Finding Greatness: Katelyn Dever

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2020 12:00 AM
Categories: Honors/Awards | School of Computing | Finding Greatness | Pressroom

Macon, GA


Katelyn Dever, a fully online student pursuing MGA’s bachelor’s degree in IT, is currently an intern at NASA, working on Command and Control Systems software development.

Full Name: Katelyn Dever.

Age: 30.

Hometown:  Greenville, S.C.

Residence: “I own a home and ‘live’ in Riverside, Calif., but I’m currently staying in Port St. John, Fla., for my internship.  I met my wife in Greenville, and we have also called Dallas, Sacramento, Chicago, and Long Beach ‘home.’”

Family: “My wife, Jessa Dever, is my strongest support system, encouraging me to return to school, and I couldn’t do it without her. We have two shih-tzus, Avett and Rilo.  Our family includes my parents, Steve and Lynne Murrell, my in-laws Rick and Angie Dever, brothers and sisters Patrick and Amanda McGinnis, Stacy Murrell, Haley Dever, and Will and Chelsey Dever, and nephews and niece Brayden, Cooper, Gavin, and Lydia.”

Current Employment: “I’m an intern at NASA!  It’s probably the coolest thing I have ever done.  I work at Kennedy Space Center and my internship involves Command and Control Systems software development.  I’ll get to use a lot of what I’ve learned so far at MGA to develop and analyze code and perform system testing.”

Degree Objective: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Software Engineering.  “I should graduate in May and then hope to start my Master of Science in Information Technology – Software Development at MGA in June.”

Activities: “Academically, I am a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and am pursuing Honors status for my courses this semester.  In my free time, I love to read, sing karaoke, and go to concerts.  I’m also a huge animal lover and recently made the switch to veganism.  My biggest passion, though, is probably traveling.  My wife and I make it a goal to visit four new places every year, whether it be U.S. cities or foreign countries.  I expect we will continue this and even grow it in the future.”

Career Goals: “I want to develop something that has a social impact in some way.  Whether that means creating an app promoting sustainability or contributing to technology that takes humans to Mars, I just want to aid in growth and positive change in some way.  I don’t have a specific company that I want to work for or a dollar amount I need to make, I just want to help in some way, feel like I’m contributing, and that what I’m doing helps future generations.”

She chose Middle Georgia State University because … “I had actually never heard of Middle Georgia State University until I started researching the options for returning to school as a non-traditional student.  I was looking for an accredited program that was affordable and had an online program; MGA checked all of the boxes.  I’ve never even seen the campus, I’ve lived in Illinois, California, and Florida while working on my bachelor’s degree so far and have been able to take all of my courses with no problem.  I’ve even worked on school assignments on vacation in Jamaica.  I love the flexibility that an online program offers.”

The greatest thing she discovered about Middle Georgia State was … “Even though the professors are teaching online, many of them are invested and care about the success of the students, both inside and outside of the coursework.  I’ve been able to learn a lot in my classes, get advice from professors about career decisions, and reach out to them for additional study resources when I want to learn more than the scope of the course.”

Her greatest academic experience as a Middle Georgia State student has been … “My favorite academic experiences are those where I have something tangible to show for my efforts.  Examples include real websites created for my web development course, a working robot in robot programming, a fully developed web app for my senior capstone, and another one for software engineering. As a student, you feel like you’ve really learned and mastered a skillset when you have something concrete to show for it.

“Another example would be every time I am working on a particularly difficult programming challenge or concept for the first time, like the kind you spend hours stuck on and you just can’t quite get it to work the way it should, produce the correct output, or compile without an error message.  Then you have an ‘a-ha” moment’, it functions correctly, and you run around the house screaming ‘I’M A FREAKING GENIUS!’ (..or is that just me?).  By the way, I’m not actually a genius, this happens often, so just keep working hard if you are stuck!  Learning the course material and truly grasping and understanding the concepts are the greatest moments of each course I’ve taken.”

To her, greatness means … “Always striving to become a better version of yourself, no matter how incremental that may be.”

In five years … “I see myself accomplishing all of my goals and setting new ones, traveling the world with my wife, working on a project that I probably can’t even comprehend at this point in my career, and just attempting to be a good human.  I could’ve had the same answer five years ago and checked them all off today.  I feel like this will always be accurate.  Continuous growth and improvement is always something to strive for.”