June 8, 2000
Vol. 19 No. 18

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    Astronomy & Astrophysics honors graduate students with Sagan, MacMinn awards

    By Steve Koppes
    News Office

    The Astronomy & Astrophysics Department has presented the Donn MacMinn Award for Service Beyond the Walls of the University to Ph.D. student Daniel Reichart and the Carl Sagan Award for Excellence in Teaching to Ph.D. student Michael Zingale.

    Reichart was cited for teaching a radio astronomy summer workshop for high school teachers at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, W.Va., for the last several years. Locally, he has worked with teacher Walter Glogowski at Ridgewood High School to build a radio telescope for use by high school students.

    Reichart also donated his time to help the Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica develop a Web-based telescope education program for high school and undergraduate education. Reichart received the Sagan Award in 1998.

    The MacMinn Award was established in 1998 in memory of a graduate student in Astronomy & Astrophysics who was killed in a cycling accident in August 1997. It was only after MacMinn died that the department learned of his outreach activities, mostly tutoring disadvantaged inner-city schoolchildren.

    Zingale was cited for his work with the Space Explorers, a science outreach program operated by CARA for students from Chicago Public Schools.

    “Mike’s extraordinary commitment to teaching was appreciated by the students, and many continue to ask how he is doing,” said Randy Landsberg, CARA’s Director of Education and Outreach. “Because members of Space Explorers remain in the CARA program for multiple years, it is obvious when an instructor connects with the students and creates a lasting impression. I can confidently state that Mike’s teaching has made such an impression and by doing so changed the lives of 30 individuals.”

    Established in 1993, the Sagan Award is named for alumnus Carl Sagan, who died in 1996. Sagan earned four degrees from the University from 1954 to 1960.