Keynote Speaker Announced – Farmville

Fuqua School will hold commencement drills for the Class of 2022 on Friday, May 27 at 6 a.m. on the upper school campus lawn. In keeping with the tradition of inviting alumni to deliver the keynote address, this year’s guest speaker will be Dr. Thomas “Thom” E. Pinelli. One of five brothers, Dr. Pinelli grew up in Farmville and graduated from the Prince Edward Academy class in 1965.

Dr. Pinelli joined NASA in 1974 and retired with 39 years of mid-to-senior management, leadership, and research experience. NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton was his primary duty station; secondary duty stations included NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. His management and leadership positions included Chief, Visual Imaging Branch; Deputy Chief, Research Information and Applications Division; Chief, Technical Information Division; Director, NASA Distance Learning Center; Deputy Director, NASA K-20+ MODSIM (STEM) Education, Training, and 21st Century Workforce Development Initiative; and Special Assistant, Director of Administration, Executive Office of the President, Washington, DC. He retired as an Academic Affairs Officer from NASA Langley where he was responsible for undergraduate and graduate internship programs, the summer faculty research program, and the postdoctoral research program. His many NASA honors and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal. Notable external recognitions include Letters of Appreciation from the Executive Office of the President of Washington, DC and the Governor of Virginia. Pinelli obtained his doctorate. in Information Science from Indiana University, Bloomington. He holds graduate degrees from Old Dominion University, Clemson University, Catholic University of America, and Golden Gate University. His research focuses on modelling, simulation and synthetic learning; scientific and technical communications; the information-seeking behavior of engineers (as opposed to scientists); information and technology policy; and dissemination of aerospace knowledge. He is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications and co-author of Knowledge Diffusion in the US Aerospace Industry: Managing Knowledge for Competitive Advantage. He is a Fellow of the Society of Technical Communication and an Associate Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. His academic achievements and contributions have been recognized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Association for Information Science and Technology, the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Society for Technical Communication and the Special Library Association. In 2003, he received an Emmy® Award from the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences for the middle school math instructional series, NASA CONNECT™. Pinelli resides in Yorktown and is a York County/Poquoson Master Gardener.

“We are thrilled and honored that alumnus Dr. Pinelli has agreed to be part of this year’s commencement drills for the Class of 2022,” said school principal Paul “Chance” Reynolds. “Dr. Pinelli’s life achievements are remarkable and will no doubt inspire our students to realize their own limitless individual potential.

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