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[i]After traveling in space and orbiting the Earth, Donald Thomas decided to encourage young students to become math and science majors in the Baltimore area.
Thomas started as director of the Willard Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Science in the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics Aug. 1.[/i]
[b]Academy of Mathematics and Science lifts off with astronaut director[/b]
Towson University President Robert L. Caret announced the appointment of Donald A. Thomas as Director of the Willard Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Science at Towson University. Thomas currently serves as a NASA International Space Station program scientist at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
As a veteran astronaut he flew on four Space Shuttle flights, logging nearly 45 days in space. Thomas received his B.S. in physics from Case Western Reserve University and his M.S. and Doctorate in materials science and engineering from Cornell University. He has extensive leadership experience in scientific operations, training and teaching and is uniquely qualified to lead the Willard Hackerman Academy. The academy's mission is to attract and retain more students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines through professional development and mentoring for science and math teachers.
"I am proud that Towson University is able to attract a strong leader and spokesperson like Don Thomas. His accomplishments are inspiring, and his leadership will bring much-needed attention to STEM education. Universities must take an active role to ensure that America remains competitive in science and technology. I am very pleased that Don Thomas will be on board to help Towson University enhance our role," said Dr. Caret.
The Hackerman Academy was established in 2006 through a generous gift from Willard Hackerman, president and CEO of Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. The academy is housed within the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics on the campus of Towson University.
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