News Archive

Southeast student Andrew Cavins named to space research team

A student at Southeast Kentucky Community amp; Technical College has been selected as a member of the Kentucky Space Satellite Research team by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, an affiliate of the commonwealths space initiative.

Andrew Cavins, a pre-engineering major at Southeast, was notified recently of his selection to the research team.

A Harlan County resident, Cavins plans to transfer to the University of Kentucky for the fall 2010 term. His appointment to the research team is most unique as he is the sole member from the statewide community college system. Other team members are enrolled at four-year universities across the commonwealth.

The Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, in conjunction with various NASA-related projects, works in harmony with major universities in the state and with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System to design and launch satellites for orbital and deep space study.

The University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Morehead State University are some of the institutions involved with the project where team members will work to study and develop a satellite payload with a ten centimeter cube with a mass of one kilogram.

Cavins will be involved with projects in numerous ways and during the spring 2010 term, he has been engaged in study and support of the team. He will be able to participate initially as a liaison in the educational programs component of the KSTC mission. He will visit public schools in Bell and Harlan counties in an effort to increase skills and interest in math and science among students who may become participants in the Kentucky Space Program.

During a summer space camp, he will work on computations and make observations which will aid the team. He will receive a stipend and be issued with a laptop computer equipped with high-level mathematics applications and research software -- Maple 13. He will also be required to travel in order to participate in scientific research conferences.

SKCTC Professor Dr. Odell Wilson nominated Cavins for inclusion into the program last summer. It is certainly rare that a student from the community college system be chosen for the team, said Wilson. It is a testament to Andrews work ethic and his knowledge of the subject matter that he was chosen. He is working hard to make a meaningful contribution to the team and the project. We at Southeast are honored to have one of our own chosen for such an important post.

Wilson went on to explain that students within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System are eligible to be chosen for the team but Cavins was the first to be selected. The project will include much hands-on work this summer at either Morehead State or at UK. Presently, he meets with members of his team each Friday afternoon via interactive television.

Cavins, once he transfers into the engineering program, will nonetheless retain his research grant. He will enroll at UK after having secured several associate degrees from Southeast. At UK, he will pursue the electrical engineering curriculum.

A graduate of James A. Cawood High School, Cavins, the son of Dewey and Carol Cavins, noted how honored he is to have been chosen for the team. I am so very happy to be able to represent my college (Southeast), and to be able to focus on a curriculum that is relative to the aerospace industry, he said.

I am appreciative of Dr. Odell Wilsons help and for his encouragement as I attempt to realize my dream. Dr. Wilson is my mentor. He is an outstanding educator. I owe him much!

Cavins said that SKCTC students are encouraged to think outside the box. He remarked that Dr. Wilson possesses a rare insight to the universe.

Its very difficult to teach old school yet to be able to inspire and captivate the minds of ones students is a gift, Dr. Wilson has that ability.

As a member of the Kentucky Space Satellite Research team, whose mission is to develop engineers and scientists in the commonwealth, Cavins noted that being chosen was a red letter day in his life.

I am pleased to represent my home area and my college. I have been given a great opportunity -- a remarkable opportunity -- to learn and to grow.