Newswise — The Physics and Astronomy Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research announces the 2021 recipient of its Outstanding Research Mentor award, which recognizes mentors in physics and astronomy for their steadfast efforts in mentoring undergraduate researchers and involves nominations by colleagues and students. Awardees receive a plaque.

The 2021 awardee is Thomas Pannuti, associate professor of space science and astrophysics at Morehead State University (MSU) in Morehead, KY. Dr. Pannuti earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduating cum laude, as well as his master’s degree and PhD from the University of New Mexico. He conducted postdoctoral work at the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at MIT and at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech.

Dr. Pannuti joined MSU’s Department of Physics, Earth Science, and Space Systems Engineering in 2006. His main research interests are in multi-wavelength (mainly X-ray, optical, infrared, and radio) observations of galactic and extragalactic supernova remnants. He has conducted observations with radio telescopes in the United States, Germany, and Australia, including the 21-Meter Space Tracking Antenna at MSU, optical telescopes in Arizona and California, and orbiting X-ray observatories. Dr. Pannuti also operates the Institute for Stellar Necrology Laboratory at MSU’s Space Science Center, a laboratory of Linux boxes dedicated to research projects conducted by undergraduate students.

Seeking to inspire undergraduates to take on advanced research projects and persist through challenges, Dr. Pannuti has developed curriculum with hands-on and inquiry-based research experiences for students. Many of these students have worked with him on research outside the classroom and have coauthored publications with him. Thus Dr. Pannuti represents well the goals and aspirations of research mentors in physics and astronomy across the country.