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Alumni Spotlight

Darnell Dixon, Arende Keller and David Wiggins
Left to right: Darnell Dixon, Arende Keller and David Wiggins

Virginia State University (VSU) is proud to spotlight three alumnus. They are Darnell Dixon,’06, Arende Keller, ‘05 and David Wiggins,’06. All three gentlemen majored in electronics engineering technology at VSU and all three are currently employed at Orbital ATK. Dixon is a component test lab lead principal engineer, Keller is a principal test engineer and Wiggins is a senior principal test engineer. According to their website, Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, which designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation-related systems to customers around the world both as a prime contractor and as a merchant supplier.

Here’s a brief Q&A with the Trojans.

Where is your hometown?

Dixon: Dinwiddie, Virginia
Keller: Greenwood, South Carolina
Wiggins: Alexandria, Virginia

How did VSU prepare you for your current career?

Dixon: The rigorous curriculum (lectures and labs) at VSU lead by phenomenal professors and an advisor, Mr. Kwame Adom, provided me with the social, technical and professional assets necessary to be a leader in my career.
Keller: VSU enhanced my social skills and the professional forethought to succeed in the engineering and technology field.
Wiggins: VSU prepared me for my current career by providing me with the social, hands-on and professional skills and knowledge to work as a team and strive for excellence.

What was your memorable experience(s) at VSU?

Dixon: I actually have two memorable experiences while attending VSU. The first experience was the day Dr. Johnson asked me to fill in as the Trojan mascot during a home basketball game. As outgoing as I am, I was so nervous and scared to stand in front of so many people while wearing the Trojan uniform. The second experience was the day I graduated and walked across that stage with my fellow classmates who became friends/family while attending VSU.
Keller: My most memorable experience while at VSU was when I met Darnell Dixon and David Wiggins. Also, the day I got the news that I was going to graduate magna cum laude which made my mother very proud.
Wiggins: My most memorable experience at VSU would be our senior project. Our team (Darnell, Antonia McNair and myself) used LabVIEW to create software to control the direction and speed of a Direct Current (DC) motor. We conducted research as well as put in countless hours working to learn LabVIEW. Afterwards, we presented our project to the engineering department.

Currently, Dixon is working in a Master of Science degree in engineering management at George Washington University. Wiggins is pursuing a Master of Science degree in systems engineering at George Washington University.

Keep up that #VSUExcellence Trojans!

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