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Student Spotlight: The Ultimate Summer Vacation


Mr. Robert Will is a second year, Electrical Engineering Technology student, at J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College.

Although Mr. Will presents himself as a quiet and studious young man, when asked to describe his summer vacation there was a definite shift in his demeanor from subdued to energetic.  Robert spent the summer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, representing Drake State as an intern at the Configurable Space Microsystems Innovations & Applications Center (COSMIAC) Research Laboratory. COSMIAC is a congressionally established space electronics center at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. COSMIAC serves as a Tier-2 Research Center at the School of Engineering, and is also a Drake State academic partner.

Although Mr. Will was challenged with various projects during his six-week internship, the project that was of most interest to him involved work with a Helm Holtz Cage. The device was used to create a magnetic dead zone while testing navigation capabilities in outer space or a zero gravity environment.  Robert really enjoyed working on this project and found it difficult to narrow down favorite aspects to just one specifically. “Being given free rein to brainstorm and develop was liberating!” said Robert about this opportunity. “It gave great insight on how the real world works.”

The summer of 2014 was the ultimate summer vacation for Robert. Not only did he take advantage of an opportunity to receive valuable professional training, and to enhance his education, the internship also included a $10,000 stipend.

Mr.Will has been employed with Adtran for approximately one year and is currently saving up for his next undertaking: attending a four-year institution.  He plans to earn a Bachelors degree, followed by a Masters degree in the field of Engineering.


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