Born June 18, 1943, Stephen J. Shawl received his A.B. in Astronomy at the University of California at Berkeley in 1965 and his Ph.D at the University of Texas at Austin in 1972. Throughout his education, Shawl served as a research assistant at the University of California at Berkeley, University of Texas at Austin, and Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona. He was appointed Assistant Professor in the department of Astronomy and Physics at the University of Kansas in 1972.
Shawl also served as a visiting professor/astronomer at the University of Arizona, Cerro Tololo InterAmerican Observatory, and Kitt Peak National Observatory. Research interests for Professor Shawl have included globular cluster dust, variable stars, optical observational astronomy, and astronomical polarization. He has published dozens of articles throughout his career and received numerous grants and awards for his research.
Shawl's numerous professional memberships include the International Astronomical Union, American Astronomical Society, and the American Institute of Physics. Through active participation as a Shapley Lecturer and other guest speaker opportunities, Shawl has been an important voice in the pedagogy of applied sciences. He also co-authored a widely used textbook in Introduction to Astronomy courses at several universities, "Discovering Astronomy."
After over 30 years as coordinator of the introductory and advanced astronomy laboratory courses, Stephen Shawl entered into phased retirement in 2004 and became Professor Emeritus in 2009 at the University of Kansas.
From the guide to the Personal Papers of Stephen J. Shawl, 1930's-2009, (University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library University Archives)