29 November 2023

Beth Brown Memorial Award Winners for 2023

Diane Frendak

Diane Frendak American Astronomical Society (AAS)

Beth Brown Memorial Award Winners for 2023
Beth Brown Memorial Award 2023 Winners (from left to right): Shea DeFour-Remy, Kara Green, and Marcel Corchado Albelo.

The AAS supports a prize program at the annual meeting of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP): the Beth Brown Memorial Awards. They honor the memory of a vigorous and engaged young astronomer who passed away at age 39 from a pulmonary embolism. Beth Brown earned her bachelor's degree from Howard University and, in 1998, became the first African American woman to earn a PhD from the University of Michigan's astronomy department. She died in 2008 just before beginning a new position as Assistant Director for Science Communication at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Although her time working in the professional astronomical community was short, she had a significant impact on our discipline, not least by serving as a role model for many students from underrepresented groups.

Three awards are given: best poster presentation by an undergraduate and a graduate student, and best oral presentation by either an undergraduate or a graduate student. At its recent NSBP meeting, the recipients of the 2023 awards were announced:

  • Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation: Shea DeFour-Remy (University of Arizona), "eBOSS Outflows: Emission- and Absorption-Line Kinematics"
  • Best Graduate Poster Presentation: Kara Green (University of Virginia), "Are Extranuclear Regions a Significant Power Source for Luminous Infrared Galaxies?"
  • Best Oral Presentation: Marcel Corchado Albelo (University of Colorado at Boulder), "Inferring Dynamics of Solar Flare Current Sheets: Oscillations in the reconnection flux rates derived from Flare Ribbons"

Each of the award winners receives complimentary AAS membership for one year plus complimentary registration to an upcoming AAS or Division meeting to present their research, and up to $1,000 to cover the cost of food, lodging, and travel.

The winner of the oral presentation award also gets invited to give talks at both Howard University and the University of Michigan, focusing on their path into research astronomy. The AAS covers the costs of food, lodging, and travel to Howard University and covers the cost of airfare to Michigan, while the University of Michigan pays the winner's food and lodging expenses.