Stephen Podowitz-Thomas, PhD

Assistant Professor



4201 Henry Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144

Email Stephen Podowitz-Thomas


Stephen Podowitz-Thomas, PhD

Assistant Professor

Research & Clinical Interests

Dr. Podowitz-Thomas is a materials scientist and STEM education researcher whose research focuses on: (1) the experiences of neurodivergent undergraduate students in STEM, and (2) developing materials for more environmentally-friendly (i.e., greener) technologies. His current education research projects focus on the experiences of neurodivergent students with group work in STEM courses, neurodivergent students’ mindsets towards STEM, and the chemistry problem-solving approaches of neurodivergent students and their tutors. His education research group is devoted to contributing to a fundamental understanding of the experiences and adaptive approaches of neurodivergent students, with the ultimate goal of making STEM instructional practices more inclusive of neurodivergent students. Dr. Podowitz-Thomas’s laboratory research is grounded in a materials science approach that expands fundamental knowledge on structure-properties relationships in order to improve the functional properties of the materials that his group studies. His current materials chemistry research projects involve rare-earth-free phosphor synthesis and characterization for energy-efficient lighting applications. His past work focused on scintillator ceramics for radiological and nuclear detection and thin film structural and nanomechanical characterization. Dr. Podowitz-Thomas also has a background in engineering statistics and stochastic modeling. Dr. Podowitz-Thomas’s pedagogical interests also include team-based learning, schema-based problem-solving, supporting metacognition during problem-solving, and LGBTQ+ students and LGBTQ+ parents in STEM.


PhD - Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2012

BS - Columbia University, New York, NY, 2005