SOCORRO, N.M., October 27, 2000 -- Lisa M. Young first came to Socorro at the start of the Summer of 1990 as a Harvard University undergraduate and spent the ensuing summer months working on her senior thesis at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's (NRAO) Very Large Array (VLA) radiotelescope.
She then went on the following year to earn her bachelor of arts degree magna cum laude in astronomy and astrophysics at Harvard, and followed this up in later years with a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Illinois.
But throughout all those years, Young returned back to Socorro every summer to study the stars.
Now, in addition to pursuing her research interests, Young has further reason to call Socorro home: she recently was appointed to the full-time, tenure-track position of assistant professor of physics at New Mexico Tech.
Young also will serve concurrently in the position of research physicist with the state-funded university's Office for Research and Economic Development.
She also plans on continuing her collaborative radio astronomy work with her research colleagues at the VLA and at New Mexico State University, where she was a Tombaugh Postdoctoral Scholar for the past two years.
This fall semester at New Mexico Tech, Young is teaching one of the four sections of Physics 121, or "General Physics," a class which all Tech students are required to take in order to meet general requirements for graduation.
Young relates that she eventually plans to teach upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in astrophysics at Tech and draw on her expertise on the interstellar medium, or gas and dust, which is present in elliptical and dwarf galaxies.
"This is a very good scientific environment for me to be in because of the close connection between Tech and the NRAO," Young says. "I'm pretty happy about that aspect of my work, plus the fact that I have some good, enthusiastic students in my class."
Young and her husband, Wes, who is a computer programmer at the NRAO, are the parents of a two young sons, Karl, age 3, and one-year-old Joey.
"My family is the sum total of my pursuits outside of work," Young says.