Monday, June 12, 2017

Welcome 2017 TAURUS Scholars!

TAURUS 2017 Scholars with Prof. Casey atop RLM with a panoramic
view of Austin.
Today the crew at UT was thrilled to welcome the second class of TAURUS scholars to the department!  It's amazing to think it's been a full year since we welcomed the inaugural class; we've come so far and it's a great feeling to be back where we started with an entirely new class of scholars.  I'm sure the 2017 class will help take the program even farther, growing in new directions we haven't anticipated.

Like last year, selecting scholars was a process taken very seriously by the faculty and researchers at UT.  The demand for summer research positions is incredibly high in astronomy, and there were many deserving students who we could not select to become a part of our program.  This is where our mission statement comes to mind -- that we aim to elevate and amplify the voices of students who excel, work incredibly hard, and aspire to be the future face of astrophysics, and our commitment to those from traditionally underserved backgrounds works towards a future ideal of a more equitable scientific community for all of us.

This year's scholars include (as pictured from left to right):
Pa Chia Thao, Mt Holyoke College
Aldo Sepulveda, UT San Antonio
Jonathon Brown, MIT
Adrianna Perez, Cal State Dominguez Hills
Andrew Cancino, Missouri State University
Alexander Fortenberry, University of the Virgin Islands

In the coming weeks, we'll get to know these scholars closer with in-depth profiles! But in the meantime, you get to learn about their first day on the job.

As usual, the first day of TAURUS was packed full with activity after activity: from "orientation" and an overview of the department to a brief tour of RLM and the roof (see picture!) to a few marches across campus to retrieve the illusive UT ID cards, we covered a lot of the basic logistics today.  There was also some fun, with a department meet-and-greet complete with a suite of 72 cupcakes to satisfy the afternoon sweet-craving.  The cupcakes gave us a great excuse to mingle, and let the TAURUS folks get to know the local experts: the UT Austin undergraduate researchers.  Tomorrow, let the science begin!

No comments:

Post a Comment