Jamie Molaro Wins College of Science Outstanding Service Award

Jamie Molaro Wins College of Science Outstanding Service Award

LPL’s Jamie Molaro won the award for Outstanding Service and Outreach at the  8th Annual College of Science Graduate Student Awards. The award, sponsored by the UA College of Science and the Associate Graduate Council, recognizes attention to broader impacts and involvement in activities outside of academic responsibilities that benefit the department, university and the larger community (e.g., representing graduate student interests on councils or committees, organizing graduate student events, assisting departmental recruitment, participating in K-12 outreach, etc.). Jamie more than met these criteria through her efforts in developing and organizing The Art of Planetary Science (TAPS) in 2013 and for leading the exhibit in its second, even more successful incarnation in 2014.

TAPS has become a community event, thanks to Jamie's efforts at networking and building partnerships with local artists, museums, and with local business. For 2014, Jamie crafted a significant new partnership with the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), dramatically increased the participation of the IAAA in this year’s art show, and also collaborated extensively with the local Tucson chapter of the IAAA in ensuring cross-advertisement between TAPS and the IAAA’s own local art show. Jamie also pursued new partnerships with the College of Science, which culminated in a private, catered showing for the Galileo Circle the night prior to the grand opening. Jamie strengthened existing partnerships that she had developed in 2013, most notably with the Tucson Museum of Art’s “Art on Tap” — an art and craft beer festival. Through collaboration with Tucson Museum of Art, Jamie was able to have the winners of TAPS and several selected works displayed while providing free access to the show for artists. Lastly, Jamie also coordinated advertisement for the art show, including talking with reporters for the Arizona Daily Star, UA News, The Daily Wildcat, and NPR. Jamie has also presented The Art of Planetary Science to the scientific community, with posters and talks at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) and American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Science (DPS) conference. These presentations serve to inform fellow scientists and science educators on how we created and executed such a successful art show—with the aim of inspiring similar programs at other institutions and attracting scientists to submit artwork for future shows. As this weren't enough, Jamie also coordinated with the organizers of the October 2014 DPS meeting (held in Tucson) to allow a miniature showing of the artwork at the conference.

Thanks to Jamie Molaro, the 2014 Art of Planetary Science was a resounding success, with more than 200 pieces of artwork from 90 artists and scientists. The show spanned three floors of the Kuiper Space Sciences building, which was transformed into an art gallery. Over the three nights of the art show (plus the special Galileo Circle event), TAPS drew a crowd of over 800 people—over double what we saw in the first show in 2013. The artists sold several dozen pieces of artwork, making over $2,000 for the local Tucson art community, along with several hundred dollars in donation to the College of Science and to LPL.

Jamie's award was announced at a reception held on April 7. This is the fourth consecutive year that an LPL graduate student has won one of the three college-wide awards. Given that our graduate students are competing against the best students from 11 other departments, having a winner four years in a row speaks to the excellence of our graduate students.

Congratulations, Jamie!