The Department of Astronomy is thrilled to announce that Dr. Traci Johnson, one of our PhD alumni from 2018, has been awarded the Rackham Proquest Distinguished Dissertation Award. This award recognizes highly accomplished graduate students who have produced exceptional dissertations of outstanding scholarly quality in any field of study. Only 10 awards are given each year. Traci joins a selective and distinguished list of past awardees.

Traci defended her dissertation, "Focusing Cosmic Telescopes: Quantifying the Systematics of Strong Lensing Mass Models in the Era of Precision Lensing," under the supervision of Prof. Keren Sharon. The ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award is presented to students with exceptional and unusually interesting research work. Each year, Rackham invites faculty to nominate outstanding dissertations produced in their programs. The nomination dossiers submitted are then read and discussed by a review panel of faculty members who identify the finalists. Then, members of the Michigan Society of Fellows read the finalists’ dissertations, review their merits, and select the winners. Awards will be presented at a public event on Tuesday, April 23, 2019.

In addition, Traci has recently been offered an Insight Data Science Fellowship. This fellows program is an extremely competitive and intensive 7-week training in data science, and is an excellent career opportunity.

Congratulations, Traci!