In response to student interest, Space Studies is pleased to offer a mentoring program to guide students through their academics at UND. The goal of the mentoring program is to tap into the vast professional experience of Space Studies alumni and current students to help other students in their career paths and academic choices by sharing program experience, career advice, job-search strategies and other tips.
The alumni listed below have offered to mentor Space Studies students. Contact between the mentor and mentee can be in the form of mailings, phone calls, e-mail, or personal meetings. The initial contact to the mentor should be an informal one, by e-mail. It should be kept friendly and light-- the goal is to have both parties at ease with each other.
The outline below is provided to help define the areas in which mentors can assist you. This is not an exhaustive list, but serves as a guide.
Academic Support and Personal Development
Helping to choose courses that will assist you in meeting career goals
Identifying relevant research centers and other opportunities on campus
Assistance with learning effective problem-solving skills
Assistance with identifying strengths and areas of improvement
Encouragement with goal setting and achievement of those goals
Integration between professional work-life, personal life, and degree progression and achievement
Advising on career options
Discussing particular fields of interest
Sharing experiences of working in a particular field
Guiding and supporting through the process of:
Researching internships or summer positions
Selecting specific employers to work for
Developing resumes and cover letters
Preparing for interviews
Introducing you to a variety of information and resources to assist in preparing for specific careers/jobs
Deborah E. Dooley is an honorably discharged veteran of both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard, with over ten years of active duty service and six years of reserve duty including; three years underway treaty enforcement in the Bering Strait on a high-endurance cutter, 12-months isolated duty operating a LORAN-C station on Kure Island, and two tours of duty during the Persian Gulf War (Desert Storm) and Iraqi Freedom with the 250th Artillery Regiment in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Ms. Dooley was awarded a Special Operations Medal in 1991, and was commissioned as a First Lieutenant, Communications – Electronics Staff Officer in the California National Guard in 1997.
A graduate of Cogswell Polytechnic College with a degree in Electronics Engineering and Computer Systems, Ms. Dooley also holds degrees in Engineering Technology and Comparative Literature and several professional certifications. She earned a Masters degree in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota in 2009, and is a charter graduate of the Daniels School of Business 30-week collaborative program, “Execution in a Program Management Enterprise.”
Ms. Dooley is a PhD candidate at the University of Denver, her research focuses on the development of cognitive systems and assistive robotics for the elderly. She is an accomplished classical guitarist, a successful restaurateur, licensed Private Pilot and FCC Radio Operator, as well as a certified International High-Speed Morse Code operator, certified Sky Diver, Wilderness Trekking instructor, and a certified Master SCUBA Diver and PADI Divemaster. Deborah has received five Presidential Volunteer Service Awards (two Silvers and three Bronzes) from the President’s Council on Service & Civic Participation, for her community service in California, New York, and Colorado.
After military service, Deborah spent seven years as an International Oceanic Air Traffic Controller; five years as mission-essential civilian personnel attached to the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron, Osan AFB, ROK, four years as a Nuclear Power Generation Engineer for Advanced Boiling Water Reactors, a year designing and testing underwater digital video housings and High-Intensity Discharge lighting systems for underwater cinematography, and four years at Lockheed Martin Skunkworks on various advanced development programs.
Deborah is currently employed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, in the Civil Space Division, on the NASA Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) as an electrical integrator. Her responsibilities on MPCV include horizontal integration of subsystems (GN&C, ECLSS, Avionics, etc), and engineering analysis of the design, and performance of external & internal electrical interfaces. She aspires to earn a second PhD in Space Studies, SCUBA dive in Antarctica, solo hike the Appalachian Trail, become a space tourist, ride her bicycle self-supported across North America, and retire in the South of France (Hawaii would be ok, too). When time permits, Deborah enjoys sleeping.
Svetlana Shkolyar graduated from the Space Studies distance program in May 2011 with a Master of Science degree. She received a BS in Physics and an MA in Science Track Mass Communication prior to her studies at UND. She has experience in chemical sensor laboratory research
at UNF, solar physics and astronomy at UND as a distance thesis student, and in
astrobiology at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She has also spent time writing
about science for various publications and doing outreach for NASA Goddard. Her
future plans are to pursue a PhD in astrobiology and continue inspiring the public
through communication and outreach activities.
Annie Wargetz graduated from the Space Studies program in August of 2013. She is an example of a mid-life career changer
since she previously worked in a field completely unrelated to the space industry.
A life-long space enthusiast, Annie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the
University of Houston where she focused on Public Relations and Advertising. After
graduating from the University of Houston, she spent nearly a decade conducting adult
education at a software company. She decided to move to North Dakota to pursue an
education in space studies because it is her passion. While at UND, she focused on
human spaceflight and wrote her thesis on the psychological challenges of
long duration space missions.
Annie is currently developing her new career in inspiring the public to get excited about
space again and someday, hopes to get a PhD.
Jim Weichold graduated from the Space Studies program at the University of North Dakota in 2006.
Prior to that he received an AAS degree in Electronic Engineering Technology and a BS in Physics.
After receiving his BS he entered the United States Air Force and retired from the Air Force in 2007.
At that point he worked at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as a test/metrology engineer and a laboratory manager.
With the retirement of the Space Shuttle he was laid off at his position at NASA and shortly
after that started his own aerospace company working contracts for companies such at Lockheed Martin.
Mentees should be mindful that mentors are active professionals and their availability may be limited by professional commitments, the number of mentees seeking advice, and other time constraints. Questions regarding school policy, application forms and deadlines, and degree requirements should be referred to the appropriate advisor in the Space Studies Department after consulting the graduate handbook. Please note that mentors may take a few days to respond to your request due to their professional and personal commitments.