Spotlight on Careers


KSU students, both undergraduate and graduate, come to this university to prepare for a challenging and meaningful career. Periodically, it's important to place a spotlight on a few examples of career success from recent KSU graduates:

  • Hershle Ellis, a former mechanical engineering student who graduated in May 2020, accepted a position as a propulsion systems engineer at United Launch Alliance (ULA) in Colorado. At ULA, he is part of a team helping to design the Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle. As a student, he completed two engineering internships, including one at United Technologies Aerospace Systems where he worked on the tower module for the Boeing 747 airplane.
  • Patrick Chopson, who graduated with a degree in architecture, cofounded cove.tool, a design company that is quickly building a sizable following in the field. Chopson and his company have developed software that helps building designers put emphasis on energy efficiency while also reducing construction costs. He has donated the software license to KSU as part of the PCI Foundation grant in hopes that the next generation of architects will have a leg up on the competition by being more technologically oriented.
  • Julia Fortenberry, who as a student won R Day 2019, took a project she started as an intern at AmeriCold, a cold-storage and transport firm, into a full-time analytics position with the company's supply chain solutions group after her graduation in December. During her time at KSU, Fortenberry found an approach to data analytics that could save the company six figures every year. 
  • Joseph Brent Henson, who graduated with a degree in history, was recently promoted by the Georgia Department of Defense to the rank of Colonel. Prior to his promotion, he served as Georgia Army National Guard Lt. Colonel and Director of Domestic Operations for the Georgia Department of Defense.
  • Kelly Linz, a former master's-level student in the Analytics and Data Science Institute, works for Coke 1 North America as an advanced analytics data scientist. She will be returning to campus this fall to assist students in the Applied Analytics Project course, representing her company for a semester-long project. It was her own work in this course at KSU that led to her being hired. 
  • Lauren Reed, an Executive MBA grad, has spent much of her career working in forensics and biometrics technology to identify national security threats. She recently won the 2020 Women in Biometrics award given out by SIA, the largest trade association for security professionals. She received it for her work in the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, and in her current role as senior program director for biometric forensics at IDEMIA National Security Solutions. 

For the students who are planning for future success – as well as the alumni who are taking the next steps in their careers – KSU's Department of Career Planning and Development is a valuable resource for finding new job connections. KSU works hard to provide students with the tools they need for developing successful careers. With resources ranging from career and internship fairs to one-on-one career planning to hands-on workshops, this pivotal KSU unit has the interests of students firmly in mind. Learn more about what they have to offer at

Pamela Whitten


Written By Whitten