Astronomy Students Receive Space Grant Awards

The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium (NMSGC) has awarded a total of $30,000 in research fellowships to three New Mexico State University College of Arts and Sciences students for the 2016 calendar year. Award recipients include Ethan Dederick, Sten Hasselquist and Lauren Kahre, all doctoral candidates in the Department of Astronomy. “Our job here at…
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Unconscious Bias

Astronomers know all about bias. We learn to anticipate and correct for biased samples and surveys early in our careers. For instance, when we started finding exoplanets, most of them were Hot Jupiters. Did we conclude that all exoplanets are actually Hot Jupiters? Of course not. In much the same way, individuals have biases, and…
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Inclusive Astronomy Achievements

Recently, we have been reading over the Nashville Recommendations and are exploring ways we can implement these recommendations in our department.   Department Presentations On March 9, 2015 our group gave a Pizza Lunch presentation to the department describing the status of underrepresented groups in astronomy, and all STEM fields, and detailed some of the issues working against…
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Confidence

Our group spent several meetings discussing confidence and Katty Kay and Claire Shipman’s article in The Atlantic titled “The Confidence Gap”. You may ask, if I am smart and good at my job, why does my confidence matter? “Confidence is the stuff that turns thoughts into action” Richard Petty, Ohio State University [1] Confidence is…
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Impostor Syndrome

Many people working in high pressure fields have felt that they were inadequate and undeserving of their success at some point in their career. This feeling is particularly strong among students in STEM fields. In 1985, psychologist Dr. Gail Matthews of the Dominican College in California found that approximately 70% of all people have suffered…
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Microagressions

The term microaggressions refers to “the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership” (Derald Wing Sue). Taken in isolation they may not seem like a big deal, but over time microaggressions have…
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NMSU graduate students awarded NASA fellowships for planetary astronomy research

Two doctoral candidates at New Mexico State University are among 13 students in the country selected to receive NASA Harriett G. Jenkins graduate fellowships, providing each student with more than $50,000 in annual funding through the completion of their dissertations. Kathryn Steakley and Alexander Thelen, both third-year doctoral candidates in the Department of Astronomy in…
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Red-giant twins help us test asteroseismology

Graduate student Meredith Rawls and collaborators used NASA Kepler data, Apache Point Observatory 3.5m spectroscopic data, and other analysis to understand a unique double red-giant eclipsing binary system with pulsations detected on one of the stars. The system is unique in that the masses and radii can be tested from several independent methods. Please see…
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