Meet the 22-23 eBoard

President Natalia Porraz 

she/her

Junior, 2nd year eBoard

Astronomy & Physics Major, Math Minor

Hi! My name is Natalia Porraz, and I am a third-year international student from Mexico double majoring in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics and minoring in Mathematics. This year I will be serving as President of the Astronomical Society and last year I served as Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Retention. I also serve as Programming Chair of the SciAccess Zenith Mentorship Program, another student org on campus that promotes mentorship for blind and low vision high school students interested in space science. My main research interests are Galactic and Stellar structure and evolution. Last year, I worked with Professor Don Terndrup on low mass stars and this summer I’m working with Professor Laura Lopez on galactic winds.

Outside of classes, I spend most of my free time outdoors. I really enjoy rock climbing and I am planning on  joining the rock-climbing club at OSU this semester. I’ve also been on a few hiking and backpacking trips, I go surfing often when I’m in Mexico, and I have a skateboard that I need to practice how to ride. I also want to try skydiving, kayaking, scuba diving and water skiing sometime. I also enjoy reading and watching all kinds of movies.

I am very excited to be serving as President of Astro Society this year and I look forward to meeting new people! 🙂


Vice President of Events Harrison Blake

he/him

Junior, 2nd year eBoard

Astronomy & Physics Major

Hello! I’m Harrison, and I am the Vice President of Events. For the most part, my interest in astronomy was sparked while watching the original Cosmos and reading science fiction as a kid. A K-12 education and a semester of college later, a friend of mine managed to get me involved here. Astro Society has been an amazing outlet for my immense passion for the subject ever since I joined. Not only that, I have made fantastic friends throughout my tenure here and memories I will never forget. I am thrilled to be serving on the eBoard to help make this next year fantastic for everyone.

In my spare time, I mostly like to write science fiction (go figure), read, bike, cook, camp, play the cello, and compose (decent-ish) music. If you want to talk about any of that (or, you know, astronomy), I’m more than happy to chat.

See you out there!


Secretary Anya Phillips

they/she

Junior, 1st year eBoard

Astronomy & Physics Major, Math Minor

Hi, I’m Anya, and I’m a third-year majoring in Physics and Astronomy and minoring in Math. I first became interested in astrophysics after watching Brian Greene’s NOVA documentary about Relativity in middle school and am amazed every day that I get to study it in school now. In my free time I like taking ballet classes (I wanted to be a professional dancer before I wanted to be an astrophysicist), playing the piano, listening to music, and taking mental health walks.

I first joined Astro Society the summer before my first year at Ohio State and am incredibly grateful for the experiences I’ve had and friends I’ve made through it since then. I’m so excited to be part of your executive board and to make this year another great one.


Treasurer Kaia Atzberger

she/her

Junior, 1st year eBoard

Astronomy Major, Dance Minor, Planetary Science Certificate

Hi, my name is Kaia Atzberger! I’m a third-year astronomy major and the treasurer for Astro Society this year. Outside of this organization, I am also a part of the Zenith Mentoring Program and Momentum Contemporary Ballet. I joined Astro Society my freshman year and loved every part of it! Some of my favorite memories are our annual Green Bank trip, JGAP visits, and game nights. I’m also incredibly thankful for the friends I’ve made in this group!

I first became interested in astronomy after completing a research project about Pluto in middle school (a topic I am still quite passionate about). I’ve since completed more official research involving the analysis of star clusters using the GAIA mission and cosmological observables using the DESI survey.

I’m excited to be a part of the executive board this year, meeting new faces, and making many more fun memories!


Vice President of Inclusion, Diversity, and Retention (IDR) Maya Legersky

they/them

Sophomore, 1st year eBoard

Astronomy & Physics Major

Hi, I’m Maya Legersky, a second-year physics and astro double major and the Vice President of Inclusion, Diversity, and Retention. I first got involved with Astro Society at the beginning of my freshman year and absolutely loved our stargazing trips and the friendly atmosphere of the club!

I first discovered my interest in astronomy by watching Cosmos and How the Universe Works in elementary school, and since I joined Astro Society, I have been able to explore and grow my passion for astrophysics even more. Outside of Astro society, I am also involved in the Society of Physics Students and OHYCJ, a climate change activism group. I also spend my free time listening to music, playing viola,  drawing, and stargazing!

Since joining Astro Society, I have met so many wonderful people and have found an amazing environment to explore my interests in space and beyond. As the VP of IDR, I hope to make this club and even safer and more accepting place for anyone with a passion for learning about our universe and look forward to seeing all of you!


Vice President of Media Nicole Fedor

she/her

Junior, 1st year eBoard

Astronomy & Physics Major

Heyo, I’m Nicole and I’m serving as Astro Society’s VP of Media! Along with the other officers, I want to make this organization as informational and inspirational as possible, especially since I run the social medias and website. Astronomy is a field of science that gives many opportunities for everyone, whether you are majoring in it or just you simply have some sort of interest.

