Attila Elteto has been hired as a new
full-time faculty member in the Science & Technology Division. He will
teach astronomy and physics.
Most recently, Elteto has been teaching
astronomy at the University of Connecticut and Naugatuck Valley Community
College. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Astronomy at Cornell University
and earned a PhD in Astrophysical and Planetary Science at the University of
Colorado at Boulder. After deciding his real passion was in education, Elteto
returned to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from the
University of New Haven.
Elteto said he’s been passionate about teaching
astronomy for over a decade, much of it in public outreach, but in recent years
has also started teaching formal astronomy classes at the collegiate level.
“I am especially excited when I have
some powerful tools I can use, because most of the public gets very excited and
awed when they look through a telescope, even just a small one, or see the
‘sky’ rotate in a planetarium,” he said.
Elteto said he was attracted to the job
at Cañada because it emphasized the need for teaching astronomy labs. “I’m very
excited about the opportunity to teach astronomy hands-on,” he said. “In
addition, (Cañada College) President (Larry) Buckley assured me that the
college is looking to expand its STEM disciplines in coming years, and he was
excited to learn my interest in expanding on the astronomy curriculum, and possibly
conducting astronomy outreach at the college.”
Buckley said Elteto’s approach to
teaching will make him an asset to Cañada’s faculty. “Attila went back to
school to earn a master’s degree to become a better teacher,” Buckley said. “He
understands that students today learn differently than they did even 10 years
ago. They are going to enjoy his classes.”
Elteto said that even at the 101 level,
astronomy is an exciting way to draw students towards science. “Many students
enter my classes thinking it may just be straight lectures with lots of pretty
pictures,” he said. “Instead, my mission is to use the context of astronomy to
teach student the skills and tools of science in general. I expect active
participation from my students, and encourage peer-to-peer learning. By the end
of the semester, I expect students to be able to
formulate their own questions, use the tools they’ve learned to seek the
answers for themselves, and present what they have learned in a thorough,
Outside of teaching, Elteto said he
enjoys singing and is usually a member of a choir. He also enjoys hiking.