Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Welcome to Rod Lee’s Home Page!

Welcome to my home page!  Below you will find the courses I am teaching for the current term.  My office is virtual (Zoom), on the Sylvania Campus in ST/312, and on the Cascade Campus in JH 218A. My email is rodney.lee2@pcc.edu.

Picture of Rod Lee with NASA sweatshirt

Rod Lee (11-20-2021)

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My Early Interest in Astronomy

I knew from a young age I wanted to be both a teacher and a scientist.  A big influence for me was the late Carl Sagan’s book and television series Cosmos.  Another was Kip Thorne’s book Black Holes & Time Warps. A more contemporary book that I highly recommend is Welcome to the Universe.

My Career in Education

I began my career as a high school teacher in 1998 at the age of 25. My first teaching position was at Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield, California.  There I taught Integrated Science, Computer Applications, Algebra II, Honors Pre-Calculus, Physics, Honors Physics, and Astronomy.  I moved to Oregon in 2003 and taught at Regis High School from 2003 to 2011.  While at Regis, I taught Algebra II, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, and Biology while serving as the moderator for the National Honor Society (NHS).

In 2006, I was asked by Chemeketa Community College to teach an astronomy course for them.  I continued teaching as adjunct faculty for Chemeketa until the Summer of 2020.  During my time at Chemeketa, I taught math, chemistry, physics, and astronomy.  In addition to teaching at Chemeketa, I taught adjunct physics and astronomy at Linn Benton Community College from 2012 to 2014. During this time, I served as an observer and mentor for student teachers (through Western Governors University) beginning their careers in secondary education. In 2014, I began teaching part-time here at PCC.

In the Spring of 2015, I was hired as a full-time temporary physics and astronomy instructor under the Oregon NASA Space Grant to develop and teach three online astronomy courses: The Solar System (PHY 121 OL), Stars and Stellar Evolution (PHY 122 OL), and Galaxies & Cosmology (PHY 123 OL).  In the Fall of 2016, I was hired as a full-time tenure-track physics and astronomy instructor.

I served as Faculty Department Chair of Physical Sciences here at PCC Sylvania from 2018 to 2020. I also served as PCC’s Physical Science Online Mentor from 2016-2021. Since 2015 I have worked closely with the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium, which provides scholarships and research opportunities to undergraduates. I am currently (slowly) completing a doctoral program.

My Academic Background
  • Ph.D. (in progress)
  • MS, Chemical & Life Sciences (University of Maryland), 2014
  • MS, Astronomy (Swinburne Institute for Astrophysics – Australia), 2003
  • Secondary Teacher Education (Sonoma State University), 1998
    • Professional Clear Bi-CLAD (Physics, Chemistry, & Math) Teaching Credential
  • BS, Physics, Minors: Mathematics & Astronomy, (Sonoma State University), 1997
My Interests Outside of Teaching

When not at PCC, I spend most of my time with my family and close friends.  My hobbies include reading (science fiction, history of science, and history in general), gardening, traveling, star gazing, and gaming (board & PC).

My Professional Links