The photo above was taken during the VLA tour for students attending the 2016 Advanced Data Reduction Workshop held in Socorro, NM, where I served as an expert tutor and helped lead VLA tours for participants (I am the 3rd person from the left).
I have a strong record of providing observatory and community report dating back to my time as a graduate student at NMT in Socorro, NM while working on my thesis at the NRAO. My contributions include reporting software bugs and testing fixes, participating in early testing of the CASA Calibration Pipeline for the VLA, and assisting with the verification of new tasks and tools in CASA. From 2013 to 2014, I took on a more official role by staffing the CASA data processing help desk on a part time basis helping users troubleshoot VLA data reduction challenges. I have also served as a tutor at multiple official NRAO workshops, including the Synthesis Imaging Workshop series and advanced VLA data reduction workshops, as well as a AAS splinter session on proposing for time on NRAO telescopes..
More recently, I have taken a great interest in the next-generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) and have played an active role in developing the ngVLA science case, with an emphasis on new opportunities for studying active galactic nuclei. In 2019, I was selected to serve as an ALMA ambassador and will be co-leading a Cycle 7 ALMA proposal workshop in the Mid-Atlantic area.
As a graduate student, I helped mentor undergraduate Dillon Dong (currently a PhD student at Caltech) in collaboration with Eric Murphy and Katey Alatalo on a spatially-resolved radio spectral index study of a nearby galaxy with a jet-driven outflow, including the completion of a successful student-led Director's Discretionary Time proposal for additional VLA observations. More recently, I have had the opportunity to help mentor Ph.D. student Pallavi Patil (U. Virginia) on her multi-frequency VLA thesis work on nascent radio AGNs associated with luminous galaxies. I have also been working with undergraduate student Louis Johnson (Princeton University) in collaboration with Jenny Greene on a radio continuum study of the most massive early-type galaxies in the local Universe to learn more about the link between their central engines and recent evolution.
Pallavi Patil (Ph.D. student, U. Virginia) presenting her work at the 2017 winter AAS meeting.
I had the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant for two undergraduate physics courses at New Mexico Tech while I was a Ph.D. student. I taught Mechanics Laboratory (Physics 121) and Electricity and Magnetism Recitation (Physics 122), and also helped staff the Physics Help Room during a set schedule each week. One of my favorite things about teaching is coming up with interesting extra credit problems and projects to supplement the course material and help students who may be struggling succeed. You can find an example of one of my Mechanics Laboratory extra credit assignments here.
The campus of New Mexico Tech.
Photo of me explaining my research to U.S. senator Martin Heinrich during his tour of the VLA in 2013!
I find sharing my knowledge and expertise about the Universe with others to be extremely rewarding. I was extremely fortunate to have had a mentor, Richard Ensign, at a planetarium near where I grew up in Michigan, who taught me how to use the planetarium equipment and helped me put together my first public presentation when I was in the 8th grade!
I continued my early outreach to the public by giving annual planetarium shows through high school. As an undergraduate student, I gave shows on a variety of astronomical topics at the planetariums at the University of Michigan Natural History Museum as well as the Astronomy Department planetarium at Angell Hall during Student Astronomical Society public observing nights.
As a graduate student and postdoc, I have volunteered at numerous VLA open house events during which I have had the opportunity to lead tours and give public science lectures. I have also presented my work to politicians both in the U.S. and abroad. In 2013, I presented my Ph.D. research to U.S. senator Martin Heinrich during his tour of the VLA, and in 2015 I presented my work to the Dutch State Secretary of Education during the re-opening ceremony of the new ASTRON building.