Ben Geller ’01
Associate Professor of Physics
Director, Swarthmore Summer Scholars Program and Coordinator of NSE Educational Support Initiatives
Physics & Astronomy-Physics
I am interested broadly in the relationship between physics and the life sciences, and in how curricula can be made coherent across these disciplines. I have a background in Physics Education Research (PER), where my work has focused on understanding how students navigate the disciplinary boundaries between physics, chemistry, and biology. I hope my students come to view physics as inherently exciting, but also meaningfully connected to their other academic interests within and beyond the natural sciences.
In my role as Coordinator of Natural Sciences and Engineering (NSE) Educational Support Initiatives, I coordinate the training of undergraduate peer assistants across several departments in the NSE division. My goal is to support students in their development as teachers and mentors to their peers, and to communicate ways in which teaching is an intellectual endeavor. At STEM pedagogy workshops, I facilitate discussions about best practices for attending to student thinking and facilitating group work at the evening help sessions that peer assistants lead. We explore ways to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment at such sessions, and the importance of doing so.
I am also the Director of the Swarthmore Summer Scholars (S3P) Program. The Summer Scholars Program opens doors for admitted students who are first in their family to attend college, come from a low-income background, or have experienced opportunity gaps or barriers, and have a self-described interest in STEM fields.