Before joining AFIT in 1999, Ries served as professor of physics and director of the Center for Materials Research at Norfolk State University in Virginia. She earned a philosophy doctorate in applied physics from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, with dissertation research conducted at NASA Langley Research Center.
Ries volunteers as the past chair of the Board of Trustees for the Engineering and Science Foundation of Dayton and member of the Martin University Board of Trustees. She is a member of the Higher Learning Commission’s Team Chair Corps and serves as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and adviser for various university initiatives.
In 2011, Ries was the Air Force’s civilian recipient of the Department of Defense Women’s History Month Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Role Model Award. That same year, she also earned the Air Force’s National Latina Distinguished Service Award. The Dayton Daily News recognized Ries as one of the region’s Ten Top Women in 2009.
AFIT is the Air Force’s leader for advanced, multidisciplinary academic education, as well as its institution for technical professional continuing education. A component of Air University and Air Education and Training Command, the institute is committed to providing innovative, defense-focused graduate education and related research, and operationally relevant professional continuing education to sustain the technological supremacy of America’s air, space and cyber forces.
Since 2008, AFIT has been designated as the Air Force’s Cyber Technical Center of Excellence.