YSPA Staff

Dr. Michael Faison

Academic Director Dr. Michael Faison has been the Director of the Leitner Family Observatory and Planetarium and a lecturer in the Yale Astronomy Department since 2004. He has taught physics and astronomy at Reed College, Beloit College, and Northwestern University. He has served as either Academic Director or Associate Academic Director of the Summer Science Program for 6 years, and he was also a staff instructor for the CUREA summer enrichment program at Mt. Wilson Observatory for 8 years. He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Oberlin College and his PhD in astrophysics from U. Wisconsin, Madison. In his spare time, he enjoys dancing, long-distance cycling, rock climbing, and playing bluegrass music on his mandolin.

Jesse Feddersen

Teaching Fellow Jesse Feddersen is a PhD candidate in astronomy at Yale, where he works with Hector Arcé. Using radio telescopes, he studies the mess made by newborn stars in the gas clouds where they form. He’s a proud Midwesterner, and received his B.S. in astrophysics from Indiana University. When he’s not thinking about space, you’ll probably find him on a trail or at a concert. He is excited to help make this summer one to remember!

Kimberly Nucifora

Program Manger Kim Nucifora is the Director of Mathematical Modeling for the Department of Population Health at NYU, which develops epidemiological models of disease transmission, especially HIV. She also has experience teaching math in the Peace Corps in Tanzania as well as at the Elm City College Preparatory School in New Haven. She received her bachelor’s degree in engineering and her master’s degree in computer science from WPI. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, renovating houses, and practicing swing dance aerials. 

Faculty Oversight Committee:  

  • Dr. Héctor Arce,  Associate Professor of Astronomy, Yale University
  • Dr. Jeffrey Kenney, Professor of Astronomy, Yale University
  • Dr. Priyamvada Natarajan, Professor of Astronomy and of Physics, Yale University

Alumni database (coming soon!)