Hi, I'm Rebecca Larson!
I'm a 4th-year Ph.D. Student at The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Astronomy. My thesis focuses on galaxies from the first billion years of the Universe's history and trying to understand how those galaxies, and the Universe itself, evolved into the one we live in today.
I spent six years in the U.S. Air Force as an Arabic linguist after graduating high school. I took college classes as often as I could while in the military and after my enlistement transferred to being a full-time student studying business entrepreneurship and studio art. When my family moved to Austin I went with them, intending to transfer to UT Austin and finish my degree. Upon arrival I was informed that my high number of credit hours made me disqualified from entering the business program at UT and I had to choose a different major. I was given an alphabetical list of majors that I would be accepted into as a transfer student and, caught completely off guard, and forced to change my life plan in an afternoon I chose Astronomy. I had always liked sci-fi and space seemed pretty interesting, and I didn't know what else to do at that point.
I like to say that I came to this career by accident, but it couldn't have been a happier one.