Williams Professor Wins Award Astronomy Research and Education

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College astronomy professor Jay Pasachoff has received the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's Klumpke-Roberts Award.

The award is given to an individual or individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy.

Pasachoff’s passion and dedication to the field of astronomy goes beyond his main role as professor and researcher, touching numerous people across all generations. He wrote, in the Peterson Field Guide series, the popular "A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets," now in the 17th printing of its 4th edition; is lead author of "The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium," now in its 5th edition; is coauthor with an art historian of "Cosmos: The Art and Science of the Universe," a new book on the intersection of art and astronomy; and hundreds of articles, textbooks, and conference series contributions, instilling a love of astronomy to laypersons and students all over the world.

His solar-eclipse expeditions, including 35 total eclipses, and primary research in solar eclipses, has led to not only scientific articles but also popular articles in National Geographic, Scientific American, and elsewhere, as well as media appearances before and after the August 21, 2017, solar eclipse in the United States. As one nominator praised after the eclipse: "It is during these moments that Jay becomes astronomy's cheerleader-in-chief, allowing more and more people to become interested and engaged in the field."



Pasachoff's leadership roles served within the profession have brought him distinction and acknowledgment as one of only 15 honorary members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and the Education Prize of the American Astronomical Society. He has also received the 2017 Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers and the 2012 Prix-Jules-Janssen of the Société Astronomique de France. He is acknowledged as having inspired future writers and astronomers, sometimes turning nonscientists into professional astronomical lives of significance. His exuberance for sharing his passion of the universe has created many passionate astronomers.

His research on the sun is currently supported by a grant from the Solar Terrestrial Program of the Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation. He has also held National Geographic and NASA research grants.

One nominator summed up how "Jay Pasachoff has devoted his entire career to fathoming the universe while bringing all of us along with him in the endeavor. For more than a half a century, he has investigated, communicated, and educated – and done so with success, humility, and humor."

 


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Mezze Restaurant Group Names Two New Co-Owners

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mezze Restaurant Group added two new individuals to its ownership structure on July 6. 

In recognition of their many years of service and their importance to the future of the business, co-owners Nancy Thomas and Bo Peabody have announced Linda Stripp and Nicholas Moulton will become new co-owners of Mezze Restaurant Group.

"I am incredibly excited to welcome Nick and Linda as co-owners of Mezze Restaurant Group. Their contributions to date and their roles in our continued expansion are critical," Peabody said. "Linda's leadership of our events business – our fastest-growing category – has been extraordinary, while Nick's recent rise as a celebrity chef – the Veggie King on Food Network – has been nothing short of meteoric. But, more than any of that was watching them operate in the last few months during one of the hardest times in our company and industry's history. Their maturity and dedication during this pandemic proved to me that they already think like owners."

Stripp has been working for the organization for 20 years. She started with the team in 2000 and, as director of Mezze Catering + Events, she is charged with shaping the overall direction of catering operations. Stripp is primarily focused on planning and managing special events including weddings, rehearsal dinners, cocktail parties, corporate functions and galas. Her lead role is in client relations, working hand in hand with catering clients at every stage of planning to deliver exceptional service.

Moulton has been executive chef of Mezze Restaurant Group since 2014, leading the kitchen and designing and executing the seasonal menu with his team. An alumnus of Mezze Bistro, where he worked for four years as sous chef, Moulton is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and an accomplished chef dedicated to highlighting local foods from the Berkshire region. Two-time champion on Guy’s Grocery Games, Food Network’s supermarket-themed cooking competition, he has earned the celebrated title “Veggie King” and competed on Food Network once again on July 8.

"Restaurants are built by teams, and Linda and Nick have made a long-term investment in our company. They are both builders of the brand and play an important role for the future," Thomas said. "We are so excited to have Linda and Nick become official co-owners in the business."

When Mezze opened its original 50-seat bistro in a cozy Water Street building in Williamstown in 1996, guests were loyal fans, many from the local dot-com crowd, and the collective youthful energy sparked recurring dance parties on the deck overlooking the Green River. During the initial years, Thomas partnered with Peabody and grew the business to include other restaurants and Mezze Catering + Events to produce high-end weddings and galas in the Berkshires and New York City. A fire in 2001 forced the restaurant to relocate and a newly renovated Mezze Bistro opened at the top of Water Street in May 2002, doubling the dining space. The popular bistro and bar with exposed brick walls provided a fresh platform for a modern-day dining experience with a farm-to-table focus. 

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