Danny Caballero, Aman Yadav honored as Lappan-Phillips Endowed Professors
- Michigan State University Professors Danny Caballero and Aman Yadav were each honored as Lappan-Phillips Endowed Professors at an investiture ceremony.
- The Lappan-Phillips Professorship was established in 2013 through royalties from the ‘Connected Mathematics 2’ textbook authored by MSU’s Glenda Lappan and Elizabeth Phillips.
- Endowed faculty positions allow us to think long-term about making investments in the intellectual directions that will have impact long into the future.
Michigan State University Professors Danny Caballero and Aman Yadav were each honored as Lappan-Phillips Endowed Professors at an investiture ceremony held Sept. 13 in the Jackson Lounge at MSU’s Wharton Center.
The Lappan-Phillips Professorship was established in 2013 through royalties from the ‘Connected Mathematics 2’ textbook authored by MSU’s Glenda Lappan and Elizabeth Phillips. The textbook, now in its fourth iteration, is the single most widely used mathematics textbook in America for students in grades 6-8. Phillips and Glenda’s husband, Peter, attended the event.
“Today’s event underscores the importance of endowed faculty members to the university. Endowed funds are an investment in MSU that shows the world our commitment, our focus, and our leadership in academic and research excellence,” said Doug Gage, vice president of the Office of Research and Innovation at MSU. “Endowed positions such as the Lappan-Phillips Professorships are a hallmark of every great university. Given their permanence, endowments assure excellence by making certain that quality teaching, research and outreach can be conducted in perpetuity.”
Caballero, a professor in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy and Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering (CMSE) in the College of Natural Science (NatSci), studies student learning in physics and computing classrooms, and the conditions and environments that support or inhibit this learning. Caballero is a principal investigator in MSU’s Physics Education Research Laboratory and Computing Education Research Laboratory and holds an appointment as research faculty at the University of Oslo’s Center for Computing in Science Education. Prior to joining MSU, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Caballero received a B.S. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin and his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from Georgia Institute of Technology.
“I am deeply honored to receive the Lappan-Phillips endowed professorship,” Caballero said. “The position is a great professional honor and it recognizes not only the work that I have been a part of, but the work that others have put into mentoring and supporting me. This position showcases the importance of moving forward the field of physics education at Michigan State and it’s exciting to me to consider what this next chapter holds.
“This professorship is deeply meaningful to me; one that I wish I could share with my grandfather who always found ways to keep me in school,” Caballero added. “Finally, I am thankful for the love and support of my partner, Jamie, and our kids, Juniper, Evie, and Ollie, without whom this work would be impossible.”
Yadav, a professor in the Departments of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education in the College of Education (COE) and CMSE, has extensive experience in research, evaluation and teacher professional development. His research and teaching focus on improving student experiences and outcomes in computer science and engineering at the K-16 level. He leads several projects that design, implement and assess how professional learning experiences can support teachers to bring computational tools and practices to support their disciplinary teaching. He also serves as associate director of computing education within the CREATE for STEM Institute, a collaboration between NatSci and COE that seeks to improve teaching and learning of science and mathematics through innovation and research. Yadav received his M.S. in electrical engineering and his Ph.D. in educational psychology and educational technology from Michigan State University.
“Receiving the Lappan-Phillips professorship is truly an honor given that it bears the names of two leaders in the field of mathematics education, Glenda Lappan and Betty Phillips,” Yadav said. “My connection with Glenda and Betty spans over two decades, making this professorship even more meaningful to me on a personal level. On a professional level, this appointment underscores Michigan State's commitment to advancing computing education and providing support to K-12 educators in their efforts to introduce computational tools and practices to young learners. The Lappan-Phillips position will continue to enable us to develop teacher expertise in utilizing computational thinking practices, computing technologies, and artificial intelligence to enhance their core instruction in a manner that promotes equity.”
“Endowed faculty positions allow us to compete nationally and internationally to attract and retain the most outstanding educators and researchers, and to think long-term about making investments in the intellectual directions that will have impact long into the future,” said Phil Duxbury, NatSci dean. “The commitment and dedication of donors such as Betty and Glenda enrich the lives of faculty and students at Michigan State and guarantees that they will have the critical resources they need to lead the world in education and research in the 21st century and beyond.”“This achievement – an endowed professorship – is reserved for high-caliber professionals who are committed to improving the world through their research, teaching and outreach,” added Jerlando Jackson, College of Education dean. “This particular position, the Lappan-Phillips Endowed Professorship, is particularly rare. Together, Danny and Aman are among only four who have been named to this position at Michigan State University in the past decade. Congratulations to you both on this outstanding accomplishment.”
The investiture ceremony can be viewed here.
Banner image: Danny Caballero (center left) and Aman Yadav (center right) are joined by (L to R) College of Natural Science Dean Phil Duxbury, Research and Innovation Vice President Doug Gage, CREATE for STEM Institute Director Joe Kracjik, Department of Physics and Astronomy Chair Stephen Zepf, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education Dean Kui Xie, and College of Education Dean Jerlando Jackson at the investiture ceremony to honor them as Lappan-Phillips Endowed Professors. The ceremony was held Sept. 13 at MSU's Wharton Center. Credit: Harley J. Seeley