College News, Faculty News

Noted astrophysicist activates creative and critical thought in the science classroom.

Professor Emily Rice
Professor Emily Rice

Macaulay Honors College is pleased to announce the appointment of Emily Rice, PhD, who will serve as Associate Professor of Astrophysics.

“Macaulay continues to add to its exemplary academic offerings for students,” said Dean Mary C. Pearl, “and Dr. Rice’s appointment is the latest manifestation of that commitment. Our students, regardless of their area of study, will benefit tremendously from having a leading astrophysicist in our community of scholars. Dr. Rice is a highly regarded and prolific member of the greater scientific community, and it gives me particular pleasure to recognize her appointment on Women in Science Day.”

Prior to Macaulay, Dr. Rice was a member of the faculty at the College of Staten Island. She studies low mass stars, brown dwarfs, and directly-imaged exoplanets. Her collaborative research group, Brown Dwarfs in New York City, has received funding from NASA and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Rice is a co-author of over 40 refereed publications and an introductory astronomy lab manual.

Dr. Rice is also a faculty member in the Physics PhD Program at the CUNY Graduate Center, and a resident research associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). She often uniquely incorporates the beauty of our Universe in her teachings, using fashion and style in the STARtorialist blog to make scientific concepts more accessible and generate enthusiasm for and acceptance of self-expression within the scientific community.

“Imaginative thought and creativity are critical to science,” said Dr. Rice. “I hope to empower Macaulay students to harness those skills and successfully pair them with data collection, analysis, and other more stereotypical “scientific” skills to lead the pursuit of new discoveries and challenge entrenched ideas.”

In addition to teaching, Dr. Rice will offer personalized guidance to students, represent Macaulay at public presentations about space and science, make media appearances, and share her passion for science education and astronomy.

Kelly O’Donnell, Macaulay’s Director of Science Forward, said, “Dr. Rice is an excellent astrophysicist and communicator of science—she’s a model for our students of what makes a good scientist.”

Adds Dr. Rice: “I share Macaulay’s commitment to increasing public understanding of and appreciation for astronomy—and science in general!”

Dr. Rice earned her Ph.D. in Astronomy & Astrophysics at UCLA and Bachelor’s degrees in Physics & Astronomy and German at the University of Pittsburgh.

Follow her @emilylurice