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Shepherd faculty featured in statewide magazine

ISSUED: 12 March 2010
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd faculty featured in statewide magazine)

Shepherdstown, WV--Dr. Jason Best, professor of astronomy and astrophysics, and his recent work with the Shepherd University Observatory were recently featured on the cover of the winter 2010 issue of The Neuron, the West Virginia Journal of Science and Research.

Funding for the observatory came in the form of a matching Innovation Grant from the West Virginia Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. The grant, totaling $60,000, was matched by Shepherd University in 2004.

The Neuron, which is distributed statewide, has previously featured faculty and students. According to Best, this is the first time that a Shepherd faculty member has appeared on the cover.

"It is gratifying to see our teaching, research, and outreach efforts in astrophysics in general and specifically at the Observatory over the past few years being recognized and disseminated across the state in the Neuron," Best said. "I am pleased that Shepherd is able to provide such 21st century opportunities in science to its students."

In the article, Best and several of his students highlight the ways that the observatory enhances classroom learning and enables hands-on observational work. The founding of the observatory has also expanded the advancement of research opportunities for faculty and students.

The observatory also serves as a community outreach tool for students in area K-12 schools as well as of the Washington Gateway Junior High Academy.

Other recipients of the Innovation Grant include Ed Snyder and Clarissa Mathews for their Renewable Energy Demonstration site in 2005, who received $44,776 including matching funds from Shepherd, and Jeff Groff for the establishment of a biophysics lab in 2009 totaling $72,000 including matching funds from Shepherd.


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