Newswise — Sarah Caudill, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will receive the Honorary CUR Fellows Award at an April 26 reception during the Council on Undergraduate Research's 2017 Posters on the Hill event on Capitol Hill. Caudill, a 2006 Posters on the Hill participant, contributed to the discovery of gravitational waves through the Caltech-MIT Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).

Posters on the Hill, CUR’s signature student advocacy event, is held in partnership with the American Chemical Society. Accompanied by their faculty mentors, 60 exceptional undergraduates will share their research on April 25–26 with Members of Congress, congressional staff, and federal government officials, as well as highlight the value of federal investment in undergraduate research.

Said Caudill, "Looking back now, having the ability to participate in undergraduate research at Stetson University and Caltech was the most important factor in determining my future career. It opened up a world of experiences and connections that made the transition into a full-time scientist possible for a small-town girl. I never dreamed that I would be part of the team that confirmed the detection of the first gravitational waves last year. We have now opened the window of astronomical observation into the dark side of the universe to directly see things that we couldn't before. The detections not only allowed us to see the collisions of black holes for the first time but also provided measurements of the most massive stellar-mass black holes and some of the best tests of Einstein's General Relativity theory to date."

Said Prasenjit Guptasarma, professor and chair of the UWM Department of Physics, "It has been a rewarding experience to have Sarah Caudill at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. We are sure Sarah will continue to be at the forefront of new discoveries of colliding black holes and neutron stars into the next decade, helping to push the frontiers of astrophysics. Her story encourages us to continue our current programs to train undergraduate researchers for future discoveries in physics and astronomy."