Faculty and Staff

Matthew Vonk

Matt Vonk

Matthew Vonk

member of graduate faculty

Start Year: 2002

Office: 104 Centennial Science Hall
Phone: 715-425-4707



Ph.D. Physics, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN
B.S. Physics, Hope College, Holland, MI

Courses Taught:

  • Introductory Physics
  • Analog and Digital Electronics
  • Microprocessors
  • Modern Physics
  • Optics
  • Advanced Physics Lab
  • Introduction to Astronomy
  • Cosmology

Research Interests:

  • Education Research
  • Electronics
  • Minor Planet Astronomy
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics


Professional Activities:

Dr. Matt Vonk is a professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin River Falls and 2019 recipient of the Paul B. and Robert Dykstra Faculty Excellence Award. Matt is co-founder and Chief Science Officer at Pivot Interactives an ed-tech company that makes online science labs for education that are based on high-resolution interactive video. He is a long-time AP (Advanced Placement) scorer, and currently serves as the higher-ed co-chair of the AP Physics-C Test Development Committee.

Dr. Vonk received several NSF (National Science Foundation) grants for his work on interactive video, has published articles on a wide variety of topics (education, erosion pillars, water jetpacks, asteroid rotation, the ascendance of video, and even an essay on what it's like to teach physics in the digital age) and has presented scholarly talks at more than thirty venues.

Matt is passionate about international education. He is a two time Fulbright Award Recipient: in 2010 he taught for a semester at UNI (Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria) in Managua, Nicaragua, and in 2018 he taught for a semester at UdA (the Universidad de Antioquia) in Medellin, Columbia. In 2009, he received a Rotary traveling scholar award which allowed him to spend a semester teaching and collaborating with faculty at PUCMM (Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra) in Santiago, Dominican Republic. He has also been active in UWRF's study abroad program teaching in Hangzhou, China in 2014 and leading the ITC (International Traveling Classroom) to seven European cities in 2018.

In his free time Matt likes to cross-country ski, study Spanish & Portuguese, play volleyball, attend theater events, travel, and spend time with his friends and family.