A Partnership in Observational and Computational Astronomy

Year 3 Summary

Year 3 of the project has contributed to human resource development with regard to diversity in astronomy through results at all three partners, Clemson, NOAO and SC State.

Clemson has recruited two African-American students (one male, one female) as first year astronomy graduate students.

NOAO mentored two SC State students during the summer of 2010 and both went on to present their research results at AAS in January 2011.

The SC State POCA project has provided opportunities for research, teaching and mentoring in astronomy at SC State, a Historically Black College/University located in rural South Carolina with an enrollment of approximately 4,000 students. Over 90% of the student population is African-American.

POCA provided financial support in the form of scholarships and/or stipends to three students who are physics majors with the astronomy option, a fourth physics major, a math major and a dual major in math and computer science. All of these students conducted research (two of them at NOAO) and all but one of them had their results presented at the January 2011 meeting of the AAS.

A total of four SC State faculty members (Cash, Mayo, Smith, Walter) received support in Year 3. They continued their professional development and skills through travel, training and having funds to upgrade their research and educational resources. Additionally, Cash, Smith and Walter received summer salaries and release time during the academic year. This was critical to the success of the project since SC State is not research institution and faculty members typically teach four courses per semester for a total of eight courses within the academic year.