Professor of Physics & Earth Science Kristine Larsen Wins Walter Scott Houston Award
Posted 08/15/2013 04:20PM

New Britain Herald

CCSU professor honored for inspiring new generation of stargazers

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 10:34 PM EDT


NEW BRITAIN — A sky high honor has been awarded to Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University professor of physics and earth sciences.

The North East Region of the Astronomical League presented the CCSU professor with the Walter Scott Houston Award during the Stellafane Convention in Springfield, Vt.,  Aug. 10.

According to NERAL, Larsen was selected for the honor because of her “distinguished legacy of creative work in astronomy education” at CCSU.

“It is very significant to me that her vision back in 1994 was to bring more children into astronomy,” says Maryann Arrien, NERAL chairwoman. “We are very pleased to give this award to this esteemed astronomy educator who, early on, recognized the need to bring more youth into amateur and professional astronomy.”

The award commemorates Houston, an English teacher, who had a passion for the stars since boyhood. Throughout his life, he helped make amateur astronomy a popular pastime.

At CCSU, Larsen teaches courses in cosmology and astrophysics as well as a course on women’s contributions to stellar and galactic astronomy.” In addition, Larsen runs educational “Night Sky” workshops for anyone interested in astronomy and a “Partners in Science” series for middle school students to inspire youth interest in astronomy.

Known for her creative teaching methods, Larsen regularly incorporates science fiction movies, rock and roll music and popular culture into her educational efforts, making her one of the most revered professors at CCSU.

Larsen is an alumna of the university, having received a bachelor of science degree in physics in 1984; in 2002 she was also honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award from CCSU.



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