As for me and my interest in astronomy, it started when I was very young because of the influence of my nerd dad. He worked, and still does work, at NASA Glenn up in Cleveland, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever as a kid. I’ve loved all things space and sci-fi ever since I could remember because of that! Since then, I’ve been trying to shape my own path in the astronomy field. Having people inspire and support you is great, but believing in yourself and going at your own pace is really what can lead to success!

My other interests include art, animals (especially cats), and having a good time with people that I can relate to! Trust me, this society is great for people who need a safe place to be themselves. Even as an awkward introvert, I really thrive as a student and as a person because of this great environment!

Let’s make it a great year! 💫🪐


 

Meet the 20-21 eBoard

President Caitlin O’Brien 
Sophomore
Astrophysics & Astronomy and Physics Major
Dublin, OH

My name is Caitlin O’Brien, a rising sophomore double majoring in astronomy and physics who will be serving as your president of Ohio State’s Astronomical Society this year. Astronomy is an enormous part of my life; in addition to Astro Society, I intern with the SciAccess Initiative to promote inclusivity and diversity in astronomical sciences. I also am heavily involved with the Arne Slettebak Planetarium here on campus as a presenter and show programmer, which I would highly recommend checking out when we reopen post-COVID. Outside of space science, I also work as a freelance photographer, theater technician, and escape room operator. I am honored to be able to dedicate myself to this club as your president, and I look forward to this year to come!

Co-Vice President Payton Cassel
Sophomore
Astronomy & Astrophysics Major
Medina, OH

Hello, my name is Payton Cassel, and I am the organization’s Co-Vice President along with Simon Filbert. I am a Mount Leadership Society Scholar and I volunteer with the Ohio Association of Student Leaders in my spare time. Along with Astro Society, I am involved with Cru, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, and the Coffee Roasting Club. I have been involved with the Astronomical Society since Freshman year and loved every minute of it, whether it was going on trips to the John Glen Astronomy Park or sitting on top of Smith watching the stars. My favorite memory of Astro Society was going to the Green Bank Observatory with many other club members. There, I got to connect with other astronomy majors, learn about radio astronomy, and even take my own data using a 40′ radio telescope. Astro Society opened me up to so many opportunities and I am so excited to be a part of this year’s executive board!

I have had an interest in astronomy since high school when my physics teacher began talking about dark matter and energy. Ever since then I have been eager to learn more about our universe. Last year, I worked with Gabriel Vasquez on a small research project over Dark Energy through a group called Polaris.

Co-Vice President Simon Filbert
Sophomore 
Physics & Astronomy Double Major 
Evansville, IN

Hi, my name is Simon Filbert! I am currently one of the two vice presidents for the Astronomical Society at The Ohio State University. I am a sophomore pursuing majors in physics and astronomy. Along with astro society, I am also an events chair for an organization on campus called Scientific Thinkers. This organization does outreach for Columbus area elementary school children by doing experiments and engaging discussions. This is an organization and causes that I am very passionate about. In my free time, I enjoy reading and video games mostly.

My story behind why I got interested in astronomy is not as interesting or clear cut as others. Although I have always been interested in space and science, I would say that the real catalyst behind my choosing to study astronomy and physics was popular science films and T.V. shows. Such titles as “Interstellar” and “Through the Wormhole” made me realize that the universe we live in can be just as far out as science fiction. Gradually, I began to recognize my yearning to understand the inner-workings of the world around me, eventually making the decision to study physics at OSU. My interest in observational astronomy began after attending a meeting for the local astronomical society in my hometown of Evansville, Indiana. Being an out of state student and coming to a school with no familiar faces, I was worried about making new friends. Luckily for me, I have been able to make so many amazing new friends, especially through the Astronomical Society. I am so happy to be serving as a VP of such an amazing club, and I look forward to new friends and new experiences to come. 

Treasurer Hannah Parsons
Sophomore
Astronomy & Physics Double Major
Mason, OH

Hi, I’m Hannah Parsons, and I am the treasurer of the Astronomical Society at The Ohio State University! I’ve loved learning about space and looking at the stars ever since I was a little kid, but only seriously decided to study astrophysics during high school thanks to some amazing teachers. In my spare time, I like to read and cook. Joining the astronomical society was one of the best decisions I made freshman year; it gave me the opportunity to learn so much and meet so many amazing people. I’m glad I’m able to help make this year another great one as a member of the executive board. 

Secretary Austin Hill
Senior
Welding Engineering Major
Swanton, OH

Hello! I’m Austin Hill, the secretary for Astro Society. Although I am not an astronomy major, I have had a great interest in astronomy since visiting Kennedy Space Center in 2007 and getting my first telescope in 2008. It’s one of many favorite hobbies of mine, including baseball, automobiles, planes, biking, video games, and fossils, to name a few. I enjoy staying informed about astronomy, stargazing on any clear night, observing when I have access to my binoculars/telescopes, and visiting places dedicated to space & astronomy like Green Bank, Kennedy Space Center, and John Glenn Astronomy Park. I’m currently studying welding engineering and do work-study on campus for OSU Libraries’ Collections Strategy Team. Astro Society is the club I have involved myself with the most here at OSU and I am happy to be part of the executive board to make it interesting, informative, and inclusive to those wanting to participate and join.