Jason Shilling Kendall: Citizen Astronomer

William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York
Hunter College

Star-Gazing Kindles Autistic Boy's Learning and Speech

June 2014

I was interviewed for this feature while at Cherry Springs Star Party in June 2014. It was an amazing thing to see the young man interacting. It was done by Will Yurman, an excellent journalist for Accuweather.

Will Yurman ventured to Cherry Springs' star party in Pennsylvania and captured the touching story of how star-gazing changed an autistic boy's life. Christian's autism, diagnosed at an early age, left him closed off to people and the world. His passion for astronomy has opened him up to more than just the stars, connecting him to the world around him.

Will Yurman, who has worked in journalism for more than 30 years as a still photographer and multimedia producer. Will was a long-time staff photographer at the (Rochester, New York) Democrat and Chronicle. He also spent three years based in Jerusalem covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. His work has been published in print and online around the world including the Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sydney Morning Herald, Newsweek, Le Monde and NBCNews.com and exhibited at The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. His still photography and multimedia work have been recognized in the Best of Photography and Pictures of the Year International contests, among many others. He is currently a senior lecturer in the College of Communications at Penn State University where he teaches photojournalism and multimedia. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania, with his wife Hilary Appelman and their two children.


William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Amateur Astronomers Association of New York Astronomical Society of the Pacific