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Paine and Taylor recognized for outstanding community service and outreach

Recognized for their outstanding and invaluable service to the community and outreach efforts during the April 8th WVU Planetarium solar eclipse viewing event, Susie Paine and Jackson Taylor, were both awarded certificates of recognition from Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV). 

The Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition was awarded to Paine and Taylor on April 15, 2024 by Congresswoman Miller's office. 

Susie Paine and Taylor Jackson holding their certificates

Paine and Taylor, both graduate research assistants in the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology and the WVU Planetarium, led the eclipse event and managed thousands of visitors to campus to experience the joy of a solar eclipse. 

Included in the event were on site telescopes with custom solar filters, children's coloring activities and educational posters from undergraduate astronomy students.

Collaborators for the event also included students from the WVU Country Roads program, who servedas volunteers on site to help eclipse spectators make the most of the event. 

The Country Roads Program, a collaboration between WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities and the WVU Office of Accessibility Services, is an on-campus program designed for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) and developmental disabilities (DD).

Jackson Taylor and Susie Paine at the eclipse event

Jackson Taylor and Susie Paine on site working the 2024 WVU Solar Eclipse viewing event. WVU/Holly Legleiter

Susie Paine being interviewed at the solar eclipse event

Both Paine and Taylor maintain full research careers in the department while also serving as staff in the WVU Planetarium, leading shows in the dome and managing various aspects of the Planetarium. Paine studies fast radio bursts under Dr. Duncan Lorimer while Taylor studies pulsars and nanohertz frequency gravitational waves under Dr. Emmanuel Fonseca. 

The strength in collaboration, teamwork and support between cross campus disciplines is an invaluable aspect of our university community and beyond.

Jackson Taylor working a demonstration at the eclipse event

Supporting the local and regional communities in the state of West Virginia and beyond, the WVU Planetarium offers free shows, events and outreach programs to the public as a service initiative as part of the land grant mission of the University. 

Congratulations Susie and Jackson!