Alumni Distinguished Leadership Award

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Acceptance Speech

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Dr. Comerford is Assistant Professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she works on observations of kpc-scale separation dual supermassive black holes in merger-remnant galaxies. These objects are observable when one or both of the supermassive black holes accrete gas as active galactic nuclei (AGN), in systems known as offset AGN and dual AGN, respectively. She uses research as a tool for education, teaming up with PhD Comics to create a video “Black Holes Explained,” which has received over 50,000 views on YouTube. Additionally, she has been working to improve equity and inclusion at University of Colorado, working with the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance to introduce harassment training to the department and bias training for graduate admissions committees and faculty hiring committees, which may soon be implemented campus-wide. Dr. Comerford graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University, her Masters of Arts in Astrophysics from University of California, Berkeley and her Ph.D. in Astrophysics from University of California, Berkeley.

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