The initial moment an astronomer or astrophysicist bonds with the cosmos is typically unique and often an indelible mark of wonder is engraved. My initial connection with the cosmos was no exception.
Specifically, preparation for a career in astrophysics commenced during my high school years with my first advanced study course in astronomy taught by Dr. Ed Albin at the Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta, GA. During this course, I was granted the opportunity to build a 6-inch reflecting telescope and peer into the cosmic depths with the Center's 36-inch Cassegrain reflector telescope, the largest telescope in the southeastern United States. Since then, my very essence has been devoted towards understanding the intricacies of the Universe.
During my undergraduate years at The University of Chicago ('13 - BA Physics w/ Specialization in Astrophysics), I pursued communication and sought to foster relationships with individuals that mirrored my interest in astrophysical and astronomical endeavors. I was elected vice president of Carl Sagan’s former student group, the Ryerson Astronomical Society (RAS), advocated for interdisciplinary involvement in physics as the outreach officer for the Society of Physics Students, and assisted in revealing the starry night sky to curious minds as the dome engineer for the RAS.
Upon graduation, The Astronomical League, NASA Night Sky Network, Atlanta Astronomy Club, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, The Planetary Society, and the Boulder Astronomy and Space Society were organizations I gravitated towards and gained membership to. These organizations remain vital towards my quest of unraveling the mysteries of our solar system and beyond.
Additionally, in regards to professional development, I accepted a full-time position at Radiometrics
Corporation in Boulder, CO in 2014. Radiometrics specializes in the research, development, and distribution of wind profiling radars, SoDARs, and thermodynamic profiling radiometers for domestic and international universities, governments, and varying public and private entities.
Throughout the plethora of software, engineering, research, IT, and product design roles within
the company, none were more testing than my role as Sonic Detection And Ranging (SoDAR) Product Line Manager. This position summoned skills I acquired through a demanding University of Chicago curriculum, research positions held at the Laboratory for Space and Solar Physics and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, and leadership roles assumed during my undergraduate tenure. Specifically, my duty to manage electrical, mechanical, and software engineering SoDAR staff, engage with top level scientists in the field of atmospheric remote sensing and radio astronomy (NOAA, NCAR, NRAO, NIST, NWS, and NASA’s JPL, Goddard, and Kennedy), and my responsibility to be the resident expert in all SoDAR matters developed skills simply unattainable through a purely academic trek.
My path has now led me back to the realm of academia, where I intend to utilize my talents to pursue cutting edge high energy astrophysics research within the Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Ph.D. program at CU-Boulder in partnership with Professor Julie Comerford.