The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) has chosen Guelph professor Joanne O’Meara to receive its 2011 medal for excellence in undergraduate teaching. She was cited for her outstanding work in the classroom, engagement in physics education research, and her overall impact on physics education.

The CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching honours professors who possess an exceptional ability to communicate their knowledge and understanding. It will be presented to O’Meara at the 2011 CAP Congress at Memorial University in St. John’s, Nfld., June 13 to17.

CAP represents more than 1600 physicists and physics students in Canada, the United States and overseas. O’Meara has served the organization as chair of its physics education division and as co-editor of a special issue of Physics in Canada. She was one of two lead authors of the CAP Curriculum Revitalization documents, worked on the development of workshops for high school teachers, and was a member of the teaching medal awards committee.

At U of G, she has served on departmental and university committees related to curriculum and education. She is chair of both the physics undergraduate curriculum and the biological and medical physics curriculum subcommittee, and is a member of the B.Sc. program committee. Outside the university, O’Meara has developed workshops and student worksheets for local elementary school teachers, given physics shows for elementary students and presented physics demonstrations on the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet program.