Four Observatories summer interns recognized for exemplary student research

These awards demonstrate the excellence of CASSI student interns and the mentorship they receive at the Carnegie Observatories.
CASSI poster presentations

Four alumni of the Carnegie Astrophysics Summer Internship Program were recognized by the American Astronomical Society for exemplary undergraduate student research this winter.

The Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Awards and Honorable Mentions are given to undergraduate and graduate students who present posters at one of the society’s meetings.

The 2024 AAS awardees include Theodore Chawla of Evergreen Valley College, who was in the CASSI class of 2023; Tiffany Liou of the University of California San Diego who was in the class of 2022; and Kendra Nguyen of Pomona College who was in the class of 2021.
2023 CASSI student Domani Sharkey of Caltech also received an honorable mention.

CASSI is a 10-week intensive internship program that pairs each student with a mentor from the Carnegie Observatories’ scientific and engineering community to undertake an original research project that is designed to align with their interests. Participants can make new simulations, analyze a unique data set, or help build a scientific instrument.

Additionally, the students participate in educational programming designed to improve their fluency and ease with scientific communication and computing.  At the end of each summer, the vast majority of CASSI interns say that they feel more comfortable presenting their research than they did at the start of the program.

All CASSI participants are invited to present posters about their work at the AAS annual meeting each January. Since 2019, 14 CASSI alumni have been recognized with Chambliss Awards and Honorable Mentions.

"These awards demonstrate the excellence of our student interns and the mentorship they receive at Carnegie. The consistent recognition of CASSI participants is a testament to the value we place on helping the students learn how to comfortably share their research and speak to professional astronomers as peers,” said CASSI Director Gwen Rudie, a Staff Scientist at Carnegie who specializes in studying distant galaxies and the diffuse gas which surrounds them. “Congratulations to Theo, Tiffany, Kendra, and Domani on this well-deserved honor.”

More than 180 students are vying for a spot in the 2024 CASSI program, the application deadline for which just closed.  

Theodore Chawla, Tiffany Liou, Kendra Nguyen, and Domani Sharkey
Caption: From left to right, Theodore Chawla, Tiffany Liou, Kendra Nguyen, and Domani Sharkey.