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Michael O’Shea

Michael likes how astronomy can bring people together and inspire them to do wonderful things with their lives. Nothing makes him happier than bringing two neighbours together over a telescope as he shows them Jupiter’s moons from a city sidewalk.

A proud product of the City of Chicago and its public schools, Michael has worked in a range of higher education and public service roles in the U.S. and Canada. In 2014, he and a friend set up a telescope on a cold Canadian sidewalk street corner and welcomed a stranger to peer at Jupiter. This night changed their lives forever, as they went on to co-found an urban astronomy movement called #popscope (

While not peering at the night sky, Michael is working on a PhD in Higher Education at the University of Toronto with a focus on Indigenous student access to higher education on Turtle Island. He embraces his Irish-American roots by playing the accordion and is a big fan of the Chicago Bulls.

He holds a BA (Public Policy Analysis) from Pomona College and a Master’s (Higher Education) from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a Fulbright Student (2011) and New Leaders Council Fellow (2017), and is now a Fellow at Massey College.