2014 – present: 4th year PhD candidate in the Astronomy and Space Sciences dept. at Cornell University, Ithaca NY. Advisor: Dr. Lisa Kaltenegger.
2010 – 2014 : BA in Astrophysics from Franklin and Marshall College (F&M), Lancaster PA. Advisor: Dr. Fronefield Crawford.
Franklin and Marshall:
While at F&M I worked with Dr. Crawford on numerous projects related to the survey of pulsars in the Small and Large Magellanic clouds. My early research focused on looking for pulsar signals in radio data and investigating candidates. I later worked on testing code to automatically search through pulsar candidates and implemented it on several data sets to speed up candidate filtering. (see publications)
Under the guidance of Dr. Neish and Dr. Carter I worked at NASA Goddard on a survey of the Moon for impact melt flows. Over the summer we combed through the data from LRO’s Mini-RF to search for new impact melts and record their properties. We were able to update the existing database of impact melts in the process and released an extensive new catalog of all know impact melt flows. (see publications)
I have started work with Dr. Kaltenegger on assembling and using a database of albedos, spectra, and colors of the bodies in our solar system for use in characterizing exoplanet discoveries. I am also working on climate and photo-chemical modeling of exoplanetary atmospheres.
I am also working with Dr. Natasha Holmes and Dr. Andrea Stevenson Won on physics education using virtual reality. We are creating a 3D model of the Earth-Moon-Sun system for use in teaching virtual reality physics demos on Lunar Phases, Tides, and Sea level rise. We will assess learning gains next by comparing these experiences with traditional in-class demos.
Franklin and Marshall:
Started as a tutor in the physics department at F&M while I was a sophomore. I would continue to tutor and assist with labs for the remainder of my time at F&M. I became the first Head Physics and Astronomy tutor in my final year as I represented the department during the formation of a new tutoring system.
I also took part in F&M’s preceptorship program twice during my final two years. This program involved helping professors run their course by meeting with students, giving lectures, holding study sessions, and keeping office hours. The program also included an extra session for me to learn from other preceptors and professors about how students learn in a liberal arts environment.
FND149 Life on Mars, FND137 History of Space and Time – Preceptor
PHY223 Modern Physics, PHY 111/2 Fundamental Physics I/II – Lab assistant
AST100 Survey of Astronomy, AST121 Intro to Astrophysics – Lab assistant, office hours, reviews
So far I have been a teaching assistant (TA) for 4 semesters at Cornell. As a TA I was responsible for approximately 30 students each semester who were enrolled in an introductory astronomy course. I meet with my students in two sections each week for 50 minutes to go over material and learn new material. My other responsibilities included making assignments, and exams as well as grading, holding office hours, and hosting review sessions. I held a standard TA position for the first 3 semesters.
In my 4th semester I was the Head TA and took on the responsibility of working with professors, staff, and the other TAs to run the course smoothly and guide the other TAs to meet the objectives of the course.
During my time as head TA I assembled outlines, guidelines, and instructions to help future TAs with their responsibilities. I have since worked with the administration in the department to implement these changes to other courses and create a set of coherent standards for our courses. I continue to work with incoming and current TAs to improve the system.
ASTRO1101 Introduction to Astronomy, ASTRO1102 Our Solar System – TA
ASTRO 3301 Exoplanets and Planetary Systems, ASTRO 6578 Planet Formation – Grader
Program I have been apart of: Ask an Astronomer, 4-H Career Explorations, Focus for Teens, Spark talks.
Awards and Honors
Graduate Research Teaching Fellowship (Cornell 2017-2018)
NY Space Grant Fellowship (Cornell 2016): A full academic year of funding to continue my research at Cornell.
Branson and Edna B. Shelley Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (Cornell 2016):
Micheal J. Mumma Prize in Physics and Astronomy (F&M 2013): outstanding scholastic achievement, citizenship, community leadership and superior potential for future contributions to physics and/or astronomy.
Hackman Summer Research Scholarship (F&M 2012): 10 week summer research stipend.
Kershner Scholar (F&M 2013): exceptional work in mathematics, physics, and astronomy courses.
Phi Beta Kappa (F&M 2014) National Honors Society
Sigma Pi Sigma (F&M 2013) National Physics Honors Society
Sigma Xi (F&M 2014) National Scientific Research Society
PA EMT-B : 2011-2017
NY EMT-B : 2017 -current
Wilderness First Responder: 2016-current
PADI Open Water Diver: 2015-current
Operating systems: Advanced use of Mac OS, Proficiency with Linux, and Windows.
Languages: Advanced use of Unix based shells, Wolfram Language, LaTeX.
Proficiency in Python, Fortran, HTML, IRAF, ISIS, LabVIEW
Software: Advanced user of Photoshop, Microsoft Office, and Inkscape.
Proficiency in Blender, Gimp.