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News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

January 8, 2007
CONTACT: Lisa De Nike
(443) 287-9960

JHU Physicist Wins MAHE's
2007 Outstanding Faculty Award
Bruce Barnett
Photo by Will Kirk / HIPS

Bruce Barnett, a Johns Hopkins University physicist, has been selected to receive the Maryland Association of Higher Education's 2007 Outstanding Faculty Award in recognition of his innovative approach to teaching introductory physics to Johns Hopkins undergraduates and his pioneering work in introducing physics and astronomy to the general public.

Barnett will receive the honor at MAHE's conference on Friday, March 9, at the University of Maryland University College.

"I am truly honored to have received this award," said Barnett, a professor in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "Being at an institution such as Johns Hopkins where one can do innovative research as well as teach really talented students is a great pleasure. I was part of the collaboration that discovered the top quark a few years ago, which was very exciting. But this teaching award is a much more personal accomplishment, and even more satisfying. I just really enjoy my interactions with students."

Adam Falk, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, called Barnett both a "pioneer" and an "innovator."

"Dr. Barnett was the first instructor in his department to use a student feedback system to enhance interactivity in his large lectures," Falk said. "Students respond in real time to multiple-choice questions posed by the instructor, and those responses are tabulated and displayed graphically. This keeps students engaged in the lecture, requires them to think in class and has some entertainment value too."

Barnett also started and continues to coordinate the local "QuarkNet" outreach group that brings local high school teachers to Johns Hopkins every summer for two weeks of enrichment activities that include lab experiments, demonstrations and lectures by distinguished physics faculty. He was the driving force behind the creation of the university's annual Physics Fair, which brings more than 300 people to the Homewood campus each April to enjoy physics-related activities.

Such efforts have not gone unnoticed at Johns Hopkins, where in 2006 Barnett was selected by the Student Council to win the George E. Owen Teaching Award for his outstanding devotion to undergraduate education. He also has been the recipient of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award.

"Bruce is truly an asset both to Johns Hopkins and to the community in general," said Jonathan Bagger, chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. "In addition to his work with undergraduate students, high school teachers and the general public, he serves as the head of the University's Graduate Board, which formally regulates and confers all graduate degrees, and is a member of the Homewood Campus Ethics Board. A dedicated and superb educator, Bruce richly deserves this honor."

MAHE is a voluntary organization for post-secondary education professionals in Maryland and is committed to advancing higher education in the state.

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