The Alumni Achievement Award is given to Alumni of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards who have made a mark in their field. From Alumni Achievement Awardees Kay WalkingStick, whose landscape paintings brought Native American art to a larger audience, to Marc Brown, whose children’s books featuring the adorable aardvark Arthur led to a beloved children’s television program watched by millions, our Alumni are changing the world.

The 2019 Alumni Achievement Awardee is no exception. Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz is an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and the 2017–2018 Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology. She studies the ethics of Mars exploration, stellar magnetic activity, how stars influence a planet’s suitability as a host for alien life, and how to use advanced computing to discover unusual events in large astronomical data sets. Walkowicz is the founding director of the LSSTC Data Science Fellowship Program, an initiative to provide astronomy graduate students with training in advanced computing. In 2018, Walkowicz co-founded The JustSpace Alliance, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate for a more inclusive and ethical future in space and to harness visions of tomorrow for a more just and equitable world today. Walkowicz holds a BS in Physics and Astronomy from Johns Hopkins University and an MS and a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Washington, and held postdoctoral fellowships at UC Berkeley and Princeton before joining the Adler Planetarium. She is also a TED Senior Fellow and a practicing artist, working in a variety of media, from performance to sound.

The Scholastic Awards will be honoring Dr. Walkowicz at our National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall on June 6, 2019, along with the 2019 National Medalists.


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