SPACE CENTER --
The University of Southern Mississippi has chosen an experienced
earth scientist and veteran naval officer to take the helm at its
Center of Higher Learning at the John C. Stennis Space Center.
W. Swaykos comes to Southern Miss from the U.S. Naval Academy in
Annapolis, Md., where he is chairman of the Oceanography Department.
Swaykos is the perfect fit for this position," said Dr. Shelby
Thames, president of Southern Miss. "His skills and experience
will serve the CHL well as it continues to meet the academic needs
of Stennis. We are glad to have him on board and look forward to
the advancements he will make."
Dr. Jay Grimes,
provost for Southern Miss Gulf Coast, said Swaykos' education and
experience will serve him well in his new position. "His background
in earth sciences merges well with the mission of the space center
to understand and protect our home planet. That ability to speak
the same language will be invaluable to him as he assumes his new
A native of
Bloomfield, N.J., Swaykos earned a bachelor's degree in oceanography,
a master's degree in systems management, and a master's degree in
meteorology and oceanography.
career in the Navy has been wonderful," Swaykos said. "Now
I look forward to beginning my 'new career' with another great team
- Southern Miss and the CHL at Stennis Space Center. I am truly
honored and humbled to have been selected to serve as director."
awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy
Commendation Medal, and Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He
is married to the former Linda Anne Baiamonte of Toms River, N.J.,
and they have three children.
his new duties as director of the Center of Higher Learning on July
of Higher Learning has a dual mission of offering advanced degrees
and conducting research to complement and support the agencies at
Stennis Space Center. The advanced degrees include three doctoral
degrees, 10 master's degrees, and one certificate program. The research
areas, which include high-performance computing and algorithms,
and geospatial data, have been greatly enhanced by the addition
of a new visualization center in October.