Meet Dr. Stephanie Fiorenza

Dr. Stephanie Fiorenza, an individual deeply committed to advancing scientific knowledge and serving others, has a wealth of diverse experience in astrophysics, education, and community service. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Astronomy and Astrophysics, along with minors in physics and mathematics, in just three and a half years from Pennsylvania State University by the age of 21, Dr. Fiorenza demonstrated an eagerness to swiftly pursue her academic goals. She completed a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the CUNY Graduate Center by age 28, followed by a Certificate of Online Teaching and Learning from the College of Southern Nevada the following year, reflecting a commitment to professional development and a willingness to learn new tools to become a more effective educator in her field.

Additionally, Dr. Fiorenza completed an MBA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, by age 32, broadening her skill set and preparing to one day help her father open Fiorenza Winery. She is an active member of the UNLV Wine Society, where she engages in deepening her understanding of winemaking history and techniques while refining her palate through wine-tasting experiences.

As a tenured Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the College of Southern Nevada, Dr. Fiorenza strives to create inclusive learning environments, utilizing innovative teaching methods such as cutting edge video lectures and inquiry-based learning to support students from diverse backgrounds and who have a wide range of needs.

Moreover, since 2016, Professor Fiorenza has been listed as a Co-Principal Investigator of the Nevada NASA EPSCoR Undergraduate Student Research Program, aiming to provide underrepresented students with authentic research opportunities in STEM fields. The significance of the NV NASA EPSCoR Student Research Program cannot be overstated, particularly for students at the College of Southern Nevada. In a landscape where opportunities for undergraduate research are often limited and fiercely competitive, this program levels the playing field for underrepresented and minority students, who are often not given the same opportunities to gain research experience as more privileged students.

Dr. Fiorenza is dedicated not only to providing quality education to underrepresented individuals in her community, but also to giving back in other valuable ways. Stephanie volunteers with the Junior League of Las Vegas, where she supports initiatives to empower underprivileged youth and foster community connections. Stephanie has also served as the social chair for the past two years. In this role, she has organized both casual gatherings as well as educational outings, such as providing solar glasses for solar eclipses and arranging visits to the College of Southern Nevada Planetarium, aiming to foster a sense of community and camaraderie among the members of the Junior League of Las Vegas.

Furthermore, Dr. Fiorenza actively participates in the Alpha program at her church, facilitating discussions that bring people of all backgrounds together to explore life’s big questions. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys exploring new restaurants and cities, appreciating the beauty of nature while hiking through national parks, reading, and taking exercise classes in the hot room.

Through her various endeavors, Dr. Stephanie Fiorenza remains committed to lifelong learning, service, and making a positive impact in her community.