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Samantha Scibelli is URECA's September Researcher of the Month  
A Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) junior majoring in both Physics and Astronomy, Samantha has long held a deep passion for these fields.

Since last December, Samantha has been doing astrophysics research with Dr. Rosalba Perna (Stony Brook University, Physics & Astronmy) & Dr. Charles Keeton (Rutgers University, Physics & Astronomy) on dark matter, spiral galaxies and gravitational lensing. Her research project was funded by the PSEG Explorations in STEM program for summer 2015, a 10-week summer research program co-administered by Technology & Society, the Career Center and URECA that includes professional development activities as well as a focus on research, and culminated in a poster symposium event this past August. Samantha had previously engaged in optics research projects at the Laser Teaching Center, starting in the summer before freshman year, working under the mentorship of Dr. John No. She has presented posters at the URECA campus wide symposia (2014, 2015); as well as the 2013 Frontiers in Optics, OSA Annual Meeting in Florida where she presented "A study of Evolving Caustics Formed by Evaporating Water Droplets."

Born in Saratoga Springs, and a graduate of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, Samantha embarked on a long-term astronomy research project starting in her sophomore year of high school working at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Samantha analyzed over 10,000 spectra by eye in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and found a selection of stars that were not correctly classified by the electronic matching system, work for which she was recognized with an Intel STS finalist award, and which was published in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement series (Census of Blue Stars in the SDSS, ApJS 215 24, Dec. 2014).

Samantha's long term goals include getting a PhD in Astronomy. Her hobbies at SB include participating in the Astronomy Club, doing science outreach and playing club field hockey. (read more)


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