Patricia Reily
Patricia Reily
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Engineering-209 has been transformed to a welcoming office with magazines, cookies and a welcome sign on the door thanks to Patricia Reily, the room’s new occupant.

Reily is the College of Engineering’s new veterans’ internship coordinator, a position funded through the National Science Foundation SERVICE (Success in Engineering through Internship and Career Experience) grant.

Matchmaker of sorts

The SERVICE Program’s goal is to place engineering veteran students into internships with industry partners. Reily’s focus is to develop solid relationships with companies who can benefit from the employment of veterans. She will then place engineering students who are military veterans in internships that are right for them. 

“It’s a win-win,” Reily said of the benefits to both students and industry. “I feel like a Hollywood talent agent.” 

Her goal is to not only help engineering veteran students improve their futures, but to positively impact the future of San Diego’s engineering industry.

From journalist to the military

A Minnesota native, Reily is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s journalism program. She worked for a weekly newspaper in Minnesota where she contributed to photography, ad copy, writing, design and management before she decided to join the U.S. Navy.

In the Navy, Reily attended officer candidate school in Newport, RI, and was then stationed in the San Francisco Bay area as an educational services officer. The Navy then sent Reily to the Navy Post Graduate School in Monterey, where she received a master's degree in management. She wrote the Navy’s first policy on sexual harassment as part of her master’s thesis. She also received a master's degree in strategic planning from the Naval War College in Newport, RI.

After 20 years in the Navy and living in places like London, Japan and the Philippines, Reily retired as a Navy commander. After leaving the Navy, she worked for Americorps, and moved to San Francisco to pursue a doctorate degree in education at the University of San Francisco. While there, she founded and ran a program where university students served as tutors and mentors for children living in affordable housing complexes.

More about Reily

Reily moved back to San Diego a few years ago. Along with her new position in the College of Engineering, she teaches organizational behavior at the University of San Diego and is publishing a book that collects leadership stories from people in the Navy. 

When Reily does have spare time, she likes spending time with family and friends, cooking, reading, going to the movies and walking her dog.

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