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Meet our 2014 New Graduate Students

new grad students
From top to bottom: Kelly Blumenthal, Elizabeth Toller, and Larissa Nofi.

Kelly Blumenthal grew up in northern New Jersey where despite being sandwiched between two major cities, she managed to cultivate a love for astronomy. She received her BA in astronomy and physics, with a minor in saxophone performance from Boston University. While there, she worked primarily on weak gravitational lensing theory and its implications for the derived local dark matter distribution. When she is not in front of a computer, Kelly is likely either reading a sci-fi novel or teaching herself how to play the ‘ukulele.

Larissa Nofi is from San Francisco, California. She received a BS in astrophysics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research there focused primarily on observational astronomy and polarimetry. Prior to coming to the IfA, she worked at UC Santa Cruz as a junior specialist observing stellar remnants, extrasolar planets, and solar system objects at Lick Observatory. She is currently interested in extrasolar planets and ground-based observational astronomy.

Elizabeth Toller began her space career at 14 as an intern for the Phoenix Mars Mission. Since then, she has helped test aircraft, taught middle school students to code in the computer language C++, contributed to a high school physics textbook, edited the 2011 annual report of the Space Foundation, and graduated from MIT. She has done research at MIT, the Goddard Space Flight Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Lowell Observatory on a wide variety of projects using data gathered with ground-based telescopes and spacecraft.