Laura Van Wormer, Ph.D.

Director of Institutional Research, Professor of Physics


Laura Van Wormer Andy developed a passion for teaching early on in her college career. As part of the honors program at the University of Toledo, she was one of very few undergraduates invited to teach physics lab courses — to other undergraduates! Combining her love of teaching with her love of physics has led to an immensely fulfilling career.

After teaching at Hiram for 25 years, Van Wormer Andy assumed the role of director of institutional research. In this role, she collects and analyzes data about Hiram College and the higher education landscape, providing information to the president and senior staff to allow for informed, evidence-based decisions regarding programs at the College.


  • Ph.D, Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics, University of Notre Dame
  • M.S., University of Notre Dame, Arthur J. Schmitt Fellow
  • B.S., Physics, University of Toledo
  • B.S., Mathematics, University of Toledo

Research Interests

  • Physical science courses using guided inquiry, rather than lecture, in response to the national need for educators, both pre-service and in-service, who are confident in the knowledge of physics and can use techniques proven to be effective by education research

Selected Publications

  • Van Wormer, L. A. “Gains in Content Knowledge, Confidence and Comfort Levels from a Physical Science Course”, OSAPS, Ohio Wesleyan University, Oct. 2009, contributed presentation
  • Van Wormer, L. A. “Analyzing PSET Students for Content Knowledge, Confidence and Comfort Levels…So Why Don’t You Want to Teach Physical Science?” American Association of Physics Teachers/ Physics Education Research national meeting (AAPT/PER) Edmonton, Alberta (22-26 July 2008); roundtable presentation and discussion leader
  • Smith, D.L., Naberejnev, D.G., and Van Wormer, L.A., NIM, A488 (2002) 342-361.
  • Van Wormer, L., Görres, J., Herndl, H., Wiescher, M., Brown, B.A., Thielemann, F.K., AIP Conference Proceedings 327, Nuclei in the Cosmos III, Assergi, Italy (1995), 263-266.

Fun Facts

  • Van Wormer Andy loves to actively apply her physics knowledge to autocross, driving your car as fast as you can around a course designated by cones, and to hockey!