- Bicentennial Medal (2020)
- National Academies (2009)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
Professor Friel has been on the IU Astronomy faculty since 2011. She previously served as Director of Lowell Observatory, and was for many years the Executive Officer (Deputy Director) for the Division of Astronomical Sciences at the National Science Foundation. Prior to joining NSF, she was Director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory for 5 years and directed Research Experience for Undergraduate programs there and at CTIO in Chile. She was a NATO/NSF Postdoctoral fellow at the Observatoire de Paris, a Plaskett Fellow at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Canada, and the Beatrice Watson Parrent Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Hawaii.
She received her B.S. in Physics at the College of William and Mary, completed the Part III Maths Tripos at Cambridge University, and received her Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Professor Friel has broad research interests in stellar and galactic astronomy. Much of her recent research has involved using star clusters as chemical and dynamical probes of the Galactic disk to address questions of the formation and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy and its stellar populations.
In 2020, Friel received Indiana University's Bicentennial Medal in recognition of her distinguished contributions and longstanding support of the university.