Reed Astrophysicist Named Outstanding Educator

Prof. Alison Crocker is the recipient of the Swanson Promise Award

Katie Pelletier ’03 | November 19, 2019

Reed astrophysicist Prof. Alison Crocker [physics 2014–] was recently honored for her outstanding efforts in science research and education, winning the Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The award "recognizes her research on the relationship between star formation and galaxy structure, and her investment in involving undergraduates in this work." Dean of the Faculty Nigel Nicholson notes that Prof. Crocker has been instrumental in establishing Reed’s current astronomy program and the long term vision for it. “What I really appreciate about Alison is how she’s worked out a way to bring astrophysics to undergraduates,” Nicholson says. 

Criteria for the Swanson Promise Award also include research accomplishments with national recognition and strong potential for future scientific discovery. The prize is given annually to junior faculty (those with less than 10 years' experience as a faculty member). Prof. Sarah Schaack [biology] won the award in 2016, the year the prize was established, and Prof. Suzy Renn [biology] earned an honorable mention for the Swanson Award given to senior faculty in 2017.

Check out the video to hear more from physics major Esther Chen ’21 and recent physics grad Trevor Schlack ’19 about Prof. Crocker’s mentorship.

Tags: Awards & Achievements, Professors