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Featured Graduate Alumni

Thomas Connor
Thomas Connor

PhD: 2016

Advisor: Megan Donahue

Thesis: Multi-Wavelength Observations of Galaxy Clusters: Population Evolution and Scaling Relations for Intermediate-Redshift Clusters

Currently: Post-doc at Carnegie

Thoughts on MSU: "Michigan State was a fantastic place for me to develop as an astronomer. MSU's involvement with the SOAR telescope meant that I could observe on a 4m telescope roughly once a month without any travel, which was critical for my development as an observer. Beyond that, MSU faculty are consistently securing observing time on the Hubble Space Telescope, XMM, Chandra, and other world-class observatories; access to that data drove the success of my dissertation. I spent five years in Lansing, and the community in the department was always friendly and welcoming; conversations between people who work in different fields and who are at different stages of their career are common. "

Aaron Hoffer
Aaron Hoffer

PhD: 2013

Advisor: Megan Donahue

Thesis: Observations of Physical Processes in Cluster Cores: Connections Between the Intracluster Gas and the Brightest Cluster Galaxy

Currently: Senior Modeling Analyst at Nomis Solutions

Thoughts on MSU: "Grad school gave me the opportunity to become both a better teacher and researcher. As a lead instructor for ISP 205L, I learned how to work effectively with undergraduate students, build course curriculum, and manage a large classroom environment. As a researcher, I worked both as a contributing member to larger projects as well as the lead on multiple projects, which became the basis of my thesis. Having the opportunity to observe with a major telescope (SOAR) enabled me to more deeply work with a variety of instruments and their different modes. These research opportunities allowed me to build my presentation skills at conferences, which were invaluable for connecting with and learning directly from colleagues."

Catherine Kennedy

PhD: 2011

Advisor: Timothy Beers

Thesis: The History of Chemical Enrichment and the Sites of Early Nucleosynthesis: CNO Abundances of Galactic Carbon-Enhanced Metal-Poor Stars

Currently: Assistant Professor of Physics at The University of Tampa

Thoughts on MSU: "I've found my calling as a physics professor at an undergraduate teaching institution.  It's such a rewarding career.  Thank you so much for providing me with the education, experience, and opportunities that MSU had to offer."

Charles Kuehn

PhD: 2011

Advisor: Horace Smith

Thesis: RR Lyrae Stars in Large Magellanic Cloud Globular Clusters

Currently: Assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Northern Colorado