Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi Wins Graduate Student Presenter Award at SACNAS


Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi gave a preview of her thesis talk at the 2016 SACNAS National Diversity Conference in Long Beach, and in the process earned a coveted student speaker award.  From the announcement:

“We are writing to share with you the superb research presentation Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi recently delivered at 2016 SACNAS: The National Diversity in STEM Conference in Long Beach, CA. At the conference, our judges recognized Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi’swork, titled “Towards the True Binary Fraction of Very Low Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs,” as a standout among the student presentations, and selected Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi to receive one of the 2016 SACNAS Student Presentation Awards.

It is our honor to share that Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi’s communication skills and command of the research topic were exemplary. This letter recognizes the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice necessary for a student to standout from their fellow presenters. We feel that your program is enhanced by the participation of Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi, as such commitment will drive fellow researchers to similar heights.”

Daniella was selected among over 1000 posters and oral presentations for this award.  Congratulations Daniella!

Christian Aganze Selected as an inaugural LSST Data Science Fellow


UCSD-Morehouse-Spelman alum and incoming graduate student Christian Aganze has been selected as one of the inaugural LSST Data Science Fellows. This program aims to teach graduate students the skills required for LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) science that are not easily addressed by current astrophysics graduate programs. The program consists of a two-year training program, with three one-week schools per year. The program is based at Northwestern University‘s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) and directed by Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz of the Adler Planetarium.

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UCSD Selected as an SDSS FAST Site

The Cool Star Lab has joined the SDSS Faculty and Student Team (FAST) initiative, with a research program focused on analyzing high resolution spectroscopy of ultracool dwarfs with SDSS-APOGEE.

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Adam Burgasser receives Distinguished Teaching Award

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Cool Star Lab PI Adam Burgasser has been awarded a UCSD Distinguished Teaching Award for 2016. He was nominated by the Physics Department’s Education Vice Chair Tom Murphy, and recognized for his broad contributions to the educational mission at UCSD; efforts to develop interdisciplinary courses between Physics, humanities and the arts; and commitment to student learning.

From the nomination:

Adam J. Burgasser has shown tremendous dedication to education in a diverse set of classes, teaching a broad array of students. His commitment has been epic; the connection he has forged with students has been profound; and his activism to increase the quality of the UC San Diego community is extremely admirable. As one student described, Professor Burgasser has “a uniquely genuine and passionate interest for his students to succeed, for UC San Diego to thrive, and for physics to be as tangible a topic as any other; he embodies the type of physics professor other professors should strive to become.”   Professor Burgasser not only has acted as a successful ambassador of physics to students on our campus but also has built educational bridges to a variety of points beyond campus.


Adam Burgasser elected to American Astronomical Society Council


Cool Star Lab PI Adam Burgasser has been elected as a Counciler for the American Astronomical Society (AAS), a 3-year term that begins June 2016. AAS Councilers represent the governing body of the AAS and are responsible for the management, direction and control of the affairs and the property of the AAS.  This includes consideration of resolutions that direct the research, educational and professional mission of the AAS. Adam was elected by a general vote of the AAS membership, which comprises 7,000 professional and amateur members.  Adam has been serving as Chair of the AAS Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy and is a AAS Agent.

Adam’s election statement was as follows:

Astronomy inspires people from all ages, backgrounds and abilities to be curious about the Universe, explore the physical underpinnings of Nature, and develop critical and scientific thinking. Yet, like many fields of physical science, our profession does not reflect the demographic composition of our nation, and various forms of subtle and overt racism, sexism, genderism, ableism, classism, and other exclusionary practices prevent the full spectrum of people, ideas and perspectives from being brought to bear on the greatest problems of our Universe.

As Chair of the CSMA, I have worked with our community to identify and address barriers to entry and advancement in Astronomy, including: financial barriers and biases associated with the GRE, imbalance in resources and opportunities for students and faculty of color at HBCUs and MSIs, and accessibility for all abilities. I served on the organizing committee for the first Inclusive Astronomy Conference, and am working with co-organizers and the community to develop recommendations to improve the climate for ALL astronomers. As a AAS Councilor, I will make sure our Committees of Community (CSWA, CSMA, SGMA) have a voice in AAS governance, and will serve the diverse community of students, amateurs and professionals that comprise our Society.