Physics Alumni Profile

James Vander Weide (1996)

James Vander Weide (1996)

James Vander Weide earned his B.S. in Mathematics & B.S. in Physics from GVSU in 1996.

Since his sophomore year in high school Jim knew he wanted to be a teacher.  To pursue that career he joined the Unites States Air Force to help with college costs.  He served four years in the USAF and an additional six years in the Air National Guard.  In the Fall of 1989 he began his education at GVSU as a mathematics major, but after taking a few physics courses he changed to a double major in mathematics and physics. 

After teaching for a year on the east side of the state, Jim began teaching physics in the Fall of 1997 at Rockford High School.  In the Summer of 2004, Jim received a call from Hudsonville High School asking him to revitalize their physics program, and to date he has helped double the numbers of regular and AP physics sections offered there.  Jim attributes his success as a teacher to the education received at GVSU, the methods of instruction learned through research done on student learning, and the knowledge obtained about using inquiry-based learning as opposed to lecturing. 

In addition, Jim has participated in grading the AP College Board Physics tests for the last five years and has been an adjunct physics professor at GVSU for the last six years.  Jim was chosen by the Department of Physics, GVSU as their Distinguished Alumni in 2008.

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Page last modified August 10, 2019