Welcome to AAS Media Fellow Haley Wahl and Farewell to Tarini Konchady

Headshot of Haley Wahl

Haley Wahl (West Virginia University) has been selected as our AAS Media Fellow for 2021–2022.

In 2017 we announced a new AAS-sponsored program for graduate students: the AAS Media Fellowship. This quarter-time opportunity is intended for current graduate students in the astronomical sciences who wish to cultivate their science-communication skills.

We are pleased to announce that Haley Wahl, an astronomy graduate student at West Virginia University (WVU), has been selected as our AAS Media Fellow for 2021–2022.

Haley majored in physics at the University of Vermont and is now a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at WVU, where she works with Maura McLaughlin to understand how interstellar gas and dust twist the light emitted by pulsars — dense, rapidly spinning objects with strong magnetic fields.

A cookie with a swirled design, representing a pulsar, lies on top of a sheet of baking paper. Fresh raspberries are arrayed in two triangles, one at each pole of the "pulsar," to represent beamed emission.

A Viennese whirl takes the shape of a pulsar with beamed emission. Pulsar science has never been so appealing! [Haley Wahl]

In addition to her research, Haley is an avid science communicator. She writes and edits for Astrobites, a graduate-student-run astronomy research blog, shares pulsar science through her weekly #PulsarFriday Twitter threads, and combines pulsar science with baking experiments on her blog, Pulsars and Profiteroles. She also served as the co-coordinator of the WVU planetarium from 2018 to 2020.

As the AAS Media Fellow, Haley will write about new astronomy research for AAS Nova and assist AAS Press Officer Susanna Kohler in managing the Society’s press activities. She’ll also be helping to host press conferences at upcoming AAS meetings, so please say hello if you’re attending the January AAS meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah!

As we welcome Haley to the team, we’re also saying goodbye to our 2019–2021 AAS Media Fellow, Tarini Konchady. Tarini is continuing her graduate research on Mira variable stars at Texas A&M University while delving into the world of science policy as a 2021 Lloyd V. Berkner Space Policy Intern in Washington, DC. Berkner Interns undertake projects in civil space research policy to gain experience in science policy and enhance the projects of the Space Studies Board.

Please join us in welcoming Haley to the team and wishing Tarini the best in all her future endeavors!