Press Information

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• Elizabeth Streich at (347) 229-8674 estreich@lagcc.cuny.edu 


Professor Allyson Sheffield Presents Research at American Astronomical Society Meeting


January 12, 2021


Portait of Allyson Sheffield LaGuardia Community College physics professor Dr. Allyson Sheffield was the only community college faculty member to give a press conference at a recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The research, which involved three CUNY students (including Caesar Castillo from LaGuardia), revealed important new clues into the formation processes of the Milky Way.

Allyson Sheffield, PhD is associate professor of physics—teaching astronomy, astrobiology, and physics—in the Department of Natural Sciences at LaGuardia Community College.

The research was funded by a grant Dr. Sheffield received from the Faculty and Student Team (FAST) Initiative, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation—part of a series of grants to support student work at minority-serving institutions.

Click here to read about the research Dr. Sheffield presented at AAS.

Dr. Sheffield holds a bachelor’s in physics from NYU, and a master’s and doctorate in astronomy from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She taught at Vassar and Columbia before seeking a teaching position at a community college because, “It’s such an inspiring environment for a teacher who loves to teach, as I do.”

In 2018, she co-authored a paper with an international team of astronomers, published in the leading science journal Nature. Findings (which she explained in this YouTube video) helped expand understanding of the Milky Way Galaxy.


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LaGuardia Community College, located in Long Island City, Queens, educates thousands of New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. Our guiding principle Dare To Do More reflects our belief in the transformative power of education—not just for individuals, but for our community and our country—creating pathways for achievement and safeguarding the middle class. LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all U.S. college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education. We invite you to join us in imagining what our students, our community, and our country can become.


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