PSD Spotlight: Ellen Harder

August 22, 2019

Ellen Harder is September 2019's PSD Spotlight

Ellen Harder headshot

Ellen works as the business administrator in the Flash Center for Computational Science in Astronomy & Astrophysics. She was born in Evanston and raised in Edgewater and Wilmette, IL. She has been a member of the PSD community for six and a half years. 

A PSD community member had this to say about Ellen:

"...She prioritizes scientific achievement through her dedicated work that keeps the Flash Center running smoothly; she collaborates with others in Astronomy & Astrophysics  in support of our work; she has extremely high standards for her work and always strives for excellence; and as an out woman in the department, she is wonderfully and authentically herself, which I also admire very much"

We interviewed Ellen about her interests and experiences below.

What do you enjoy about being a part of the PSD community?

I enjoy the people, the intellectual atmosphere, spreadsheets, and the various varieties of readily available cookies.

Tell us a bit about you. 

I haven't completely figured myself out yet, but I love being with my wife, my family, my friends, and my cats. Then, add some cold beer, a city or natural area to explore, some art and music, soft lighting, moderate climate, some type of chip and dip situation, something sweet with coffee, games or conversations with hints of light mischief or contention, the smell of wood burning (controlled, NOT a forest fire), and I'm set for a bit. I'm also learning Spanish.

Who inspires you?

My wife, my parents, my siblings, my friends and my colleagues. Animals! Any person creating art. Any person helping people. Funny, witty people.

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

Empathy, an open mind, no assumptions, putting the work in, reaching out, and speaking up.

What have you seen lately that made you smile?

My wife and nephew dancing on a lake dock in Vermont with sparklers on the 4th of July.

Who had the most influence on you growing up?

My parents definitely.

What three words best describe you?

um, like, hmmm

If they made a movie about your life, what genre would it be and who would play you?

A documentary and I'd play myself, even in the re-enactments. And I would have to make it. I wouldn't necessarily green-light it.

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