Ambitious Purdue Northwest Grad Proves Dedication Matters

Ambitious Purdue Northwest Grad Proves Dedication Matters
By: Purdue University Northwest Last Updated: December 22, 2017

From the U.S. Marines to the Purdue Northwest School of Engineering, Mike Marsden has shown continuous determination and dedication to achieving his goals.

The Highland resident moved to Northwest Indiana shortly after completing his tour of duty overseas. He and his wife wanted to be near his Marine Corps friends living in the area and take the next step of attaining a degree. Marsden knew if he attended PNW, he would be getting an education at “the best overall school in the area to study engineering.”

Receiving Support as a Veteran
Upon enrolling, Marsden quickly received the support he needed with assistance from the PNW Veteran Services staff. The staff works directly with veteran students to help them achieve success and create a smooth transition from military to academic life.

“Mike was great to work with and we’re proud of his success,” said Akili Shakur, assistant director of veterans and student services programs. “It is important that we create a supportive community for our veteran students. From academic assistance with one-on-one counseling to time management to employment opportunities, we are working to help them build a strong foundation.”

“The Veteran Services has helped me a great deal with my military benefits during my time here,” Marsden said.

Tutoring Others
In exploring his desire to teach others, a pivotal moment occurred for Marsden when he began studying electrical and computer engineering with Steve Naumov, visiting instructor.

“His class taught me not only how to work hard academically, but it led me to pursue working in the Student Academic Support department as a tutor,” said Marsden.

“The faculty at PNW gave me an appreciation for teaching others,” he said. Inspired by the mentorship he received, Marsden is encouraged to obtain his master’s degree in the near future.

Joining NASA
Marsden knew he had to take action if he wanted to be career-ready upon his graduation. He began searching the internet for paid internships in which he could participate during his summer break. NASA responded positively and Marsden soon found himself spending his time between semesters working at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Columbus, Ohio. He went on to spend three consecutive summers at the space agency working with wind tunnels and learning communications.

The diligence he showed in pursing the internship and then gaining field experience gave Marsden the boost he needed to begin his career.

As he graduated from the Purdue Northwest commencement ceremony Dec. 9 at the Hammond Campus, he has a position awaiting his arrival at NASA. Utilizing the degree he received, a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering with a minor in applied mathematics, he will be begin working in the Communications and Intelligent Systems division under the Research and Engineering Directorate.