UA Science

You are here

35 Steward Employees Receive UArizona Service Awards

The annual UArizona service awards were announced this past week. Thirty-five Steward employees were honored. George Rieke and Rodger Thompson (PI of the NICMOS Camera on HST)  were rewarded for 50 years at UArizona, with Regents' Professor Marcia Rieke acknowledged for 45 years of service, including a current position as Principal Investigator of the Near Infrared Camera for the James Webb Space Telescope. UA @ Work profiled George Rieke. We quote the article: "Among the 50-year service award honorees is George Rieke, Regents Professor of astronomy and planetary sciences, who says he was hired in 1970 through a "rather strange accident" involving the late Frank Low, Regents Professor emeritus. "I went down to talk to Frank one day, and he was having a furious argument with somebody over the telephone," Rieke recalled. He quickly realized Low was speaking to someone Rieke was planning to work for as a postdoc at Goddard Space Flight Center. "After the argument died down, I said, 'It's a funny coincidence that I'm probably going to be working for that guy in six months.' Then Frank said, 'Oh. You want a job?'"

Rieke says he has valued watching the University take a leading position in astronomy throughout his career. He has been no small part of that growth. Rieke currently serves as NASA's science team lead for the James Webb Space Telescope's Mid-Infrared Instrument. The University, he says, provides a culture that will allow the next generation of scientists to build on that momentum. "We've had good leadership and an atmosphere where everyone is encouraged to be an entrepreneur," Rieke said. "You can basically create your own opportunities if you are skillful enough, aggressive enough, determined enough and lucky enough." His wife, Marcia Rieke, Regents Professor of astronomy, has also made the University a long-term home. She marks 45 years of service this year." 

Image Courtesy of George Rieke

(June 11 2020)