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HCTCs Wood obtains advanced astronomy degree

An HCTC professor s passion for astronomy prompted him to complete his graduate diploma of science in astronomy.

Jeremy Wood enrolled because he wanted to improve his astronomy knowledge. Astronomy has changed a lot since I was in college. I have been interested in this topic since I was a boy so this is my dream. I decided to enroll after I heard astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson speak at a conference, Wood said.

In this advanced coursework he learned about the solar system, galaxies, the universe, history of astronomy, astronomical equipment, and debates in astronomy. The coursework has caught me up on recent discoveries and taught me where and how to do research. I can pass along my new found knowledge to my students. The students are the winners. I added astronomy websites to my class power points and added recent probe observations, noted Wood, who teaches HCTC classes called The Solar System Stars, Galaxies and the Universe, and Astronomy Lab. He plans to offer two classes in the future -- Astrobiology and Frontiers of Astronomy.

Dr. Kris Williams, Interim HCTC president, noted, There is no doubt about Jeremy s love for astronomy and I applaud his initiative in gaining an advanced degree in that subject. I know his students will gain from his advanced learning, she said.

Leila Sandlin Smith, noted that advanced degrees in astronomy have not been a common offering by universities before and praised Professor Wood for finding a program that offered the astronomy degree.

Wood obtained the graduate diploma from Swinburne University in Australia, which sent the credential notification July 22.

Wood teaches physics and astronomy at Hazard Community amp; Technical College, where he has worked since 1996. Wood has a master s degree in physics from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor s degree in physics from the University of Evansville. He has completed other graduate work in math and physics from Ball State University. He is a native of Washington, IN.

Professor Wood teaches introductory astronomy and three levels of physics classes: Introductory, College and University Physics. Each class is supplemented with on-line material he created. Professor Wood has also authored a physics lab manual.