Donald A. Thomas joined the Willard Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Science at Towson University as its director in August 2007. A veteran astronaut, he came to Towson following a 19-year career with NASA.
He joined NASA in 1988 as a materials engineer for the Space Shuttle Program. In 1990 he was selected to be a mission specialist astronaut in NASA’s 13th group of astronauts. He is a veteran of four space shuttle mission and has logged over 1,000 hours in space, completing nearly 700 orbits of the Earth and traveling nearly 20 million miles in the process. He served as a NASA International Space Station program scientist at the Johnson Space Center in Houston where he planned and coordinated numerous science experiments being performed from 2003 to 2006.
He received his bachelor's degree in physics from Case Western Reserve University, and his master's and doctoral degrees in materials science from the School of Engineering at Cornell University. Prior to joining NASA, Thomas was a senior member of the technical staff at the Bell Laboratories Engineering Research Center in Princeton, N.J.
In his new role as director of the Hackerman Academy, Thomas has been visiting numerous schools in the Baltimore area and talking to students of all ages about his experiences in space.
"It is my strong hope that I can pass along some of my own enthusiasm for science and space flight to our next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, doctors, and teachers who are studying in the classrooms today," he said.
More information about Don Thomas is available on the NASA Web site.