Jack Horkheimer Service Award

Photo was taken in 2007 and is provided courtesy of Tippy D'Auria. From left to right are Tippy D'Auria, Jack Horkheimer, and Don Parker.


The Jack Horkheimer Service Award is presented to any Astronomical League member under age 19 on the date of the application.  This program recognizes exceptional service by high school-age League astronomers, either directly or through service to any Astronomical League society.  Service can be in the form of educational outreach, knowledge and skills at public star parties, or other astronomical service.

The award program is named in honor of Jack Horkheimer, the Star Gazer,  who for many years generously supported this program. 

Three service awards are presented:

Horkheimer/Smith Award:

The Horkheimer/Smith Award is named in honor of Arthur P. Smith, Jr.  Art Smith was president of the Astronomical League from 1964-66, and he inspired Mr. Horkheimer to become active in astronomy.  The Horkheimer/Smith first-place winner each year is given an all-expenses-paid trip to ALCon, the League’s national convention. 

The first-place winner receives a plaque and $1,000 check at the convention. All finalists receive complimentary memberships in the International Dark-Sky Association.  In addition, Celestron, Inc. provides one of its outstanding telescopes to the Horkheimer/Smith winner.

Horkheimer/Parker Award:

The Horkheimer/Parker Award is named for Don Parker.  Dr. Parker, a retired physician from Coral Gables, Flori­da, has had a lifelong interest in astronomy.  Among his many accomplishments, he is a past director of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO) and currently serves on the board of that organization. 

Horkheimer/D’Auria Award:

This award is named in honor of Matthew (Tippy) D’Auria.  Tippy is an electronics engineer, and has degrees in electronic engineering technology and computer integrated manufacturing.  He has been an active astronomer since 1980. He is the founder of the Winter Star Party, which is sponsored by the Southern Cross Astronomical Society.

A $1,000 check and plaque is given to the Horkheimer/Parker and Horkheimer/D’Auria first-place finishers as well.

Judges for the program comprise former presidents of the Astronomical League.

Horkheimer and NYA Award Expenses and Reimbursements

  • Travel expenses (typically airfare): The Astronomical League pays only for the youth winner, not either parent. Parents need to pay for their own airfare. 
  • Accommodations: The Astronomical League pays only for the room for the youth winner. The parent can stay with the student if the room is configured to allow that. The student should arrive no earlier than the night before ALCon talks begin and leave the morning after the Awards Banquet. Other nights are strictly at the expense of the student and his or her family.
  • Registration: The Astronomical League pays the ALCon registration, the Star BQ, the Banquet, and any taxi charges from the airport and back (assuming no car rental) for the youth winner and parent. 
  • Car Rental: The Astronomical League allows $100 toward car rental. Some venues offer free shuttle service to and from the airport.
  • Meals: The Astronomical League offers the youth winner up to $30 per day for meals (Star BQ and Banquet meals are already covered, as noted above). 
  • Please give all receipts to either the Astronomical League President, the Awards Chair, or the Astronomical League Treasurer. The receipts will be submitted to the Astronomical League Treasurer for approval and reimbursement.
  • Because of IRS regulations, IRS form W9 needs to be completed by the Horkheimer youth winners before any cash awards and expense reimbursements are given.

Process for Nomination

In order to apply for this award, please complete the application form below and follow the instructions exactly as listed on the application form.  Packets should be emailed in PDF electronic format to HorkheimerService@Astroleague.org.  Additional information regarding the award can be received using this same email address.

Horkheimer/Smith Service Award 2015 application form in pdf format

Horkheimer/O'Meara Journalism Award 2015 application form in pdf format

The 2014 Horkheimer Service Award Winners:



The 2014 first-place winner of the League’s Jack Horkheimer/Smith Service Award, is Hagan Hensley







GE Austin, is first-place winner of the Jack Horkheimer/O’Meara Journalism Award for 2014

Horkheimer Service Awards

Year Horkheimer/Smith Horkheimer/Parker Horkheimer/D'Aurio HorkHeimer/O'Meara
2014 Hagan Hensley     G. E. Austin
2013 Sophia Layey Emma Marie Garrett    
2012 Benjamin Palmer Samantha Carter   Katelyn Skaer
2010 Christian Borao Caroline Moore Catlin Ahrens Rizwan Siddiqui
2009 Ryan Loomis Alilcia Tristan Jordan Bramble David C. Lofts
Year 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
2008 Christina Lee Neal Pearson Mark Sutter
2007 Carter Smith C. J. Wood
2006 Daniel Handlin Esther Li
2005 Benjamin Jones Kelsey Norton
2004 Anna Czoski Alan Aversa
2003 Kayla LaFrance Anna Czoski
2002 Isaac Cambell Kayla LaFrance
2001 Ryan Hannahoe Jonnathan Casselman
2000 Katie Moore Ryan Hannahoe
1999 Adam Forte Sloan Wiktorwicz
1998 Heather Ann Harland Igor V. Fridman