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MSU’s Chomiuk Gets 2018 NSF CAREER Award

Laura Chomiuk

Laura Chomiuk, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, Michigan State University, and director of the MSU Observatory, received $730,425 from NSF’s Division of Astronomical Sciences for research efforts aimed at understanding the conditions under which novae are shock-powered. As part of the grant, Chomiuk will also engage school-age students from rural backgrounds through Michigan 4-H and plans to lead programs at residential Exploration Days and start an Astronomy Club for Ingham and Eaton counties.

Chomiuk is one of six Michigan State University College of Natural Science (NatSci) women scientists to receive National Science Foundation (NSF) Early CAREER Faculty Awards in 2018. The occasion, which marks the first time that six NSF Early CAREER Awards have been given to a single college—and to six women faculty members in the same year—is unprecedented at MSU. The five-year (2018-2023) grants collectively total more than $3.6 million.

The CAREER Award is one of NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of early career faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.

“I am thrilled to not only have my research on novae explosions supported, but to also be recognized for my ongoing education and public outreach efforts at the MSU Campus Observatory,” Chomiuk said. “I hope this grant will provide educational experiences, not only to students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, but statewide to a diversity of ages, through collaboration with Michigan 4-H.”

Chomiuk, who grew up in Metro Detroit, received her Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Honors include the award of a Jansky Fellowship of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. She returned to Michigan in 2013 to join the faculty in MSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and has enjoyed teaching and mentoring students by studying explosions of novae and supernovae.

  • Val Osowski via the College of Natural Science website

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