Where Are They Now?
Beginning Camp from 2005 If you know of any other news about former Campers and Counselors, please email Dr. McCarthy.
Astronomy Campers have formed these Facebook groups: "Astronomy Camp," "Advanced Astronomy Camp '07," and "TEC Astronomy Camp."
Camp Counselors
Dr. Silvana Ayala is a postdotoral researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Univ. of Arizona. She received her PhD (2018) in Electical & Computer Engineering and MS in Optical Science (2018) from The University of Arizona. She has helped lead the TEC Camp for many years with Lucia Galvan. A former Astronomy Camper!

Anne (Foster) Bachmann: received her Juris Doctor degree in 2009. Graduated from the University of Virginia. Interested in environmental law. An amazing singer, she participated in a very selective women's chorale group at UVA.

Kayla Barnett received her MBA in accounting (2011) from The University of Arizona's Eller School of Management after her undergraduate degree in 2010.

Dr. Ana Biscaya received her PhD in astronomy at the University of Arizona. She and husband now live in Boston where she works for a software company.

Dr. Vanessa Bailey is a Staff Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). She received her PhD (2015) in astronomy from The University of Arizona. She continues to work on instrumentation to directly image extrasolar planets to learn more about their environments and formation.

Dr. Susan Benecchi (Kern) is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute/ She received her PhD (2006) in planetary science at MIT. She is a frequent observer on the 6.5 meter Magellan telescope in Chile. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 2000, majoring in physics/astronomy and religious studies. Her research on the icy surfaces of Kuiper Belt Objects.

Dr. Tim Bowers received his PhD (2014) in astronomy from the University of Colorado - Boulder.

Ryan Boyden is a graduate student in astrophysics at The University of Arizona.

Grace Calhoun

AJ Carver completed his master's degree in quantitative economics from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. In 2006 he graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison majoring in physics and astronomy-physics.

Dr. Caitlin Casey is Assistant Professor of Astronomy at the University of Texas - Austin. Winner of the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize (2018) from the American Astronomical Society. Received her PhD in astronomy from Cambridge and was awarded a prestigious Hubble Fellowship for research at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii. Accepted a prestigious Gates-Cambridge Fellowship to pursue graduate study in cosmology at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. She received a Goldwater Scholarship in 2006.

Yvette Cendes is a PhD graduate student in astronomy at the Leiden Observatory in the Netherands but is based at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. She received her Masters degree (2010) in physics from Case Western Reserve University. A former Astronomy Camper, she is also a freelance writer about science and astronomy.

Wendy Chavez

Steve Conner is the Technology Transfer Director and Engineering Manager at Intel. He graduated from The University of Arizona in May 1997 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He received his Masters degree from The Uinversity of Arizona.

Marina Dunn is a Technical Specialist at Apple.

Diana Johnson Coppenbarger received her Masters in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Rochester. She now works as Lead Programmer/Analyst and is the only woman Shot Director at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics in Rochester, NY. She and husband Matt have three wonderful children, one of whom is almost ready for Astronomy Camp!

Dr. Ewan Douglas is an Assistant Professor at The University of Arizona. He received his PhD (2016) in Astronomy and Space Physics at Boston University. He was an operator at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. Graduated from Tufts with a degree in physics.

Kim Dow received her Masters Degree in astronomy from The University of Arizona. She was enrolled in a PhD program in science education at Harvard.

Kara Farnsworth: received her PhD (2017) in physics at the University of California (Davis), specializing in particle physics. She graduated from The University of Arizona in 2010.

Dr. Debbie (McCarthy) Fields is a professional educator specializing in educational technologies relating to eTextiles, computer science, 3-D printing, etc. She leads teacher workshops around the world promoting these technologies. S he received her PhD in Education from UCLA (2010). She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. She researches ways to teach young people computational thinking through creative programming and electronic projects. Graduated in 1998 from Wheaton College in Christian Education and Bible. Obtained her Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in the Education Dept. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Ph.D. in Education from UCLA in 2010. Married Jason Fields in August 2004.

Jason Fields works at the Aerospace Corporation in Los Angeles. Married Debbie McCarthy in August 2004.

Dr. Rose Finn is a Professor of physics/astronomy at Siena College in Albany, NY. She received her PhD (2003) in astronomy from The University of Arizona.

