Assistant Professor
Michigan State University

Department of Physics & Astronomy
CREATE for STEM Institute

Contact Information
Biomedical Physical Sciences
567 Wilson Road, Room 1310-B
East Lansing, MI 48824
Email: hende473@msu.edu

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I’m a physics education researcher who studies instructional pedagogies and assessment tools that can be used for improving learning for all students. As a member of the broader physics community, I’m committed to providing fair and effective educational practices in order to increase the representation of women and other historically marginalized groups within the field of physics.

I earned my B.S. in Physics from Slippery Rock University in 2012 where I was a student-athlete playing 2nd base for the SRU varsity softball team. I then went on to do my graduate studies at West Virginia University where I earned my M.S. in Physics working on Molecular-Beam Epitaxy growth and characterization of Topological Insulators before shifting my research to physics education. I helped found the Physics Education Research group at WVU and earned my Ph.D. in Physics in 2018 where I used large, multi-institutional datasets, advanced psychometric theory, and deep demographic data to study the persistent gender differences in physics performance and physics self-efficacy. I moved to Michigan State University as a postdoctoral researcher where I’m working on the development of formal structures, specifically assessment tools and practices for understanding student learning, to support the newly transformed physics laboratories at MSU.

As a member of the Physics Education Research Lab at MSU, I’m most interested in developing the next generation of physics assessments, particularly with an eye to equity and inclusion. My work employs psychometric theory through large datasets and theoretically-grounded measurement models with an aim to ensure inclusive assessment practices within physics education. Broadly, the research questions that I explore are the following: (1) What is the impact of physics assessments, that may or may not be inclusive, on student success? (2) How can we modify our assessments to improve diversity and inclusion within the physics classroom? (3) How can we ensure that we are assessing our students in an equitable manner so that they can become successful career scientists?

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