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Student Profiles

Here a few of our graduate students share their stories about life in graduate school. For a full list of astronomy graduate students, visit the current students page. 


Ryan Connolly photoRyan Connolly, entered program in 2012 

Advisor: Edward Brown

Ryan's research in nuclear astrophysics uses numerical models of neutron stars and white dwarfs. Ryan is currently investigating the sensitivity of helium novae to the helium fusion cross-section.

Ryan likes participating in outreach and volunteers frequently at the MSU Observatory public open houses. He's an aviation enthusiast, avid gamer, and enjoys trips up to northern Michigan and the U.P.


Dana Koeppe photoDana Koeppe, entered program in 2015 

Advisor: Megan Donahue

Dana's research focuses on observations of galaxy clusters. She is currently working on getting H-alpha measurements for galaxy clusters using Chandra archival data and follow-up observations with the SOAR telescope.

When she's not working on her research, Dana enjoys local bands with the other graduate students, practicing her violin, and spending time with her cat, Guster.


Laura¬†Shishkovsky photoLaura Shishkovsky, entered program in 2013

Advisor: Laura Chomiuk and Jay Strader

Laura specializes in radio astronomy. Her thesis project involves searching for stellar mass black holes in Milky Way globular clusters using radio observations from the Very Large Array.