Dr. Kate Follette is an Assistant Professor of astronomy at Amherst College. She recevied her PhD (2014) in astronomy from The University of Arizona. She specializes in adaptive optics imaging of planetary systems in formation and also in educational research relating to "Quantitative Literacy."

Dr. Becky Fox is an Associate Professor in of biology at the Transylvania University. She recevied her PhD (2007) in ..... from University of California - Davis. She graduated from Arizona State University in 2000, majoring in biology.

Lucia Galvan has been Directora del Instituto de Emprendedores Tecnológicos, División de Extensión y Graduados at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Sonora Norte. She has develoepd an Astronomy Camp on Mt. Lemmon for talented students from her school.

Austin Gundy is a Systems Engineer at Raytheon. A former Astronomer Camper, he received his undergraduate degree (2015) from Northern Arizona University.

Dr. Melissa Giovanni received her PhD (2007) in gelogy from UCLA. She graduated from The University of Arizona, majoring in geosciences, and becoming one of the first recipients of the Galileo Circle scholarships sponsored by the College of Science. She will be attending graduate school at UCLA.

Chris Gottbrath is an Accelerated Computing Software Product Manager at NVidia. Received his M.S. in astronomy at Steward Observatory: Use of Computers in Astronomy, Modeling, High Energy Gamma Ray Astronomy, Active Galactic Nuclei, Galaxy Formation, Astrophotography

Dr. Chris Groppi is an Associate Professor at the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. He received his PhD (2003) in astronomy from The University of Arizona. He got to pursue his PhD research in Antarctica!

Kailey Hart is a Preschool Teacher at PVUMC & Recreation Leader for After School Program at Hohokam Elementary

Katherine Hartmann received her undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy from Pomona College (2017). A former Astronomy Camper!

Dr. Todd Henry is Professor of Astronomy at Georgia State University and continues his research to characterize the Sun's nearest stellar neighbors both individually and as a population. For this purpose he established the Research Consortium on Nearby Stars (RECONS) and is the "go-to" person on the planet to learn the census of our Solar Neighborhood, including multiple star systems, red/white/brown dwarfs, and their associated extra-solar planets. A gifted marathon runner, he has completed 40 marathons, twenty of them at Boston! In 1996, he set a PR of 2:35 in the Chicago marathon. With Dr. Ray White, Todd organized our very first Astronomy Camp!

Dr. Joannah Hinz is an Associate Staff Scientist at the MMT Observatory. She received her PhD (2003) in astronomy at The University of Arizona.

Dr. Phil Hinz is Professor Astronomy at Steward Osbervatory. He received his astronomy PhD in 2001, specializing in a new technique (nulling interferometry) for directly imaging extra-solar planets in the infrared. Phil is Principal Investigator of the University's Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer.

Carolyn Hollis attended the first Girl Scout Leader Camp in April 2003, and became a trainer at the biannual astronomy camps for Girl Scout Leaders. My Girl Scouts grew up and after 14 years as a troop leader, I have left that arena. I continue to teach gifted 5th graders at White Elementary school in Tucson. One of the pleasures of this job is the opportunity to integrate math and science with other subjects. Gifted students bring a special enthusiasm into the classroom, which makes teaching exciting.

Susan Hollis is a mapping specialist for the United States Geological Survey and volunteering for the UofA's Campus Arboretum. She's working on her degree in Environmental Science.

Austin Holt is a Senior Strategy Consultant for Technology & Cloud at Accenture.

Dr. Eric Hooper is a member of the Scientific Staff in the Astronomy Department at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He also serves as a Development Scientist for the WIYN Observatory. He recevied his PhD (1997) in astronomy from The University of Arizona.

Janet Howard has continued to pursue her astronomy education through course work and traveling across the globe. She has become a Solar System Ambassador for NASA. She has also been a data analyst for the Stardust mission.

Sarah Jaeggli: is an Instrument Scientist at the National Solar Observatory. She received her PhD (2011) in solar astrophysics at the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii, specializing in solar astronomy and instrumentation. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She graduated from The University of Arizona in 2005, with a degree in Physics and Astronomy.

