U.S. Congressman Sam Farr paid a surprise visit to the May 29 meeting of UC Santa Cruz's Academic Senate in order to pay tribute to astronomer Sandra Faber, who earlier this year received the National Medal of Science from President Obama.
Farr, who spoke warmly at the Senate meeting about the impact of UCSC research in general and the work of Faber in particular, presented Faber with a framed edition of the Congressional Record of January 22, 2013. On the floor of the House that day, Farr spoke about Faber's award and her distinguished research career. He re-read portions of the tribute into the record at the Senate meeting.
Last December, the White House announced that Faber was one of a dozen researchers selected by President Obama to receive the National Medal of Science. On February 1, the president presented Faber with her award in a White House ceremony; UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal was among the attendees.
Faber, a University Professor of astronomy and astrophysics and the interim director of UC Observatories, was honored along with 11 other recipients of the National Medal of Science; 11 recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation were also honored. These are the two highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors. Chancellor George Blumenthal accompanied Faber to the ceremony.
Faber was recognized "for leadership in numerous path-breaking studies of extra-galactic astronomy and galaxy formation, and for oversight of the construction of important instruments, including the Keck telescopes."