Over this last academic year, YSU STEM has made it a point to introduce you to as many of our new faculty as we can. Some of them are new to teaching, but some of them are not. Professors, like Dr. Donald Priour, assistant professor in the physics and astronomy department, have taught classes before, but YSU holds something different for them.
Dr. Priour, who grew up in Kerrville, Texas, has been passionate about physics for as long as he can remember, but he counts his first real beginnings in the field as the first paper he had published 15 years ago. He graduated from Rice University with a degree in Physics, and earned his master’s degree and PhD in Physics from Princeton University.
Teaching is something that Dr. Priour has always been interested in. He enjoys making the best of, sometimes, difficult subject matter and helping his students understand concepts they thought they could not. Research is also a large part of what Dr. Priour does.
“I’ve always felt that, in the best of worlds, the two go hand-in-hand,” he says about teaching and research. He continued to say science is the most useful when teachers and scientists can use it to explain phenomena.
While he currently teaches classes in Classical Mechanics and Introduction to Physics, he also gets to do some teaching for the Materials Science doctoral program. In addition to teaching, Dr. Priour gets to work with students and professors alike with his research. Personally, he enjoys researching in his area of expertise, condensed matter physics, but likes that there are so many opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.
Dr. Priour jumped at the chance to come to Youngstown when he heard about the opportunity. Not only was he happy to come to a town that has four seasons, but he was happy to find a position that would encourage him to do more in the field and that would allow him to grow.
When Dr. Priour isn’t at the chalkboard using color to bring physics to life, he can be found in places around campus, like Pete’s Place, the library, or even one of our local art museums.