Connor Martini

Connor Martini is a PhD Candidate in Religion at Columbia University. Martini received his BA in Religion from Vassar College in 2014. After three years working for a nonprofit women’s college in Rwanda, Martini joined Columbia University in 2017, earning his MA in 2019 and MPhil in 2021. His dissertation, “The Evidence of Things Not Seen: Presence and Wonder and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” is an ethnographic study of the astronomers and astrobiologists looking for life in the galaxy. Martini aims to demonstrate how this scientific project, defined by the relationships forged between practitioners and the yet-unseen presences for whom they search, can be more fully understood through the tools and rubrics of religious studies. He has also made pedagogical training in tools and strategies for inclusive teaching a priority during his graduate studies. Over his nine teaching appointments, Martini has endeavored to create a classroom environment in which all students feel comfortable, supported, and capable.

Return to Teaching Awards