Student receives nuclear training scholarship

For Immediate Release:  Jan. 5, 2015

BLOOMSBURG — Robert Riley, a senior health physics major from Danville, has opened new doors for future Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania students by becoming the first BU recipient of the National Academy of Nuclear Training Scholarship.

In summer 2014, Riley interned at Exelon Nuclear, one of the nation’s leading competitive power generators. During his internship, he was given the opportunity to travel across the state, working and gaining new skills at various nuclear power plants.

To be selected as a scholarship recipient, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and demonstrate determined work and academic performance, as well as exhibit strong motivation and abilities in their course of study.

Interns from various universities, including Penn State University and University of Pennsylvania, were eligible for the scholarship. “It was good to get in there and compete with the big guys,” Riley said. “I got to show them that a BU student can do the job just as well.”

Riley credits BU’s health physics program for his success. Coordinated by David Simpson, nuclear physics and health physics professor, BU is the only university in Pennsylvania to offer a baccalaureate degree program in health physics. The program combines numerous fields of science to teach the proper methods of protection against potential radiation hazards. “(Simpson) really put the opportunity forward for me,” Riley said, “and he does that for all of his students.”

Being the first BU student to receive the National Academy of Nuclear Training Scholarship, Riley has proven the potential of BU’s students and academic programs. “It makes me proud,” Riley said “to open the door for future Bloom students.” Following graduation, Riley hopes to continue his work in the nuclear power industry doing radiation protection.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.