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Launching Careers: Space Dynamics Lab Celebrates Class of 2022 Graduating Student Employees

May 2, 2022

Fifty-one student employees at USU's Space Dynamics Laboratory will graduate with 55 degrees this week. Five members of the Class of 2022 graduating student employees are pictured in this April 27, 2022 photo. From left to right are Cole Hendrickson (BS, Computer Engineering), Allie Oborn (BS, Computer Science), Tiffany Durrant (BS, Chemistry and BS, Chemistry Teaching), Brian Callister (BS, Computer Science), Korbin Keller (MS, Mechanical Engineering). (Credit: Kelden Petersen/SDL)

NORTH LOGAN, Utah, May 2, 2022 — Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory announced today that 51 of its student employees will graduate with degrees ranging from engineering to rhetoric during USU’s 135th commencement and college ceremonies on Thursday, May 5, and Friday, May 6, 2022.

More than 150 student employees from USU work together with approximately 1,000 engineers, scientists, technicians and business professionals at SDL while earning their undergraduate and graduate degrees. SDL provides unique opportunities for student employees to work on programs of national significance to help solve technical challenges faced by the military, science community and industry.

“Student employees from USU serve as a vital auxiliary to SDL’s professional workforce. Theoretical discussions within USU’s classrooms are put to practical, real-world applications at SDL facilities, where students work side by side with some of our industry’s leading professionals,” said Dr. Jed Hancock, president of SDL. “Under the tutelage of seasoned aerospace and defense experts, students regularly help build small satellite technologies that explore the cosmos, code important software for national security applications, support various business functions, and perform many other services to ensure our customers’ missions succeed. We are proud of our graduating Aggies.”

Student employee Sam Christensen is an engineering assistant within SDL’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Systems division. He will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering this week.

“At SDL, I’ve had the opportunity to work on cutting-edge technology with an excellent engineering team,” Christensen said. “My supervisors and program managers are supportive of my personal development and are flexible with my schedule as a student employee. The skills and experience I have gained at SDL have built my confidence as an engineer and inspired me to accomplish more in my work.”

Fifty-five degrees will be conferred to SDL’s 51 graduating student employees during USU’s college convocations and hooding ceremonies this week. Of the graduating student employees, 10 will receive master’s degrees and 41 will receive bachelor’s degrees from the College of Agriculture & Applied Sciences, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, College of Engineering, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, and College of Science. Class of 2022 SDL student employees will receive the following degrees:

  • Mechanical Engineering (12)
  • Computer Science (11)
  • Electrical Engineering (5)
  • Computer Engineering (4)
  • Accounting (3)
  • Data Analytics (3)
  • Aerospace Engineering (2)
  • Chemistry (2)
  • Mathematics (2)
  • Physics (2)
  • Agricultural Education (1)
  • Business Administration (1)
  • Chemistry Teaching (1)
  • Human Resources (1)
  • Information Systems (1)
  • International Business (1)
  • Statistics (1)
  • Technical Communication & Rhetoric (1)
  • Technology Systems (1)

“SDL has provided much more than just a student job. SDL has been a place to learn, grow and build long-lasting relationships,” said SDL Human Resources Assistant Sami Trane, who will receive a master’s degree in human resources. “My experience here, coupled with my degree, has equipped me with a diverse tool kit to help launch my HR career. I am very grateful for the opportunity I’ve been afforded and for my mentors at SDL who guided and encouraged me.”

During their time at SDL, student employees receive additional opportunities to enrich their learning experience. Ten graduating students are also SDL Student Scholars. Established in 2015, SDL’s Student Scholar program provides unique, substantive and meaningful experience to increase students’ knowledge, skills and abilities. SDL Student Scholars exemplify excellence by maintaining a high grade point average, attending training sessions, participating in outreach, and completing a high-level project within the organization. Each Student Scholar is required to develop and execute a unique project that benefits the teams they are working with at SDL. After completing their projects, the Student Scholar candidates present their work to SDL executive management.

USU’s academic procession and commencement ceremony will be 9 a.m. May 5 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, with college ceremonies on May 5 and 6. Please visit USU’s commencement website for a list of college convocations and hooding ceremonies and ticketing information. Tickets are complimentary and required for college ceremonies. Tickets for USU’s general academic procession and commencement ceremony are not required.

Since 1959, SDL has been solving the technical challenges faced by the military, science community, and industry and supports NASA’s mission to drive advances in science, technology, aeronautics and space exploration to enhance knowledge, education, innovation, economic vitality, and stewardship of Earth. SDL is a research laboratory headquartered in North Logan, Utah, and has offices in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Dayton, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Huntsville, Alabama; Los Angeles, California; Stafford, Virginia; and Washington, DC. For more information, visit


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