Department of Science Education

Ben Van Dusen, Ph.D.

Dr. Van Dusen’s research focusses how students interact with their learning environments to shape the expression of knowledge, identity, and motivation. A primary use of this lens is in understanding issues of equity and access within science. Currently Ben is investigating the systemic impacts that Learning Assistants have on student outcomes.


Ph.D. (2014) – Curriculum and Instruction: Science Education, University of Colorado Boulder

M.Ed. (2004) – Educational Leadership, University of Oregon

B.A. (2003) – Physics, UC Berkeley

Courses Taught

  • SCED 141: Concepts in Physical Science
  • SCED 350: Learning Assistant Training       

Grants (selected):

PI, College of Natural Sciences Grant Stimulus Program
Award: $5,000
Funder: California State University Chico College of Natural Sciences

PI, Research, Scholarly & Creative Activities grant
Award: $5,250
Funder: California State University System

PI, Scholarship of Learning and Teaching: Promising Practices with Technology
Award: $12,298
Funder: California State University System

PI, Scholarship of Learning and Teaching: Faculty Development Program
Award: $750
Funder: California State University Chico

Co-PI, Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Institutional and Community Transformation: Design and Development - Collaborative Research: Scaling Undergraduate STEM Transformation and Institutional Networks for Engaged Dissemination (SUSTAINED)
Award: $2,519,974 
Funder: National Science Foundation (award # 1525338)


Refereed (selected)

Van Dusen, B., Langdon, L., & Otero, V. (2015) National Learning Assistant (LA) supported student outcomes study. In A. Churukian, D. Jones, and L. Ding (Eds.) Proc. 2015 Physics Education Research Conference. AIP Press.

Barthelemy, R., Van Dusen, B., & Henderson, C. (2015). Physics Education Research: A Research Subfield of Physics with Gender Parity. Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 11(2), 020107.

Invited (selected)

Van Dusen, B. (2016, July). How Misfits Find Homes. Physics Education Research Consortium of Graduate Students Summer newsletter.

Otero, V., Langdon, L., Her Many Horses, I., Oatley, M., & Van Dusen, B. (2016, April) Learning Assistant Alliance: Social Organizing Tools for Sharing Resources and Building Institutional Networks. In Proc. 2016 Envisioning the Future of Undergraduate STEM Education Conference.

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Association of Physics Teachers
  • American Education Research Association
  • American Physics Society
  • International Society for the Learning Sciences
  • National Association for Research in Science Teaching  

For complete information, see Ben Van Dusen's CV. (PDF)

ben van dusen

Assistant Professor

Holt Hall, Room 101B