Astrophysicist will help girls reach for the stars...

Astrophysicist will help girls reach for the stars at annual math-science event at MTSU

Astrophysicist Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, an associate professor of astronomy at Vanderbilt University, will be the keynote speaker for the 21st annual Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science at MTSU.

Expanding Your Horizons, or EYH, was to be held Oct. 28 on campus but was canceled and will be rescheduled. More information will be available at

Expanding Your Horizons, or EYH, in math and science registration begins

MTSU Concrete Industry Management Director Heather Brown, right, discusses the process for making concrete with girls attending a recent Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science event at MTSU. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

EYH helps girls and young women investigate science and mathematics careers, talk with women in math and science, attend a science and math workshop with their peers, participate in hands-on activities and meet girls interested in math and science.

EYH at MTSU is open each year to girls in middle school, including fifth to eighth grades, and high school grades nine to 12. Up to 250 middle school girls and up to 100 high school girls are expected to attend the event.

Dr. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann

Dr. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann

As a first-generation college graduate from a family that sometimes lived below the poverty level, Holley-Bockelmann has a deep interest in broadening the participation of women, minorities and first-generation college students in science.

She is co-director of the Fisk-to-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program, which is designed to mentor a diverse group of graduate students to develop the skills needed to succeed as a doctoral scientist.

Holley-Bockelmann joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2007. She earned her bachelor’s degree in physics at Montana State University and doctorate in astronomy in 1999 at the University of Michigan. She performed postdoctoral work at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Massachusetts.

In 2004, she joined the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics at Pennsylvania State University, where she became a big fan of gravitational waves and attended many talks on loop quantum gravity. Her main interests are in computational galaxy dynamics, various black holes and gravitational waves.

Holley-Bockelmann is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award and Vanderbilt Chancellor Faculty Fellow, and NASA has supported her work. Her research on growing supermassive black holes and rogue black holes has been featured in many online and print media outlets.

For more information about EYH at MTSU, visit, email or call 615-904-8253.

— Randy Weiler (