Nancy Beverly

  • Associate Professor, Physics
Nancy Beverly headshot

Nancy Beverly, Ph.D., has been the lead physics faculty at Mercy University for over two decades, focusing on making physics relevant to health and life sciences students. Her interest in bridging the gap between physics and biological functioning started during her undergraduate studies in biochemistry. Realizing the untapped potential of early physics education to benefit life science students, she's dedicated her career to creating impactful physics courses.  She has developed six physics courses at Mercy, each tailored to the needs of students preparing for different health careers. 

Dr. Beverly actively participates in national efforts to reform introductory physics education through her involvement with the Introductory Physics for Life Science (IPLS) community. She has served as the Principal Investigator for three National Science Foundation grants related to IPLS and has organized multiple national workshops. Her innovative lab equipment is commercially available through a collaboration with an educational equipment provider.

She is a founding editor of the Living Physics Portal, a dynamic online resource for educators. Additionally, Dr. Beverly frequently presents her work at international and national levels, with 15 invited talks in her field.

In the American Association of Physics Teachers, she has served twice as chair of the Committee on Laboratories. At Mercy University, she has led various committees, including the Learning Environment Committee, the General Education Curriculum Committee, and the SHNS Curriculum and Assessment Committees.

Ph.D.    Physics, Stevens Institute of Technology (1996); research  at AT&T Bell Labs,  Murray Hill, NJ

M.S.     Physics,  New York University (1991)

B.S.     Biochemistry,  S.U.N.Y.- New Paltz, summa cum laude (1980)

Dr. Beverly has taught all the physics courses at Mercy, but now focuses on those courses with a lab component:

  • PHYS160 (primarily pre-PT) 
  • PHYS161 (primarily pre-PT)
  • PHYS180 (primarily pre-med, pre-dent, pre-vet)
  • PHYS181 (primarily pre-med, pre-dent, pre-vet)


Invited Plenaries

Recent Invited talks

  • Beverly, N. (January 2020) Student-driven Inquiry in  Introductory Physics in Life Science, American Association of Physics Teachers 2020 Winter Meeting, Orlando, FL
  • Beverly, N. (2019, July)  Bodies–on Lab Activities,  American Association of Physics Teachers 2019 Summer Meeting, Provo, Utah
  • Beverly, N. (2018, July) Living Physics Portal Support of Educator Evolution   American Association of Physics Teachers 2018 Summer Meeting, Washington, DC,
  • Beverly, N. (2018, June) Energy transfer difficulties unveiled in student IPLS projects, Gordon Research Conference - Physics Research & Education, Smithfield, RI
  • Beverly, N. (2017, July) Assessing Learning Outcomes in a Competency-based IPLS Course, presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers 2017 Summer Meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Beverly, N. (2017, Feb.) Incorporating Project-based Learning in a Competency-based IPLS course.  Presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers 2017 Winter Meeting, Atlanta, GA

National Science Foundation Grants Awarded:

Community Sourcing for Introductory Physics for Life Science (2016)  $1.7 million 

Collaborative grant with American Association of Physics Teachers, U. of Maryland, U. of New Hampshire, Rockhurst U., Swarthmore College, Portland State U., George Washington U., Montgomery College    Result is the Living Physics Portal – a dynamic online repository and community


Computerizing  Physics and Chemistry Laboratories for Life Science Students (2001) $292,757 

PI: N. Beverly, co-PIs: Barbara Nash, Geetha Surendran  (replacing original Tabitha Murray) Result: Mercy Physics, Chemistry, and Biochemistry labs were made relevant to life science with computer acquisition            


Reforming Physics – Algebra-based Physics with Human Applications  (2001)  $473,810 

Jointly with the University of Nebraska and Texas Tech University, in collaboration with Doane College   Result was the Humanized Physics Project, now partially transferred to the Living Physics Portal