Alanna Pawlak, Assistant Teaching Professor


Dr. Pawlak earned her Ph.D. in Physics from Michigan State University in 2018 and her B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from DePaul University in 2012. Her graduate work was in Physics Education Research, specifically focusing on collaborative learning environments. Prior to joining UW Bothell, Dr. Pawlak taught at the University of Colorado Boulder and Front Range Community College and was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Dr. Pawlak teaches a variety of courses across the physics curriculum at UW Bothell. In her courses, she emphasizes collaborative reasoning, conceptual understanding, and self-efficacy.

Teaching interests

  • Introductory physics
  • Electricity and magnetism
  • Nuclear physics
  • Pedagogy

Research interests

Dr. Pawlak’s research focuses on how students, faculty, and student teaching assistants (such as peer facilitators), engage with collaborative learning environments in physics. She has studied student interactions, collaborative reasoning, and the beliefs and teaching approaches of undergraduate teaching assistants.


Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan

  • Ph.D. Physics, 2018, Collaborative Learning Environments in Introductory Physics

DePaul University
Chicago, Illinois

  • B.S. Physics and Mathematics, 2012


Office Location: UW2-304

Curriculum Vitae


  • BPHYS 117
  • BPHYS 121
  • BPHYS 321