Alumni Profiles     

John W. Layman, í55
    Distinguished Alumnus
, 2005

The Park University Alumni Associationís 2005 Distinguished Alumnus is John W. Layman, í55.  Layman is being recognized for his outstanding career as a physics and science educator, his prowess in the classroom, and his publications and service within the academic community.

John Layman holds the designation Professor Emeritus of Education and Physics, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Department of Physics from the University of Maryland. 

Shortly after his 1955 graduation from Park and a short stint in the Army, Layman began his lifelong teaching career.  He started as a high school physics teacher, teaching in both Kansas City and North Kansas City Missouri school districts.  He earned a Master of Science in Education from Temple University in 1962 and a Doctorate in Education from Oklahoma State University in 1970. 

Layman entered the field of higher education in 1970, when he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland. He held a joint appointment between the College of Education Science Teaching Center, and the Physics Department. Laymanís primary research activities have related to the teaching and learning of physics. Many of his activities focused on the use of microcomputers in the laboratory.  He has been the recipient of five National Science Foundation Grants, including a state-wide collaborative grant to design programs for elementary and middle school teachers specializing in math and science.  He is also one of the leaders of the Physics Teacher Education Coalition, a joint NSF sponsored program with the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Institute of Physics.

Layman is a prolific and accomplished author.  He co-authored such scholarly works as Inquiry and Learning:  Realizing Science Standards in the Classroom for the College Board and an article on The Microcomputer and Practical Work in Science Laboratories.  He has contributed to and/or edited numerous books and chapters relating to the teaching of science. His publications, the workshops he has given, and his invited and contributed talks have earned him an international reputation. He has been invited to make presentation in such venues as the South African Institute of Physics, Durban, South Africa the University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy, Culalongkorn University, Bangkok Thailand, the University of the Philippines, as well as numerous conferences and workshops throughout the United States.

In addition to his scholarly responsibilities and accomplishments, Layman gives of his time and energy to organizations dedicated to the advancement of science and education.  He has served in various positions, including president of the American Association of Physics Teachers, secretary of the AAPT, and member of the American Institute of Physics Governing Board. He has served as a member of numerous committees and advisory boards including that of MERCK; the advisory committee of a National Academy of Sciences/Smithsonian Institutions Project; The College Boardís Science Academic Advisory Committee; the QUEST Project at the University of Indiana; and the National Visiting Committee, of a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Teacher Education Collaborative, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Collaborative for Excellence in Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Laymanís work has received recognition within the professional community.  His highest honor was being chosen as the 1998 Melba Newell Phillips Award by the American Association of Physics Teachers and of course Distinguished Alumnus at Park University. He has been elected as a Fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. 

John Layman and Ellen Petrie, '55 (deceased), sweethearts at Park College, were married the day after graduation in the Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel. They had two children, and John now has four grandchildren. They shared personal and professional lives during 37 years of marriage.

Park Universityís Alumni Association is pleased to recognize John W. Layman as its 2005 Distinguished Alumnus.




Layman with granddaughter, Claire

John and Ellen Petrie Layman, both '55

Layman on a trip to Croatia
with friends from Park
(above and below)

Layman,  from the 1955 NARVA