1. What is your hometown?
I am originally from Eureka, Illinois.
2. When did you graduate?
I attended Wisconsin from 2013-2018 as an undergraduate and from 2018-2019 as a graduate student.
3. What was your major and what degree did you obtain?
I completed both my B.S. and M.S in Engineering Mechanics.
4. What are you doing now?
I am currently working as a propulsion test engineer for Sierra Nevada Corporation in Madison, WI. I work primarily at the Badger Propulsion Test Facility located near Baraboo. I work as both a ground support engineer and test operator in support of the Dream Chaser spacecraft’s reaction control thrusters. Simply put, I am living out my dream of testing
rocket engines for a living.
5. Describe a fond memory of your time as a UW student.
I am proud to have been a four-year member of UW Drumline and Badger Band as a cymbal player. During that time, I was lucky to perform at every home football game at Camp Randall, four Packer games at Lambeau Field, two Big 10 Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium, four bowl games in Tampa, Orlando, San Diego, and Dallas, and a Women’s Hockey Frozen Four tournament. My favorite moment was doing a Lambeau Leap after Wisconsin beat LSU at Lambeau Field to open the season in 2016!
6. Why did you choose to attend UW?
I decided to attend UW Madison for many reasons. I was originally drawn to the university for the reputation of the College of Engineering. I also knew that I wanted to attend a Big 10 school to be a member of a Big 10 Marching Band. My decision was cemented when I visited campus on a beautiful spring day and was able to walk around campus and enjoy time on the Terrace.
7. What would you say to prospective students?
Take advantage of all the opportunities given to you outside of the classroom and what is required to graduate. It is these experiences that will both make your time at Wisconsin memorable and give you a head start in your career. My favorite memories and greatest learning experiences didn’t come from inside the classroom, they came from being a member of the Badger Band and working in the Student Machine Shop. These are the types of opportunities that Wisconsin can offer that aren’t available at every university.
8. How would you describe your education from UW?
Being an engineering student at Wisconsin was both a challenging and rewarding experience. Arguably more important than the knowledge I learned while at Wisconsin, was the people I met and the professional connections I made. My education and connections as a Badger engineer allowed to follow my dream of testing rocket engines at companies including SpaceX and Sierra Nevada Corporation.
9. What is a fun fact that people may not know about you?
I train as a weightlifter and can squat over 250 lbs. I also have 9 rats as pets!
10. What did you use the scholarship money for which you received from our chapter?
I want to extend my sincerest thank you to members and donors of the Wisconsin Alumni Association Heart of Illinois Chapter. Receiving a scholarship my freshman year not only helped me financially, it also was an honor to be recognized for the hard work I had put into my education and gave me confidence that I could continue to excel in the future.