t-delaney-photoDr. Tracey DeLaney has always been fascinated with the stars and planets. More than just an observer of the sky, though, DeLaney asks those thought-provoking “why” and “how” questions that are so common in the mind of a scientist.

DeLaney, an assistant professor of physics and engineering at West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC), grew up in rural Minnesota and followed a slightly different track in her pursuit of an astrophysics degree than you may expect. She started by joining the United States Army. Following her service in the military, she enrolled at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Fast forward through an undergraduate degree then a Master’s and Ph. D., DeLaney found herself applying for jobs and needing to make a decision whether to pursue a research-centric route or a primarily teaching route. When she got a job offer in the teaching track at a primarily undergraduate college in West Virginia, she knew it would be a perfect fit because it reminded her of her roots. Click here to read more about Delaney, her research and the many ways in which she reaches out to her students and the community in the Fall issue of the Neuron.

To learn about other West Virginia researchers featured our Scientist Spotlight, visit the Neuron page.