Physics Alumni Profile
Dr. Kristofer Pachla (2008)
Physics, Education -Higher Education
Kris Pachla graduated with dual bachelors degrees in Physics and Math in 2008, with an emphasis in Secondary Education. Kris was inspired to enter a degree in physics after deep and rich learning experiences with his own high school physics teacher, Christine Deyo at Rochester Adams High School. After finishing an M.Ed. in Education Leadership, Kris taught high school physics for five years in Fairfax County, Virginia. There, he used his modeling pedagogies and strong content knowledge to engage learners at all levels of physics expertise, from introductory physics to Advanced Placement C.
While teaching, Kris began a Ph.D. in education policy at George Mason University, which he finished in 2019. Kris also spent time as a Science Education Analyst with the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation, where he supported the education research and physics grant applications for a variety of programs. He has also worked as an Adjunct Faculty member in the GVSU Physics Department teaching labs for PHY220.
Kris’ undergraduate education in physics propelled his interest in ensuring equity and access in STEM education. He currently works as the director of the Regional Math and Science Center at Grand Valley State University, engaging and advancing learners of math and science of all ages, pre-K to grey. The RMSC runs programs for K-12 students and teachers, coordinates connections for GVSU faculty and staff, and excites community members about STEM learning and careers. He enjoys passing along his love of physics to his daughter, Maura.
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