Graduate Alumni 2005–2009

Dan Polsgrove

Dr. Dan Polsgrove ’09

After graduating, Dan continued his career in the Air Force where he worked in military intelligence, completed a deployment to Afghanistan and spent his last five years on active duty as a faculty member at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2018 and continues to reside in Colorado Springs where he serves as a lecturer at the Academy's planetarium.

Advisors: Terry Jones and Shaul Hanany

Tea Temim

Dr. Tea Temim ’09

After receiving her PhD at the University of Minnesota in 2009, Tea worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian and a fellow at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She currently works at the Space Telescope Science Institute and is a member of one of the James Webb Space Telescope instrument teams.

Advisor: Robert Gehrz, Charles Woodward, Terry Jones

Martha Boyer

Dr. Martha Boyer ’08

After graduating in December 2008, Martha worked as a postdoc at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), followed by a JWST postdoctoral fellow position at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. She is currently an Associate Astronomer at STScI, splitting time between research and mission support for the JWST/NIRCam Instrument team.

Advisors: Robert Gehrz, Charles Woodward, Evan Skillman

Dale Jackson

Dr. Dale Jackson ’07

After graduating was hired at Sandia National Laboratories as a satellite data analyst. I’m now a department manager at Sandia in remote sensing and non-proliferation technology.

Advisor: Evan Skillman

Sean O'Neill

Dr. Sean O'Neill ’07

After graduating, Sean held postdoctoral research positions at the University of Maryland and University of Colorado. He is now a faculty member in the Physics Department at Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA), where he teaches physics and astronomy courses, mentors undergraduate researchers, and operates the campus observatory.

Advisor: Thomas Jones

Dain Kavars

Dr. Dain Kavars ’06

After graduating in 2006, Dain worked at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities, a residential 11th and 12th-grade high school for gifted students. He taught physics and astronomy courses for nine years before becoming the Associate Director of Academic Affairs. He is currently the Executive Director at the Indiana Academy.

Advisors: John Dickey and Evan Skillman

Michael S. P. Kelley

Dr. Michael S. P. Kelley ’06

After graduating from the University of Minnesota in November 2006, Mike moved to a post-doctoral position at the University of Central Florida, followed by a second post-doc at the University of Maryland. He is currently research faculty at the University of Maryland, and co-investigator of the Planetary Data System's Small Bodies Node, NASA's data archive for observations of Solar System dust, comets, asteroids, and small satellites.

Advisor: Chick Woodward

Simon McMillan

Dr. Simon McMillan ’06

Post PhD Simon followed his passion for bringing Astronomy to the general public. In 2009 he found a dream job as a Staff Scientist at Science North in Sudbury Ontario (Canada). After five years of leading the development of space exhibits and delivering programming, Simon took a leap to step into the role of full-time stay-at-home dad. In 2016 and 2017 Simon took a position to lead the implementation of an indoor gardening program at public schools in Ottawa, Ontario. More recently Simon has helped to start a Waldorf school in Ottawa, Ontario where he teaches as well.

Advisors: John Dickey and Evan Skillman

Edward Rhoads

Dr. Edward Rhoads ’05

After graduating in 2005 Edward Rhoads became a lecturer at IUPUI (a joint college of Purdue University and Indiana University located in Indianapolis). At IUPUI Dr. Rhoads taught Astronomy and Physics until he doubled the number of Astronomy courses offered at IUPUI and currently focuses on teaching Astronomy full time. Dr. Rhoads has also published an ebook entitled A Space Odd-yssey.  This book is a new genre called science faction which merges fiction and non-fiction.  The book is used as a textbook in his Solar System Astronomy course. On the side, Dr. Rhoads is also a real estate investor.

Advisors: Chick Woodward and Roberta Humphries