Teresa (Longazo) Jiles is an Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University under a cooperative agreement for the National Park Service Night Sky Program. As a Research Associate II, she takes inventories of the night sky to study the effects of light pollution in the national parks and wildlife preserves and is active in educational outreach. She is also the Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Soaring Eagle Ecology Center at Red Feather Lake (SEEC); a non-profit community center for the promotion of sustainable living and understanding of our unique Rocky Mountain ecology. Our motto "Education Through Nature". Married Martin in December 2004. Graduated from ASU May 2000 with a B.S. in Geology (emphasis in planetary geology). She interned with Lunar and Planetary Institute working with microbial weathering. Worked as the Martian Meteorite Data Coordinator for the Johnson Space Center Astrobiology Group, which is part of a group at NASA called ARES.

Amy Jordan: received a master's degree in astrophysics at the University of Colorado - Boulder. She taught high school for four years, worked in environmental consulting for a year, and now works at Los Alamos National Laboratory modeling contaminant transport in the subsurface. Amy enjoys rock climbing, backcountry skiing, and home construction; pictures of her latest adventures are up on her Web site. Future plans include graduate school soon.

Julie (Kane) Akhter: is a patent attorney at Morrison Foerster in Palo Alto, CA. She works with inventors who want to obtain patents on their inventions: writing patent applications and corresponding with the Patent Office. She also assists them in protecting and enforcing their intellectual property rights. She graduated from Stanford University with a joint law degree and masters in computer science in 2010. She graduated from MIT in 2004, majoring in math with computer science, and in 2006 with a masters in planetary science.

Dr. James Keane is a postdoctoral fellow in planetary geophysics at Caltech. He received his PhD (2017) in planetary science from The University of Arizona. A former Astronomy Camper who received his undergraduate degree (2011) from the University of Maryland.

Lindsey Kennard: attends Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Albany, New York with a double major in Physics and Computer Science.

Dr. Davy Kirkpatrick is an astronomer at IPAC/Caltech where he continues to research brown dwarfs and nearby stars. He recently received widespread recognition for establishing a new spectral class for low luminosity stars.

Jessica Klusmeyer is a graduate student in astronomy at Wesleyan University. She received her undergraduate degree in physics from the U.S. Naval Academy. A former Astronomy Camper! Before graduate school, she was also a Proxy Observer for Michigan's MDM telescope observatory on Kitt Peak.

Dr. Karen Knierman works as a science educator with Mars missions at Arizona State University. She has also researched the effects of minor mergers among galaxies.

Courtney Lemon: is an undergraduate physics major at the California Polytechnic University (Pomona).

Katrina Litke is a graduate student in astrophysics at The University of Arizona.

Leisa (Glennie) Litz until recently worked for a semi-conductor fabrication company SIMG near Phoenix. She graduated from The University of Arizona in 1996 with a double major in Physics & Astronomy. In 1998, she obtained her teaching certificate from the University of Arizona. She is now an Applications Engineer at ASM Lithography, a semiconductor company in Phoenix. Leissa was married in 2000.

Dr. Wilson Liu Received his PhD (2007) in astronomy at Steward Observatory. He uses "nulling interferometry" to image circumstellar material which may accrete into planetary systems.

Dr. Craig Kulesa, the Astronomy Camp Spectroscopist!, received his PhD (2001) in astronomy from The University of Arizona and works at Steward Obseravtory doing infrared and submillimeter astronomy. He takes annual research-related trips to the South Pole.

Dr. Joanna Levine: Now teaching astronomy at Mt. Holyoke. Also a yoga instructor. Received her PhD (2006) in Astronomy from the University of Florida. Graduated in Physics & Astronomy at Univ. of Massachusetts.

Dr. Wilson Liu is an Instrument Scientist at the 3.5 m WIYN observatory. He received his PhD (2007) in astronomy at Steward Observatory.

Mikayla Mace
is a Science and Higher Education reporter for the Arizona Daily Star.

Erin Maier is a graduate student in astrophysics at The University of Arizona.

Jennifer (Dannemiller) Maynard received her Masters of Divinity in 2012. She has served as a Pastor and once taught middle school math and science at the Accelerated Learning Laboratory.

David McCarthy works as an accountant for KPMG in Seattle. He finished his MBA degree at the Eller School of Management at The University of Arizona. Also worked for KPMG in the United Arab Emirates. He also has a Masters degree in Biblical Archaeology from Wheaton College.

