Russell Shilling

Dr. Russell Shilling is a Digital Promise Senior Innovation Fellow funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. In this role, he is responsible for exploring innovative approaches to EdTech development that draw upon his experiences in education, research, and as a former Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Previously, Shilling was appointed by the Obama Administration to the U.S. Department of Education as the Executive Director of STEM Initiatives where he coordinated STEM activities across the Department and the Federal Government. He is a retired Navy Captain and served for 22 years as a Navy Aerospace Experimental Psychologist focusing on training, education and psychological health. He served as an Associate Professor at both the United States Air Force Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School.

Shilling was an early pioneer in the serious games movement as one of the original developers for the America’s Army Videogame project and was responsible for award-winning games for STEM education, medical training, and psychological health. Shilling developed successful and high impact programs to treat PTSD in service members using virtual reality and graphic novel art therapy and also developed programs with Sesame Workshop to help children cope with deployments, injury and grief. These programs have won numerous awards including an Emmy nomination, two CINE Golden Eagle Awards, and a Parents Choice Award. Shilling advocates strongly for improved technology and research for autistic students and adults.

Shilling holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology concentrating on neuroscience from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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