Obituary from The Marion Star:
Longtime Ohio State Marion physics professor, Dr. Gordon J. Aubrecht, II, 73, passed away at his home in Delaware Monday afternoon, Nov. 21. He'd been informed that he had untreatable cancer in late September. In an e-mail to faculty and staff, Dr. Aubrecht said he was shocked by the diagnosis, noting he'd only taken one sick day in his 43 years of teaching at Ohio State Marion. He received his doctorate from Princeton University in 1971.
Aubrecht received Ohio State's Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service in 2008.
"Gordon was dedicated to his students and shared his love of physics with hundreds of them through his tenure here," said Ohio State Marion dean and director, Dr. Gregory S. Rose, "but he was also a scholar in all senses of the word, publishing numerous papers and writing a textbook titled "Energy" in 2005. We will miss his intellect and personal energy on this campus."
A close friend, Dr. Brian McEnnis called Aubrecht "a driving force" and "a central figure" in shaping Ohio State's regional campuses. He helped set up a regional campus council that represented the interests of the regional campuses to Ohio State's central administration. McEnnis said it was Aubrecht who insisted that faculty on the regional campuses be held to the same standards of research and scholarship as those employed in Columbus.
In addition to his teaching duties, Aubrecht was active in many organizations including the American Physical Society, the Association for University Regional Campuses of Ohio, and the American Association of University Professors. In fact, at the time of his passing, he was the president of The Ohio State University Chapter of the AAUP. Fellow member Dr. Douglas Macbeth called him "a tireless defender of academic freedom and an energetic participant in University governance." Macbeth noted that "Gordon was passionate about physics and physics education. He shared his knowledge beyond the classroom in his role as a public intellectual."
For many years, Aubrecht was involved in helping high school and middle school science teachers develop an inquiry-based model for science education. He was working on writing a book on the subject at the time of his death.
Ohio State Marion has established a fund to name the physics lab in the new science and engineering building rising on the campus in honor of Aubrecht. Those interested in contributing may do so by sending a check to the Ohio State University at Marion Development Office, 1465 Mount Vernon Avenue, Marion, OH 43302 made out to the Ohio State University Foundation, fund number 315649. Online contributions may also be made at www.giveto.osu.edu and designating fund 315649.
Gordon Aubrecht’s Ph.D. is from Princeton University (where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow) in particle physics. Aubrecht has been a teacher of university-level physics for more than 40 years and has taught over 340 undergraduate and graduate courses. Aubrecht has run around 50 local, national, and international workshops for high school and college teachers and has published around a hundred scientific articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings. He resides in Delaware (Ohio) with his wife.
Aubrecht does physics education research. He is interested in classroom assessment, student inquiry, and exposure of students to contemporary physics concepts. He has served on the steering committees of national/international conferences. He is a founding member of the Contemporary Physics Education Project (CPEP); he is currently CPEP chair emeritus. CPEP produced spectacular classroom charts for particle, plasma, and nuclear physics, and cosmology.
Aubrecht is author of the college-level physics textbook, Energy (3rd ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2006) as well as author and / or editor of about a dozen other books.
Aubrecht is a secretary of IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 14, and Executive Secretary of the InterAmerican Council on Physics Education. Aubrecht is a fellow of AAAS, AAPT, and APS. He has received the AAPT Distinguished Service Citation, the Hart Award of the Southern Ohio Section-AAPT, and the Maxwell Award from the Ohio Section-APS. He was named an American Physical Society Distinguished Referee for 2014.
Aubrecht has been active in faculty governance before and after retirement. He has been member and/or chair of several Ohio State regular and ad hoc committees. He has been on the Regional Campus Faculty Council over 25 years, serving as chair or cochair many times. He was University Senator from the Marion Campus twice and most recently was OSU Senate Scribe. Aubrecht has been on the Board of the OSU Chapter of AAUP for three decades, currently serving as president, Committee A member, and newsletter editor. The Chapter presented him its Louis Nemzer Award in 2004. Aubrecht received the Distinguished Faculty Service award from Ohio State in 2008. Aubrecht was named Professor Emeritus in 2013.