Ashley Horan named Physics & Astronomy Department Student of the Year

In recognition of outstanding academic achievement, Ashley Horan ’15 has earned the 2014 Stonehill Scholar Award as the top student in the Physics & Astronomy Department.

Ashley HoranA Physics major and Mathematics minor from Brick Township, NJ, Horan has demonstrated a commitment to scholarship that exemplifies the habits of mind that Stonehill seeks to help students cultivate.

“Ashley is simply brilliant, a student with rare qualities. As a teacher it is my pleasure to deal with her as a student and as an individual. I have to admit that with her intuitive understanding of Physics, sometimes she lets me feel better at my job than I really am,” says Alessandro Massarotti, associate professor of Physics.

“Ashley is also a very giving and socially gifted person. She often helps and tutors students, even from courses other than the ones she is officially involved with. She is a beam of light that shines with enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity, a leader and an example to follow for other students. A person with a great future ahead of her.” 

As a student, Horan has taken full advantage of the many opportunities that have been made available to her at Stonehill and has sought out opportunities of her own.

On her plans for this summer, Horan says, “I was just awarded a summer internship at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., where I will work with Dr. Conor Nixon on ways of modeling and detecting the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars. I plan to continue schooling and work at NASA as a full-time employee someday!”

Selected Activities & Achievements

  • 2014 Summer internship with NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center researching the atmospheres around exoplanets
  • Independent Research with Professor Alessandro Massarotti of Stonehill regarding liquid flow through the Earth's mantle
  • Independent Research with Professor Massarotti and Dave Latham of Harvard on a project looking for a third companion in the Sirius binary system
  • Teaching Assistant for physics 1, 2, 3, 4, and Statistical Physics
  • Independent physics tutor