Faculty Bio

David R Rishell

Lecturer of Physics

Dave received his BA in physics from Colgate University and a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from SUNY Plattsburgh in 2006. Since 2010 he has been teaching the introductory labs and also an introductory lecture section and is the lab coordinator for the introductory physics course.

Early in his career, Dave was the lab instructor at Skidmore College. He has also taught at the Albany College of Pharmacy and then New Paltz High School before coming to Vassar. The Plattsburgh program where he received his MAT was extremely innovative in its emphasis on the so called “Active Learning Model” in physics education. Dave was also fortunate enough to be introduced to a version of this model - “Workshop Physics” - directly in his student teaching work. Dave continues to use Workshop Physics ideas in his classes and labs and stresses an active learning model in general in the physics classroom. 

In 2012 Dave presented a talk, “Using Video Analysis and Model Roller Coasters in Introductory Physics”  at the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) summer 2012 meeting in Philadelphia. 

As a hobby, Dave studies the mathematical aspects of games of chance such as the card games "21" (or blackjack) and poker. Dave was also a full time musician, playing lead guitar and singing,  for several years and has had the honor of performing shows with such legendary guitarists as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Stevie's brother Jimmy Vaughan, Son Seals, Brian Setzer and others.  Dave’s cousin Paul Rishell is also a notable blues guitarist in the Boston area.