TU selects Dr. Jennifer Scott as second Fisher endowed chair

Astronomy professor’s research focuses on quasars and the intergalactic medium

TOWSON, Md. (July 5, 2007)– Jennifer Scott, assistant professor of astronomy in Towson University’s Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences, has been selected as the second recipient of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences. Her three-year appointment will commence on August 15.Assistant Professor Jennifer Scott

As holder of a Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair, Scott will be provided a monetary award of $20,000 for each of three years that may be used for, but is not limited to, a summer faculty stipend, professional travel, research equipment and supplies, and undergraduate student research support.

Scott received her B.S. (Highest Honors and Highest Distinction) in physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994 and her Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Arizona in 2002.

Before arriving at Towson University in 2006, Scott served as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Space Telescope Science Institute of Johns Hopkins University and as a National Research Council Fellow at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Her research focuses on quasars – the distant, powerful galactic nuclei powered by accretion onto super-massive black holes – and the intergalactic medium, the gaseous matter between galaxies and the reservoir of material from which they formed. She has authored 15 peer-reviewed research papers published in top tier astronomical journals.

As one of the Fisher Endowed Chairs, Scott’s research plans include studies of quasar environments; examinations of the connections between galaxies and the intergalactic medium; and refinement of measurements of the ultraviolet background radiation field. She will conduct much of this work in close collaboration with her undergraduate students. Scott also intends to use the visibility of the Fisher Chair to promote community outreach and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education efforts by creating the first Project ASTRO network in the Baltimore-Washington area. Project ASTRO links astronomers to teachers by bringing inquiry-based astronomy activities to K-12 classrooms.

The Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in the Biological and Physical Sciences was established in June 2005 as part of a $10.2 million gift to the College of Science and Mathematics from the Robert M. Fisher Foundation. Its purpose is to honor the memory of the Fisher family by incorporating research opportunities into the undergraduate learning experience through the support of the scholarly growth of highly promising faculty researchers in the physical and biological sciences who are in the early stages of their careers at Towson.





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