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Dr. Nancy Chanover '87 to be 2018 Commencement Speaker

Mrs. Lee announced this week to the Class of 2018 that Dr. Nancy Chanover '87 will be the speaker for Cushing's 143rd Commencement, on Saturday, May 26, 2018.
Dr. Chanover is a Professor of Astronomy at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. A native of Stony Brook, NY, she attended Cushing for three years. At her graduation, she was recognized both as the Valedictorian of her class and as the recipient of the Pliny A. Boyd '94 Award, known as the Ideal Cushing Girl.   
Dr. Chanover received her B.A. in Physics, with a minor in Astronomy, from Wellesley College. She then moved west for graduate studies, earning her Ph.D. in Astronomy from New Mexico State University, where she later received her M. A. in Education. In 2017, Dr. Chanover was named the Director of the 3.5-meter telescope at Apache Point Observatory, which is owned and operated by a consortium of eight universities. 
Dr. Chanover’s research involves the study of planetary atmospheres. She has worked on projects involving the upper atmospheric chemistry of Venus; measuring wind speeds on Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn; and studying the atmospheric vertical structure of Jupiter, Saturn, and Titan. Her work has supported many NASA missions, and in 2016 she became the lead of the Atmospheres Node of NASA’s Planetary Data System, which is the national archive for all data from NASA’s planetary missions. Dr. Chanover's work in the development of new instrumentation for planetary science has recently led her into the exciting world of astrobiology, and she is currently working on the development of in situ instrumentation for the detection and characterization of biomarkers on planetary surfaces.  
Recognized for her innovative teaching and dedicated to mentorship of her students, she has generously skyped with Cushing's Astronomy Club over the years.  
Dr. Chanover's Penguin Nation roots also include her brother Michael Chanover, a member of the Class of 1989.  
When she’s not working, Dr. Chanover and her husband volunteer their time as dog handlers for the Mesilla Valley Search and Rescue team, and they enjoy numerous other outdoor activities with their dogs in the beautiful American Southwest.


Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.