Dr. Don McCarthy remains an Astronomer at The University of Arizona. He continues to build infrared equipment for imaging/ spectroscopy, and adaptive optics. He has been the director of the education/outreach aspects of the near-infrared camera (NIRCam) for NASA's Janes Webb Space Telescope. He has taken up long distance biking.

Gabi Mehta is an Electro-Optical Sensor Analyst at The Aerospace Corporation. A former Astronomy Camper who received her undergraduate degree in Physics and Astronomy from Pomona College in 2017.

Nicole Miklus Now works at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a science educator. Worked as a Hydrologist at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources. She received her Masters degree in Geosciences in Syracuse in Fall 2006. Her research focused on seasonal changes in the Eocene time period. She received her undergraduate degree from Kent State University.

Dr. Jackie Monkiewicz received her PhD (2018) in astronomy from Arizona State University. She is pursuing extragalactic research and is a very avid hiker.

Katie Moore is a science educator at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington. She earned a Masters degree in Museum Education at George Washington University and, earlier, taught high school physics in Georgia.

Dr. John Moustakas is an Assistant Professor at Siena College in New York. He received his PhD in astronomy at Steward Obseravtory in 2006 and was a postdoctoral fellow at New York University.

Sarah O'Brien Sarah O'Brien graduated from The University of Arizona in 1997 cum laude with a BS in Astronomy & Physics. She worked for a DOD company in Tucson for several years after graduation. Currently she works as a Senior Software Engineer in Seattle, WA for a company specializing in metrology equipment. She's married with two children and two cats. In addition to teaching her children about science and mathematics, she also teaches them about eating organically grown food and being conscious of the environment.

Dr. Sally Oey is Professor of astronomy at Michigan. She received her PhD in astronomy in 1996 and was a postdoc at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University, England and at the Space Telescope Science Institute. She was awarded the Annie Cannon award for her research on massive stars and their interaction with the interstellar medium. Sally has accepted an appointment at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ.

Dr. Diana Perry recevied her Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree (2017) from Western University of Health Sciences. She graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Has a Black Belt in Taekwondo and is an instructor in the Tucson area. She was a valued Astronomy Camp counselor in 2004.

Dr. Tim Pickering is a Staff Scientist at the MMT Obseveratory. He obtained his PhD (1998) in astronomy from The Uinversity of Arizona and was a postdoc at the Kapetyn Institute in Groningen. He has also worked at the SALT observatory and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Gail (Schneller) Proudfoot Now working with Microsoft in Seattle and married Jared in Fall 2007. She is working towards a Masters Degree in Medical Engineering. Gail graduated from The University of Arizona in 1997 with a degree in Astronomy with emphasis in Electrical Engineering. She continues to explore a great variety of interests including camping, photography, ballet, graphic art design, etc.!

Paul Readly: is Assistant Flower Breeder for the American Takii seed company in Salinas, CA. He graduated from Penn State University in 2003 with a degree in horticulture.

Jeff Regester is an instructor of physics and astronomy at High Point University. Jeef continues to travel thr world as a Lead Observer in a multi-institution program to observe occultations of outer Solar System objets. He has also been an Physics Educator at Greensboro High School in North Carolina. Formerly, he was a lab instructor and engineer in the Astronomy Dept. at Wellesley College in MA. He proposed to his future wife, Martha, at Astronomy Camp in 1995.

Martha Regester is a science educator and Curator of Museum Programs at the Natural Science Center of Greensboro, NC.

Dr. Greg Rudnick is a Professor of astronomy at the University of Kansas. He was also an astronomer at the National Optical Astronomy Observatories in Tucson, and continued his research in Germany. He received his PhD in astronomy in 2001 at The University of Arizona.

Hector Saldivar: is an undergraduate physics major at the California Polytechnic University (Pomona).

Ann Schlingman is a retired veterinarian from CO. She and Wyatt are amateur astronomers who enjoy getting other people interested in science and astronomy.

Dr. Wayne Schlingman is Director, Arne Slettebak Planetarium at The Ohio State University. He was also an Education Specialist and radio astronomer at the University of Colorado - Boulder. He received his PhD in astronomy in 2012 from The Universoty of Arizona.

