Team Bios

C. Alex Young, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and Editor in Chief

Alex is a Solar Astrophysicist and the Associate Director for Science in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

In this role he is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the Education and Public Outreach team for the division. He works with the EPO teams as a liaison with the NASA offices of Education and Communication. In addition, he works with the division scientists to promote and support their research.

A little bit country, a little bit rockin’ roll. Well not so much country but a lotta bit geek. Alex started this fan page because he has a passion for sharing his little bit of knowledge with all. He has some classic tendencies of sci-fi fan/crazy cat guy. From an early age, Alex was tinkering with his parents stuff taking things apart to figure out how they worked. This curiosity continued on into high school where he built his first laser with which he won an award an international science competition. Alex received an undergraduate degree at Florida State University while working for the now defunct Super Conducting Super Collider. After taking time off to work in the mountains of New Hampshire he went to the University of New Hampshire to study Quantum Chaos Theory. Somehow he instead ended up receiving a Master and PhD in high-energy astrophysics studying cosmic gamma-ray bursts and solar gamma-ray flares. In his spare time he enjoys building a kayak in his garage. He also enjoys running, traveling, watching movies and playing video games.

Alex is available for interviews and speaking. (Topics and ExperiencePhoto)

C. Alex Young

Linda Schenk, aka Virtuallinda

Co-Founder, Marketing Strategist & Designer

Linda Schenk (Virtuallinda) is a marketing strategist, designer & the founder of The Brand Builder Toolbox. She is also co-founder of The Sun Today, an educational community on solar physics and space weather.

She is currently working with the NASA Edge social media team to promote and engage with viewers during the live broadcast of #Eclipse2017 from Carbondale, IL. She previously worked with their team for The Transit of Venus in 2012 from the top of Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

In her consulting business, she works with service-based entrepreneurs, specializing in relationship and referral marketing to attract ideal leads, 24/7. She uses a practical approach to “Simplify. Build. Profit. Repeat.”

Linda also recommends a custom combination of 1-on-1 services including marketing, websites, brand identity, strategy, tech solutions and more. Her skills link together like blocks of Legos to create a custom fit. This ends the cycle of ineffective marketing tactics.

A little bit of her help saves hours of frustration. Many of her clients had some pieces in place, but something wasn’t quite working. Her 23+ years of experience helped her to quickly zero in on the next steps forward to align and refine their brands.

She enjoys yoga, swimming, Zumba & NIA dance, and traveling.

Linda is available for consulting and speaking. Learn more at www.virtuallinda.com »

Linda Schenk, aka Virtuallinda at Kennedy Space Center

How The Sun Today began…

Linda & Alex met at NASA Goddard at the 2009 Yuri’s Night party. They realized they were both creative geeks who loved space.

While they were dating they combined their skills to create The Sun Today Facebook Page. It was exciting when it reached 5000 fans. Little did they know that it would become a big part of their free time & travels together. 

They married in 2012, with a ceremony that included both Star Wars and Star Trek (and ABBA).

They are thankful for all the millions of people who have connected via social media, asking questions & sharing about the sun, space weather & amazing events like the #2017Eclipse.

Honors & Awards

Linda & Alex worked with NASA to promote the Transit of Venus by engaging
with our The Sun Today social media community. The team won two awards:

NASA Headquarters Team Award for the Transit of Venus EPO Team

NASA Headquarters

Transit of Venus Education & Public Outreach (EPO) Team – social media & live webcast. Supported the event with strategic planning, promotional graphics, engaging The Sun Today community & social media posts during the live broadcast from the top of Mauna Kea, Hawaii on June 5, 2012.

Robert H. Goddard Team Award

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Transit of Venus Education & Public Outreach (EPO) Team – social media & live webcast. Supported the event with strategic planning, promotional graphics, engaging The Sun Today community & social media posts during the live broadcast from the top of Mauna Kea, Hawaii on June 5, 2012.

Ryan O. Milligan, Ph.D.

Contributor

Ryan is a solar physicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center working on solar flare observations as part of the RHESSI science team.

Originally from the small fishing village of Ardglass in Northern Ireland, Ryan is very much a country boy. With an intense love of music, Ryan played drums in various rock bands for most of his teenage years. After high school he tried his hand at everything from recording engineering to delivering coal and driving tractor-trailers for his father’s fish business. It was his skills as a truck driver that allowed him to return to college and pursue a degree in astrophysics, which eventually led him to work at NASA. Ryan joined this project because he enjoys sharing his work and love of the Sun and astronomy with the public through education and outreach. When he’s not traveling around the world for work, or chasing solar eclipses, he spends most of his spare time mountain biking and soaking up music at concerts and festivals.

Ryan O. Milligan, Ph.D.