The California Space Grant Consortium wishes to congratulate Sonoma State University Campus Representative Lynn Cominsky as the recipient of the Frank j. Malina Astronautics medal for education. Ms. Cominsky is the Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department at Sonoma State University (SSU) and the founder and director of SSU’s Education and Public Outreach Group.
She is an author on over 150 research papers in refereed journals, and the Principal Investigator on over $22 million of grants to SSU. Funded by NASA, NSF and the US Department of Education, Cominsky and her group excel at the development of interactive web-based and hands-on STEM activities for students in grades 5-14. Current projects include the ‘Learning by Making’ STEM curriculum being piloted by six rural, high-needs high schools in Mendocino County, ‘Rising Data: A Flight Project Curriculum for Community College Students” in which students are using rockets and drones to take scientific data with custom-built payloads, and “EdgeCube: A 1U Global Climate Monitor” which is the second
CubeSat to be built by SSU students. In the past, she has served as the scientific director for the PBS NOVA television program “Monster of the Milky Way” and accompanying planetarium show “Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity.” In 1993, Prof. Cominsky was named SSU’s Outstanding Professor, and the California Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. In 2007, she was named a Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology, in 2009, a Fellow of the American Physical Society and in 2013, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Other recent awards include the 2014 Aerospace Awareness award from the Women in Aerospace organization, the 2015 Sally Ride Education Award from the American Astronautical Society, the 2016 Education Prize from the American Astronomical Society and the 2016 Wang Family Excellence Award from the California State University.