administrative responsibilities at Bucknell included the design and supervision of faculty development in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and professional development. She developed and administered the Bucknell Physics Department Summer Undergraduate Research Program and this program has received funding from the National Science Foundation for over 12 years.
At Illinois Wesleyan University, Beth has initiated a strategic curricular review to enhancing academic programs and external reviews of academic departments. She is working with Student Affairs to provide advising support to students by initiating plans for an Advising Center (supported through funding from Arthur Vining Davis) and a retreat for undeclared sophomores. She is working with chief academic officers from Alma, Augustana, Gustavus Adolphus, Luther, and Wittenberg to assess valued added student learning through support from the Teagle Foundation.
Beth has been active in educational and professional organizations at the national level such as chairing the Committee on Education for the American Physical Society in 2004. She has also taught a variety of courses, including seminars for first year students and advanced physics courses. She is co-principal investigator on a National Science Foundation grant recently awarded to Project Kaleidoscope to prepare faculty leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She continues to serve as a Councilor in the Physics and Astronomy Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research.