Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Steven Iona
University of Colorado, Boulder, University of Denver


"For the development of the Learning Assistant (LA) model and the associated LA Alliance, which has enhanced physics teacher education and recruitment, supported undergraduate course transformation, and physics instructor professional development."


Dr. Steve Iona has been part of the Colorado-Learning Assistant Program since the early 2000’s.  As a retired high school physics teacher, he brings a unique perspective to the pedagogy seminar required of all first-time LAs. As a current teaching professor in the physics and astronomy department at the University of Denver (DU), he has been able to apply and practice the pedagogic techniques from the seminar with his college physics students as well as with LAs at CU-Boulder.  This combination allows him to inform his teaching practice and enrich his discussions of pedagogy with LAs. Steve participates in an action research program related to student conceptual development and performance within his physics classes. He has also taught more traditional teacher preparation courses, but prefers the LA Program as a means of equipping future teachers with a mindset of “assisting learning” rather than “imparting knowledge.”  Professionally, he has been active with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) serving in many roles on their board of directors for over a decade including as president, secretary, and treasurer. Dr. Iona completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics education at the University of Chicago in 1974, and his Ph.D. in physics education at the UD in 1994. He has also earned several teaching awards at DU and the national Presidential Award for Science and Mathematics Teaching.

Selection Committee:

2019 Selection Committee Members: Mats Selen (Chair), Paula Heron (Vice-Chair), Eleanor Close, Jennifer Docktor, Dave Pritchard, Kathy Perkins