, showcasing work by author/artist Betsy A. Riley

More about Betsy

Betsy A. Riley began writing at an early age, producing a neighborhood newsletter when she was 10, complete with movie reviews ("It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" was a big favorite). At 11 she had her first letter to the editor published (correcting his spelling of stalactite and stalagmite). She did her first acrylic painting at age 12, and was the youngest student invited to attend the MSU Honors Arts Workshop. By her sophmore year in high school she had published essays in the Beta Club Journal, and had won county awards for her poetry and artwork.

Betsy's test scores earned her many awards in high school. She won a gold medal from the state of Kentucky for her SAT scores, and was selected as one of ten "Outstanding Young Kentuckians" by the state JayCees. Her scores qualified her for a National Merit Scholarship. The peak honor came when she was pulled out of study hall to receive a telegram from the White House. It was notification that she had been selected as a Presidential Scholar and would be flown to D.C. to receive a bronze medallion from President Richard M. Nixon.

Although she received acceptance letters from several Ivy League colleges, family finances dictated that she attend her home town university. There she majored in mathematics and computer science, but used all her elective hours on the arts: speech, journalism, creative writing, and drawing. Through the university's ham radio club she learned Morse code and got her amateur radio license.

Betsy married for the first time just after graduating Magna Cum Laude with a double major. She completed one semester of graduate work in mathematics before taking a job at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). During her 35+ years at ORNL Betsy worked with leading edge computer technology. She pioneered making computer graphics accessible for graphic artists, and gave many invited lectures in the U.S. and Europe on the subject. She also developed and taught classes in color theory and graphics software. From computer graphics, she transitioned to visualization and then to supercomputing. She developed the management procedures and led User Services for ORNL's newly created supercomputing center. She also developed the center's website, the first to be approved for public access (under information clearance procedures that she wrote).

During her years at Oak Ridge Betsy was active in the local JayCettes, and represented Tennessee at the national Speak Up competition, where she was named second runner up. She got divorced and remarried, and raised four stepchildren. After another divorce and one more brief marriage, Betsy got into ballroom dancing, competing pro-am at the bronze and silver levels. It took over half a century, but Betsy finally found true love, and married Ken barefoot on the beach at sunset -- on Maui! See photos Later Betsy and her fourth husband Ken opened a ballroom dance studio. The studio was sold after Betsy retired from ORNL to take a Federal job in Maryland. Outside of work, she is enjoying writing and illustrating (now with intent), and networking on LinkedIn and the AARP online community.

Publications and Presentations

  c. 2011, B.A. Riley,
  rev 2-7/2/11