Beth Brown Memorial Award Winners for 2022

Beth Brown Memorial Award Winners

AAS Education & Mentoring Specialist Tom Rice and AAS DEI Committee Support Specialist Mildred Peyton with Beth Brown Memorial winners: Chris Carr, Caprice Phillips, Hodari-Sadiki Hubbard-James, and Myles Pope. Credit: AAS.

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) supports a prize program at the annual meeting of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP): The Beth Brown Memorial Awards.

The awards 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 Ph.D. 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 presentations by an undergraduate and a graduate student, and best oral presentation by either an undergraduate or a graduate student. At the recent NSBP Annual Conference, recipients of the 2022 awards were announced:

  • Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation: Myles Pope (Howard University), “Accurate Masses of Extraordinary Red Giants”
  • Best Graduate Poster Presentation: Kiersten Boley (The Ohio State University), “Impacts on Planet Formation: Planet Occurrence Rates in the Metal-Poor Regime”
  • Memorial Oral Presentation: Caprice Phillips (The Ohio State University), “Is LTT 1445 Ab a Hycean World or a Cold Haber World? Exploring the Potential of Twinkle to Unveil Its Nature”