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Jones Institute for Educational Excellence


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Dr. Pinky Nelson

Jones Distinguished Lecture Series

Former Space Shuttle Astronaut to Speak at ESU
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2006
CONTACT: Lucie Eusey, leusey @emporia.edu, 1-877-378-5433, 620-341-5372
PHOTO: Available upon request

Dr. George "Pinky" Nelson, a space shuttle astronaut and nationally known advocate for science education reform , will speak at Emporia State University in October. Nelson, the Fall 2006 Jones Distinguished Lecturer, will speak to a variety of audiences while he is in Emporia.

“Dr. Nelson will be speaking to higher education professionals at the Jones Distinguished lecture and luncheon, but we thought this was also a wonderful opportunity to have him share his experiences with as many people as possible. How many of us have had a chance to meet an astronaut?” said Lucie Eusey, coordinator of the event. “On Friday evening, October 27, he will give a presentation in Albert Taylor Hall on the ESU campus that is free, open to the public and geared to audiences of all ages.”

On Saturday Nelson will address the attendees of the Arkansas-Oklahoma-Kansas Section Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers being held at ESU.

“Nelson brings the general public appeal of a former astronaut, the credibility of someone with an advanced degree in a technical discipline, and the humanistic qualities of someone who genuinely cares about science teaching and learning,” said DeWayne Backhus, Chair of ESU’s physical sciences departments.

Nelson flew on three shuttle missions in 1984, 1986, and 1988, and has logged 411 hours of space flight time. He was the first American to walk in space without a tether to a spacecraft. Notably, he was on the space shuttle crews immediately before and after the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster.

Dr. Pinky NelsonHe has served on several prestigious committees dedicated to student learning in science as well as improvement of tools used in space exploration, including the Hubble space telescope.

Nelson currently is Director of Science, Math and Technology Education at Western Washington University and teaches a wide array of courses, from elementary science methods to graduate-level stellar astrophysics.

The Jones Distinguished Lecture is sponsored by The Teachers College and Jones Institute for Educational Excellence. For more information about Nelson’s visit to Emporia, contact Lucie Eusey at 620-341-5372 or 1-877-378-5433, leusey@emporia.edu.