Catching up: With two young alums who have five ISU degrees between them

ImageBrandon Williams (’04 aero engr, M.S. ’06, PhD ’09) and Kelly Tanghe Williams (’04 food science and human nutr, Ph.D. ’09) are originally from Maple Grove, Minn., and arrived at ISU as freshmen in 2000. While at ISU they were both involved in the Greek community, leaders of several campus organizations, and heavily involved in graduate research. They currently live in Huntsville, Ala., with their daughter, Annika.

So, what are you up to now?
Brandon currently works as a contractor at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in the Fluid Analysis branch of the Propulsion Engineering department. His work supports NASA’s next generation Space Launch System vehicle through simulation and analysis of the rocket plumes during ignition and liftoff. As a postdoctoral fellow at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Kelly is researching the response to chemical exposures and stressors to determine if these factors have may be related to the development of Gulf War Illness in veterans of the Gulf War of 1991.

How did ISU help lead you to where you are now?
The research opportunities available, and the excellent mentoring we received during our graduate work and participation in the Preparing Future Faculty program, allowed us to pursue our professional interests.

What is your favorite ISU memory?
We often think about walking across campus on crisp, early autumn days, hearing the Campanille playing in the distance.  Our favorite special occasions were Homecoming (Yell Like Hell, Lawn Display) in the fall, and Greek Week (Polar Bear Plunge, Greek Olympics) in the spring.  The community involvement during these events, among both ISU students and Ames residents, generated a lot of unforgettable moments.

How do you “live Iowa State” in your everyday life?
Professionally, we have seen firsthand the influence of the work being done at ISU and how its effects reach beyond the state of Iowa. And proudly wearing our Iowa State gear (and old intramural T-shirts!) has helped keep us connected with the Iowa State family. Through the common bond of time spent at ISU we’ve met several local alumni, or their friends and family, and traded stories about our time at Iowa State.

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One thought on “Catching up: With two young alums who have five ISU degrees between them

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