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Nominated Office: Councilor

Affiliation: Texas Christian University (USRA)

Position/title: Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy

PhD institution: University of Virginia (2006)

Areas of scientific interest:

  • Galactic astronomy
  • gStar clusters
  • Chemical evolution of galaxies
  • Stellar spectroscopy
  • Binary stars
  • Survey science

AAS positions & dates:

  • AAS Agent (2014-Present)
  • AAS Congressional Visits Day (2016)
  • AAS Department Chairs Meeting Representative (2014, 2016)
  • Society Member (1999-present)

Other relevant positions & experience:

  • Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV (SDSS-IV) Survey Coordinator & Management Committee member (2012-2020)
  • Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) APOGEE Survey Operations Manager
  • NSF and NASA review panels (2009-present)
  • TCU REU Program Director (2010-2012, 2013-present)
  • TCU Graduate Program Director (2015-present)

Candidate Statement: As a member of the Society for 17 years, I have come to learn and benefit from many aspects of Society's work, from meetings and travel grants to Journals and Congressional visits. The AAS has a key role in politically and publicly supporting the field and AAS meetings provide a key venue for training the next generation scientists, educators, and more.

As a council member, I would endeavor to make the AAS an organization that supports the financial and political backing of the field, provides first-rate Journals, enhances public outreach and education, and provides safe and enriching Society meetings. Specifically, I would advocate for increased efforts to increase inclusion and vocally support our minority members in difficult times. The AAS needs to support training, opportunities, and access for all scientists from diverse backgrounds. As an REU director with diverse students from small colleges, I have learned from my students how many barriers there in "learning to navigate the field", increased efforts to engage these junior members at meetings are needed. Continued development of connections and training with astronomers in industry, where many of our juniors members will actually find their careers, will be key for the future of the AAS.