News & Stories
Kaitlyn Kosten
December 16, 2021

Dual-Degree Engineering Student Reaches for No-Limit Career

Kaitlyn Kosten is intent on soaring in her career — specifically as a mission specialist. But to get there, she is taking grounded, purposeful steps to reach her goal. “This is a very challenging and selective path, so I’m also interested in becoming an aerospace engineer for either NASA or a private space company like SpaceX or Virgin Galactic,” she says.

To reach the stars, so to speak, Kaitlyn enrolled in dual-degree engineering (DDE) at Berry. She works as a research assistant and holds an internship with The NASA Lucy Student Pipeline Accelerator and Competency Enabler (L'SPACE) Mission Concept Academy. She’s also working as a social media intern for SpaceVIP, a private organization providing resources for those seeking knowledge about space technology.

Q. Why did you choose the DDE program at Berry?

A. This program offers the unique opportunity to pursue two different degrees in five years — at both a small liberal arts school, like Berry, and a large technical institution, like Georgia Tech. Personally, I chose to partake in the DDE program because I believe that having an education in physics as well as aerospace engineering will make me a valuable worker in the space industry.”

Q. How did your Berry experiences prepare you to participate in L'SPACE Mission Concept Academy?

A. I knew that previous physics students had partnered with NASA for various opportunities, so I began looking into the programs that NASA offers. I credit my acceptance partially to the opportunity I’ve had to conduct research with Dr. Todd Timberlake and to the group experiments I’ve participated in throughout my various physics classes. Without these experiences, I don’t think I would have been considered a worthy candidate for the L’SPACE program.

Q. What is the topic of your honors thesis?

A. My honors thesis focuses on the apparent diameter of the planets in the night sky! It’s been really fun to look into the historical measurements, then compare them to measurements I made myself using an apparatus that I built.

Q. How are Berry faculty shaping your personal and professional development?

A. Dr. Timberlake started out as my BCC instructor when I came in as a freshman. From there, he turned into my academic advisor, my professor, my research mentor, my honors thesis advisor and my internship advisor! Part of what makes Berry’s program unique are the incredible professors in the physics and math departments. They genuinely care about our education and our careers, and I couldn’t imagine learning from anyone else. My success is only because professors like Dr. Timberlake, Dr. Zachary Lindsey, Dr. Charles Lane and Dr. Ron Taylor have had faith in me from the moment I came to Berry!

 Back to Top

Footer Menu