Jennifer Connelly Headshot

Jennifer Connelly

School of Physics and Astronomy
College of Science

Office Location

Jennifer Connelly

School of Physics and Astronomy
College of Science


BS, Dickinson College; MA, Wesleyan University; Ph.D., Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany)


Dr. Jennifer Connelly joined RIT in 2013 and is now a lecturer in the School of Physics and Astronomy in RIT’s College of Science. Connelly earned a BS in political science and physics from Dickinson College, followed by an MA in astronomy from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in extragalactic astronomy from Ludwig Maximilian University in Germany. 

She teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, including physics and astronomy. Connelly regularly mentors undergraduate students in observational astronomy research, spending many nights at the RIT Observatory. She also acts as a faculty adviser for the Space Exploration (SPEX) group on campus as well as the RIT Cosplay Troupe.

Since joining the university in 2013, Connelly has been instructing innovative courses that excite students about science and encourages them to examine and develop their understanding of inclusivity, equity, and diversity. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Non-Tenure Track Faculty Award from the College of Science.

On campus, Connelly is one of the leaders of the Inclusive Excellence Initiative. The five-year, million dollar program is funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and focuses on transforming faculty to better support all students, including those from non-traditional pathways. 

In and outside of the classroom, Connelly strives to create an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. She is the founder of Rochester Women in Physics and Astronomy (ROC-WiPA), a networking group that connects and supports local women in physics. She is also the coordinator of the Rochester pod of 500 Women Scientists, which is an organization focused on making science open, inclusive, and accessible to everyone.

In recognition of her efforts, Connelly received the 2019 Isaac L. Jordan, Sr., Faculty Pluralism Award. It recognizes faculty members for their significant contributions to enhance diversity, pluralism, and inclusion within and outside of RIT. 


Currently Teaching

3 Credits
This course provides a practical, hands-on introduction to optical astronomy. Students will use the RIT Observatory's telescopes and CCD cameras to take images of celestial objects, reduce the data, and analyze the results. The course will emphasize the details of image processing required to remove instrumental effects from CCD images.
1 - 4 Credits
This is an introductory course on a topic that is not part of the formal curriculum. This course is structured as an ordinary course and has specific prerequisites, contact hours, and examination procedures.
1 Credits
This course is the first in a two-semester sequence intended to familiarize students with research activities, practices, and ethics in the university research environment and to introduce students to commonly used research tools. As part of the course, students are expected to attend research seminars sponsored by the Astrophysical Sciences and Technology Program and participate in a weekly journal club. The course also provides training in scientific writing and presentation skills. Credits earned in this course apply to research requirements.
4 Credits
This is an introductory course in algebra-based physics focusing on mechanics and waves. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton’s laws, gravitation; rotational kinematics and dynamics; work and energy; momentum and impulse; conservation laws; simple harmonic motion; waves; data presentation/analysis and error propagation. The course is taught using both traditional lectures and a workshop format that integrates material traditionally found in separate lecture, recitation, and laboratory settings.

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