Campus: CSU, Long Beach -- March 14, 2001

Cal State Long Beach Physics Professor
Named Carnegie Scholar for 2001-2002

Patrick Kenealy, professor of physics at California State University, Long Each, has been named a 2001-02 Carnegie Scholar by The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL).

It is the fourth class of Carnegie Scholars, who's scholarships are sustained by the Pew National Fellowship Program which supports the work of distinguished faculty contributing to an emerging scholarship of teaching and learning. There are 30 members in the present class.

Kenealy, a Long Beach resident, joined CSULB in 1988 with a joint appointment in the Physics and Science Education departments following a 21-year career at Wayne State University in Michigan.

He learned about the Carnegie Scholars when Susan Nummendal, a psychology professor at CSULB, held a session to inform colleagues of the available opportunity following her stint as a Carnegie Scholar.

In October, Kenealy submitted to CASTL his proposal titled "Similarities between Science Learning and Adult Second-Language Acquisition: Research on Students' Articulation/Communication Strategies in Introductory Physical Science."

The project proposed is about an experimental and theory-building consideration of whether the scholarship of teaching and learning in adult second language acquisition has meaningful connections to learning introductory physics and physical science.

Recently, he received word that he and his proposal had been selected. The focus of his project will be on the teaching and learning of introductory physics and physical science at the level of college general education, where students seek some understanding of the scientific enterprise or "scientific literacy."

"I'm looking to see if the learning of physics is a lot like learning a second language. I think there are a lot of similarities," said Kenealy. "So, I want to look at studies on second language learning acquisition in adults and talk to those individuals and see if there is going to be any cross talk between learning physics and learning a second language.

"I've been toying with the idea for 20 years. I've made proposals before, but have tweaked it over the years to where it is now," the physics professor said. "I am very excited about having the opportunity to study it further."

As part of the proposal's acceptance, Kenealy receives a small stipend, travel expenses and some release time. For him, though, the most important part is the opportunity to interact with fellow scholars.

"The Carneige Foundation brings together 30-40 individuals of which three or four of them are foreign language teachers," said Kenealy, "They bring us together and have us help each other out during two weeks in the summer over the next two years. Those two weeks are structured and designed so that you get interdisciplinary faculty exchanging ideas."


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