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Bill Januszewski

Bill Januszewski

Heritage Team Member Spotlight
(STScI - Program Coordinator)

I first started getting interested in astronomy after watching the PBS television series COSMOS, hosted by Carl Sagan, in the early 1980s. I was still in high school at the time, and I remember thinking that the science of astronomy was just the coolest thing. While I was in high school I also picked up a copy of Sky and Telescope as well. This started a life long interest in amateur astronomy that I still enjoy to this day.

At this time I didn't really think about pursuing a career in astronomy. After high school I worked at a number of jobs, including one where I built models using LEGO building blocks. The head quarters for the company's North American operations are located in the town where I grew up, Enfield Connecticut. For a number of years I worked in the department that built models out of the blocks that were then used for displays in stores. Although this was a lot of fun after a number of years I knew this wasn't what I wanted to do for a career. I started thinking about what I did want to do, and kept on coming back to the hobby that I enjoyed so much, amateur astronomy. I still wasn't sure I wanted to become an astronomer, but I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the sciences. I applied to Central Connecticut State University as a physics major in 1989.

A number of years later I graduated with a BS degree in physics, and minors in astronomy and mathematics. It took longer then the usual four years partly because I went part time for a while, and also because there were so many classes I wanted to take that had nothing to do with my major, like geology and archeology.

I'd of course heard of the Hubble Space Telescope when I was still in high school. It was placed in orbit soon after I started collage. I paid close attention to the science being done with it, but never thought I'd have an opportunity to work with it. In February 2000 I had the incredible good fortune to become part of the operations division here at the Space Telescope Science Institute. For the last 6 years I have worked as a program coordinator. I'd worked with the Heritage team a little during my first few years at the institute and in Spring of 2005 I was able to join the project.

Heritage Team Members