Andrew O'Reilly

“Life is a journey, not a destination” – a universality I struggle to realize. After 21 years in a non-academic career, God has put me squarely in the midst of higher education. This “assignment” is the latest lesson in the journey. Finding the way along the journey is difficult, very difficult. The world tells you it’s not, making you feel inadequate as you stumble. There is no “recipe” to follow – of this I am certain as I like recipes and have tried many unsuccessfully. But when I have followed Jesus, He has provided each ingredient at the right time and in the right amount. I have not needed to know what comes next! About a week before I received an email that would lead, exactly 4 months later, to my family moving from our comfortable life in Orlando, Florida, to Oxford, Mississippi, I came across this Bible passage (not accidentally, of course): “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” (John 12:24-25, The Message). I had to let go of and bury my plans, where I could not see or follow them, and only in that way can I follow God’s plans. The reward? Life – REAL (in this world) and ETERNAL (with the Lord). The journey continues to be difficult. Yet, as I realize that God has my destination, the blessings flow.

My Life

Favorite Quote

"All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit
quiet in a room alone." Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
Pascal was a devout Christian and an outstanding scientist and mathematician -- check him out!

Friends describe me

as easy going, introspective, perseverant.

My hobbies

Bonsai, amateur astronomy

Fantasy dinner guests

John Wesley, Martin Luther King, Jr., Theodore Seuss Geisel

Best advice I ever received

Have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ

My undergrad alma mater

Auburn University

My worst subject in school

Dynamics. I had an "F" at midterm, the lowest grade in the class!

In college I drove

a 1979 Plymouth.

If I weren't a professor, I would

be a museum curator or librarian.

Favorite books

The Great Gatsby

Favorite movies

Meet Me in St. Louis, Grease, Inside Out

Favorite city

Bar Harbor, Maine

Favorite coffee

I'm not a coffee drinker.

Nobody knows I

would like to learn to play the banjo some day.

Current Research

I perform research in the geoenvironmental subfield of geological engineering, focusing on processes in shallow, heterogeneous, geologic environments in Earth's Critical Zone that govern aquifer recharge and groundwater quality. I endeavor to use knowledge gained from my research to develop and implement engineering solutions for maintaining and enhancing groundwater quantity and quality while fostering sustainable development within a wide range of geoenvironmental challenges facing society.