With his trademark high energy, vast academic knowledge and inquiry-based pedagogy, Dr. David Hurd has gained a reputation as one of the region’s most engaging professors. A two-time recipient of the Educator of the Year Award at PennWest Edinboro, Dr. Hurd is consistently nominated for a multitude of awards and was awarded the Emmons Award through the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. This is a highly prestigious award recognizing and celebrating outstanding achievement in the teaching of college-level introductory astronomy for non-science majors. Hurd also delivered the keynote address to the first and only national conference of planetarians in St. Louis in 2017.

In addition to his invaluable contributions in the classroom, Dr. Hurd manages the PennWest Edinboro Planetarium and provides the local community with interactive and engaging live and online planetarium programs. Every year, thousands of K-12 and general public participants visit the planetarium for educational programming. The planetarium has received national recognition for Dr. Hurd’s inclusion of all learners in STEM objectives.

Considered a pioneer in the field, he has dedicated the last 20 years to producing and implementing tactile astronomy materials for the blind and has facilitated workshops on teaching astronomy to the visually impaired.