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Retired Frostburg State University Professor Francis Tam Awarded AAPT Fellowship

Retired Frostburg State University Professor Francis Tam Awarded AAPT Fellowship

Francis Tam, a retired Frostburg State University physics professor, has been awarded a fellowship with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) for 2016. Those selected for the prestigious honor display exceptional contribution to AAPT’s mission, to enhance the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching. Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one’s professional peers.

Tam retired from FSU in 2008, having taught a wide range of undergraduate courses, including general physics, meteorology, atomic physics and modern physics, for 41 years. Tam is known by his former students and professional peers for his “enthusiastic teaching style, his contagious sense of humor and his commitment to excellent and innovative physics teaching.” Beyond the college classroom setting, Tam has also been involved in K-12 engagement such as conducting extensive professional development with K-12 teachers. He offered an online course for the American Meteorological Society and served as the project director for Improving Teacher Quality Through Training Opportunities in Physics and Physical Science, a year-round professional development program for middle and high school physics and physical science educators. More than 70 teachers completed that program and reached “Highly Qualified” status under his leadership.

Tam has been a highly active and distinguished member of AAPT for many years, having served in a number of important leadership roles at the regional and national levels. His service includes chairing the Appalachian Section, serving for more than 20 years on at least seven committees, coordinating or chairing more than 30 sessions at AAPT meetings, presenting 35 contributed papers and eight invited papers and presenting 15 AAPT workshops for inner-city school children throughout the United States. He earned the AAPT Appalachian Section Distinguished Service Award in 1991.

For more information on the FSU Department of Physics and Engineering, call 301-687-4500 or visit


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