Texas Tech University
2022 New Horizons in Physics Prize
For leadership in laying foundations for electromagnetic observations of sources of gravitational waves, and leadership in extracting rich information from the first observed collision of two neutron stars.
I am humbled to receive a New Horizons Prize in Physics. I am extremely grateful to my family, nominators, mentors, advisors, and funding agencies for believing in me. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the new era of gravitational wave astronomy, and fortunate that my everyday job is to sift through the data of facilities as amazing as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the Jansky Very Large Array (of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory). It is my greatest hope that the field of gravitational wave astronomy will continue to inspire a diverse body of students whose enthusiasm is the biggest promise for the future. I owe a big thank you to my parents, who have instilled in me a passion for science; to my sister, for reminding me to have fun too; to my late high school teacher Sonia Colantoni, for being a most inspiring woman in science. I owe to my husband the strong, constant support that enabled me to fear less and persevere more while following my dreams. Finally, to my little daughter (and nephews), I owe the joy of rediscovering every day what a fascinating place this cosmos is!