Alex Filippenko, Ph.D
World-renowned astronomer and professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Alex Filippenko honed his interest in astronomy at California’s Goleta Boys & Girls Club. He enjoyed playing basketball, and arts and crafts. But it was the High Sierra Challenge that would define his experience. The challenge was a weeklong backpacking trip into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Club staff taught them such essentials as pitching a tent, hiking without getting blisters, and pushing on when tired. The challenge instilled in him a tremendous amount of self-confidence and perseverance. Alex was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, he was the only member of two teams that proved the accelerating expansion of the universe. The discovery was rewarded with the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.