Categorized | Education

Parker alumnus Tarnas receives Hughes Fellowship


Jesse Tarnas, a 2012 graduate of Parker School, recently received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Summer Research Fellowship at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.

The fellowship will support Tarnas, currently an astronomy student and rising sophomore at Wesleyan, in conducting research on exoplanets (planets that exist outside of our solar system).

The HHMI Summer Research Program is open to Wesleyan freshmen, sophomores and juniors studying life sciences. This year the program runs from May 28 to Aug. 1.

Thirty-nine students were selected for the program and each received $4100 to work full time on their research. Tarnas was the only astronomy student selected.

Last week, Tarnas’ traveled to Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona to conduct some of his research.

Tarnas said, “Being a Hughes Fellow provides me with an opportunity to delve deeply into the research in astronomy that interests me. After the experiences I’ve had this summer using both Wesleyan’s 24″ research telescope and, for a few days, the 3.5 meter WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak, I feel prepared to begin conducting more advanced research that I can eventually publish.”

At the end of the program, all of the HHMI Summer Research Program students will participate in a “poster session,” where they will have the opportunity to present their research.

Tarnas’ father, David, said the poster session is a sort of “college-level science fair” and is an example of how all those Parker School science fairs pay off and serve students well.

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