The Ellsworth High School
Alumni Association

Matthew S. Povich, EHS Class of ’96, is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (CPP). Dr. Povich was recently honored with the 2019–2020 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activities, the university’s highest recognition for accomplishments in research. From the award citation: “[Dr. Povich] maintains a highly productive research program in astronomy, using data from both space- and ground-based telescopes to study the most active star-forming nebulae in our Milky Way Galaxy. He is recognized as one of the world’s experts in the study of young stellar objects, massive stars, and ionized nebulae.” He has authored or co-authored 60 articles in top astronomy and astrophysics research journals and presented his work at conferences around the world.

Dr. Povich graduated from Harvard College in 2000 with a degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics. He subsequently spent two years as a volunteer physics and mathematics teacher for the Peace Corps in Tanzania. After returning to the U.S., he earned his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2009, and spent three years as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pennsylvania State University before starting his current faculty position at CPP in 2012.

Dr. Povich has taught physics and astronomy to more than 1000 students at CPP, and mentored numerous students in supervised research projects. His students are predominantly members of underrepresented minority groups and/or the first in their families to attend college. Graduates of his research group have proceeded to top Ph.D. programs in astrophysics and/or jobs in the engineering and information technology industries.