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Former NASA Astronaut, Jim “JR” Reilly, PhD, Joins APUS as Dean of the School of Science and Technology

Charles Town, W.Va., January 13, 2010 – Former NASA Astronaut, Jim “JR” Reilly, PhD, has joined  American Public University System (APUS) as Dean of the School of Science and Technology. APUS is an online university system that serves more than 50,000 working adults worldwide. Dr. Reilly will manage seven program areas in the School, including Math, Space Studies, Environmental Science and the development of future programs.

Dr. Reilly will enhance the capability and practice of offering labs at a distance and further build the faculty in the School of Science and Technology to support the student growth in those programs.  He will also lead the Space Studies program.

Prior to joining APUS, Dr. Reilly enjoyed a long career at NASA, where he logged 850 hours in space with 5 spacewalks on three Space Shuttle missions. Before his NASA experience, he spent 17 years in the petroleum sector as a manager and exploration geologist in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Reilly also serves as the curriculum developer and instructor for the US Navy in Space Operations working via the Advanced Space Operations School operated by the Air Force.

“We are extremely pleased that JR has joined the faculty at APUS,” said Karan Powell, PhD, Academic Dean and Senior Vice President at APUS. “His first-hand knowledge of aerospace and extensive research in geosciences will greatly enhance student experience at APUS. We look forward to his continued contributions to our growing university system.”

Dr. Reilly is a speaker and instructor for team and leadership training activities for companies and organizations throughout the world. His clients have included General Mills, Small Planet Foods, US Marshals Service, FBI, Subsea UK, BP, the CIO 100, and numerous universities and professional groups. He has also been active in educational outreach dedicated to delivering science and math literacy efforts to schools in the US, UK and Australia.

Dr. Reilly received a BS, MS and PhD in Geosciences from the University of Texas in Dallas. He received his PhD in 1995 for work on the geological controls for the distribution of chemosynthetic organisms in the deep water regions of the Gulf of Mexico.