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MORGANTOWN, WV -

West Virginia University's Eberly College of Arts and Sciences has two new faculty members, a married couple from the University of Arkansas who will focus on the growing areas of physics and astronomy, and science education. 

John Stewart has been hired as an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Gay Stewart comes aboard as a science, technology, engineering and math education professor. She'll help lead the STEM Education Mountain of Excellence at WVU. 

Gay Stewart also has worked at the University of Arizona, Tucson and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 

The Stewarts began their research careers studying condensed matter and particle physics but soon became interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning. They have since made many advances in physics education for college students and secondary school teachers and collectively have received nationally competitive grants for education in STEM fields totaling more than $16 million. 

Gay Stewart will be responsible for leading an effort to hire other STEM faculty for the Flexible Education Research Network initiative, as well as write proposals for research projects in STEM education, train graduate students, work with high school teachers in the region and train future teachers still in college.