Fossum appointed vice president and chief operating officer of Texas A&M University at Galveston

220px -fossum _0Texas A&M University graduate and astronaut Michael E. Fossum has been appointed as the new vice president and chief operating officer of Texas A&M University at Galveston. Fossum’s appointment is effective March 1.

Fossum, a 1980 Texas A&M mechanical engineering graduate, recently announced his retirement from the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA). In 2013 Fossum received the Outstanding Alumni Honor Award from the college of engineering.  

Fossum worked for NASA since 1983 and was selected as an astronaut in 1998. He is a veteran of three space flights, logging more than 194 days in space, including more than 48 hours in seven spacewalks. His most recent role at NASA was as assistant chief for the International Space Station.

Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota Fossum grew up in McAllen, Texas. He attended Texas A&M and was a member of the Corps of Cadets, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and receiving his commission in the U.S. Air Force in 1980.  

After completing a Master of Science in systems engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, he was detailed to NASA Johnson Space Center, where he supported space shuttle flight operations.

In 1985, he graduated from Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base and went on to serve first as a flight test engineer in the F-16 Test Squadron and later as a flight test manager at the Air Force Flight Test Center. 

Fossum resigned from active duty in 1992 to work for NASA as a systems engineer. In 1997, he earned a Master of Science in physical science (space science) from the University of Houston ‒ Clear Lake. He retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Reserves in 2010.

Among his many honors and awards, Fossum has received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and two NASA Spaceflight Medals, as well as the U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. 

He is especially proud of his Boy Scout awards, which include Distinguished Eagle Scout, Silver Beaver and Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow.