HerStory: April R. Gillens, Ph.D. Meet April R. Gillens, Ph.D.

April R. Gillens, Ph.D., senior physical scientist at the Government Accountability Office

April R. Gillens, Ph.D.

Current Position: Senior Physical Scientist at the Government Accountability Office


  • B.S., Biological Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University
  • M.S. and Ph.D., Environmental Engineering and Science, Clemson University


  • 2016 – First African-American to earn a doctorate in Environmental Engineering and Science at Clemson University.

Areas of Interest: Nuclear forensics, nuclear modernization and sustainment, environmental cleanup

What are some of the challenges that you have faced in our own study?

"The truth is, I've had many failures. But it's pushing through those failures and those challenges that have made me the successful person that I am today."

Past ORISE Participant:

  • 2018 – 2019 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology (S&T) Policy Fellowship, Sponsor: U.S. Department of Defense
  • 2008 – 2016 Department of Homeland Security Scholarship and Nuclear Forensics Fellowship Program