Wyatt Schlingman is a retired Air Traffic Control Specialist. He and Ann are amateur astronomers who enjoy getting other people interested in science and astronomy.

Samantha Scibelli is a graduate student (former Astronomy Camper and Dudley Campership winner) in astrophysics at The University of Arizona.

Andrew Sevrinski a graduate student in astrophysics at The University of Arizona. Andrew is also a former student of Dr. Todd Henry (Georgia State University) who worked at the first every Astronomy Camp and received his PhD (1991) from The University of Arizona with Dr. McCarthy as advisor.

Dr. Patrick Sheehan is a postdoctoral research astronomer at The University Oklahoma. He received his PhD (2017) in astronomy at The University of Arizona. He is interested in studying how stars and planets are formed using high spatial resolution (sub-)millimeter telescopes.

Dr. Yancey Shirley: is a Professor of Astronomy at The University of Arizona. He was a Bok Fellow at the UofA and a Jansky Fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. He received undergraduate degrees in Astronomy and Physics and Applied Mathematics from The University of Arizona.

Elise Stefanik has served as the U.S. Representative for New York's 21st congressional district since 2015. At the time of her initial election, she was the youngest female ever elected to Congress. She graduated from Harvard University in 2006 majoring in Political Science. She was a student leader in the Institute of Politics at the JFK School of Government.

Nathan Stock is a Technical Writer for Cloud Services at Google. He recevied his Masters degree (2012) in astronomy from The University of Arizona.

Brian Svoboda is a Jansky Fellow in radio astronomy at NRAO in Socorro, NM. He received his PhD (2017) from The University of Arizona.

Brandon Swift is a graduate student in Astronomy at The University of Arizona.

Michael Terenzoni: is a retired Senior Telescope Operator at the 2.3-meter Bok telescope on Kitt Peak. He is also an avid amateur astronomer and photographer. A former long-term employee of the UA's Flandrau Science Center, Mike continues to do some work for Flandrau and handles the Astronomy section of Flandrau's Web site. He also still works with the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter as a Program Leader.

Nancy Thomas is a graduate student in planetary science at Caltech. She received her undergraduate degree from MIT. A former Astronomy Camper!

Mark Vitale: earned his PhD in Organizational Management & Leadership from Capella University in 2008, and is currently the Director of Academic Affairs for the University of Phoenix Southern Arizona campus managing all faculty, and academic/instructional quality, for programs in Tucson, Sierra Vista, Nogales and Yuma. He is also a full-time faculty member for the University's School of Business, as well as a curriculum reviewer and subject matter expert for the University's marketing programs (graduate and undergraduate programs). Mark also earned his private pilot's license in 2009 and has about 100 hours of flight time logged.

Elizabeth Waterhouse has, in her own words, had a creative, and productive, career in dance, astronomy, and physics. She is pursuing a PhD in dance studies as part of a programme that pairs artists with humanities scholars to write theoretical dissertations. She received her Masters in Fine Arts at Ohio State University. Graduated in 2001 from Harvard in physics and astronomy.

Dr. Matthew Whitehouse is the Observatory Manager at South Carolina State Museum and brings an interdisciplinary background to his work as an astronomy educator. He received his DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts; 2013) in Organ and Composition at The University of Arizona and was a long-term educator in Kitt Peak National Observatory's pubic astronomy programs.

Joseph Wright is Operations Manager, Warkoczewski Observatory of the University of Missouri-Kansas City

Rita Wright is a Staff Astronomer, Warkoczewski Observatory University of Missouri-Kansas City

Dr. Patrick Young is an Associate Professor in the Earth and Space Exploration, School of (SESE), at Arizona State University. He finished his PhD (2004) in astronomy at The University of Arizona in the area of stellar evolution.

Abby Youngblood is the Executive Director at National Organic Coalition. She is passionate about all things related to food (growing, distributing, environment, health, governmental policy). She has accumulated twelve years of non-profit program development experience and hands-on agricultural experience including two years as owner/operator of organic vegetable farm. She graduated in physics from Bryn Mawr in 2001. A semi-finalist in the 1997 Westinghouse Science competition.


If you know of any other news about former Campers and Counselors, please email Dr. McCarthy.