Bruce Partridge Honored with 2017 Richard H. Emmons Award
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific selected the emeritus professor of physics and astronomy for his outstanding achievement in the teaching of college-level introductory astronomy for non-science majors.
This October, when the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) holds its annual gala, Haverford's Bruce Partridge will be in attendance to receive the organization's 2017 Richard H. Emmons Award. The award—one of seven that will be given at this year's ceremony in Burlingame, Calif.—honors the emeritus professor of physics and astronomy for his outstanding achievement in the teaching of college-level introductory astronomy for non-science majors.
"It is a particular honor and delight to be chosen for the Emmons Award since it recognizes precisely the activity I see as the core of my career: introducing students to the joys, the surprises, the remarkable cohesion, and even the frustrations of science," says Partridge.
Though he retired in 2008 after 38 years on the Haverford faculty, he has continued to teach in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Just last year, he taught a first-year course for intended astronomy majors, and the year before that, he taught two classes, including an introductory course for non-majors.
A cutting-edge researcher, Partridge was part of the team that proposed and worked on the European Space Agency's Planck space mission and has worked with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope in Chile since its inception. He has used his astronomical research, especially in extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, to inform his classroom instruction and has created some of the most popular courses at the College. He has mentored generations of Fords and co-authored scores of his many scientific papers with his undergraduate students.
"I feel indebted to Bruce for including me and others like me in so many aspects of the scientific endeavor from such an early stage in my career, and for his supportive advice along that career path," said one of his former students in her nomination of Partridge for the ASP award.
"The Emmons is an award for teaching. It has, thus, been earned by generations of my students as well as by me: teaching is a mutual enterprise," says Partridge. "To be honored for what I have loved doing is a deeply satisfying capstone to my years at Haverford."
Since its 1889 founding, the ASP has been a nonprofit membership society dedicated to bringing together professionals, amateurs, educators, and enthusiasts for the purpose of increasing the understanding of astronomy and improving how that knowledge is taught. Boasting a diverse portfolio of astronomy education initiatives funded by NASA and the NSF and professional research journals and publications, the ASP is unique in its mission to foster science literacy through the wonder and excitement of astronomy.