The Board & Staff

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The Board of Directors

The board of SEDS USA is comprised of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Chair of Council of Chapters, and two Member at Larges. Each position is held for 1-Year increments with the election process occurring at the annual SpaceVision conference.

Position Descriptions

Chair

A proven leader who has a well-rounded idea of not only what it takes to foster and grow an organization but also how to balance that with realistic constraints. The Chair's main duties include but are not limited to:

  • Lead the Board of Directors and SEDS-USA
  • Schedule and preside over regular meetings
  • Coordinate and manage the efforts of Board and Staff members
  • Provide vision for the future of the organization

Vice-Chair

Someone who can take over for the Chair when necessary and be effective at managing the national team. In addition, this officer coordinates partners and sponsors in industry and beyond. The Vice-Chair's main duties include but are not limited to:

  • Manage national fundraising, including for the annual SpaceVision conference
  • Serve as the face of SEDS-USA to industry and organizational partners
  • Ensure effective communication between the Boards of Directors. Trustees, and Advisors
  • Assume the role of Chair when called upon

Executive Director

Treasurer

Someone who really wants to learn about handling the accounting for a national 501(c)3 organization. This is an incredible opportunity for those business/finance/accounting students that are having a hard time finding where their skills fit into the space industry. The Treasurer's main duties include but are not limited to:

  • Ensure continuation of the organization’s nonprofit status
  • Manage SEDS-USA donations and spending
  • Develop and revise an annual budget

Secretary

A student with keen attention to detail that, beyond taking notes during meetings, will keep the national organization running smoothly and help to ensure the communication/preservation of information across the SEDS infrastructure now and into the future. The Secretary's duties include but are not limited to:

  • Keep the machinery of SEDS-USA running smoothly
  • Maintain and reinforce the continuity of information, including note-taking and file management
  • Track and manage membership information

Chair of Council of Chapters

Community leaders wanted! The Council of Chapters Chair is the liaison between the SEDS chapters and the Board of Directors, making real the focus of SEDS-USA on the development of its student members. The Chair of Council of Chapter's duties include but are not limited to:

  • Organize and lead monthly CoC meetings
  • Distribute newsletters to and collect feedback from chapters
  • Facilitate interaction across SEDS’ membership and communicate their concerns to the Board
  • Guide new chapters and connect them with others in their region

Member at Large

Two passionate SEDS members with specific ideas and the drive to implement them at a national level. In addition to vision, a proven track record of successful execution is key. The Member at Large's main duties include but are not limited to:

  • Manage projects and events
  • Take point on new national initiatives
  • Support chapter participation in national activities

Meet the Board of Directors!

Charlie Nitschelm, Chair

Hi Space Team! My name is Charlie Nitschelm and I am the Chair of SEDS-USA for the 2019-2020 term. I am currently finishing up my senior year at the University of New Hampshire where I will be graduating with a BS in mechanical engineering and a minor in physics. I am the lead engineer at my local SEDS chapter, UNH SEDS, where we are planning to compete in the Spaceport America Cup competition in the Summer of 2020 with our custom hybrid rocket engine. After I graduate, I will be moving to LA to start my full-time job at SpaceX as a build engineer for Starship, the next generation vehicle destined to get the first humans to Mars. My job here at the SEDS national level is to expand our reach as a community, connect our students together, and provide more for everyone in our family. Space is the most inspiring industry; it forms connections with people around the world to accomplish a common goal. It is truly cosmopolitan. I am honored to hold this position and do not take it lightly. If anyone reading this wants to ask any questions, or just simply wants to connect, please do not hesitate to shoot me an email or a text.

Contact: Charlie.Nitschelm@seds.org

Libby Loyd, Executive Director

Hello everyone! My name is Libby Loyd and I am the fourth ever Executive Director of SEDS-USA. I began my SEDS journey when a classmate from my Calculus 2 class coerced me with free pizza to attend a SEDS meeting. One meeting was all it took to sell me on the mission and wonderment that is SEDS. That year my chapter, SEDS at Arizona State University, held Spacevision 2013. Having the privilege to host and attend a SpaceVision conference is an experience I recommend to all. It skyrocketed my path and my career in SEDS, as well as in the Aerospace industry. After that, I had the opportunity to attend the NASA Microgravity University at NASA Johnson Space Center, with my SEDS chapter, and fly an Astrobiology experiment in zero gravity studying dust coagulation and the formation of protoplanetary disks. In 2014 I transferred to the University of Oklahoma, where I became president and founder of my SEDS chapter there. Over my time at OU I immersed myself into SEDS and all space-related organizations. I volunteered and held positions with the Center for Space Commerce and Finance, National Space Society, and the Space Frontier Foundation. I spent three years as the Alumni Coordinator and 6 months as Director of Operations for SEDS-USA. I graduated from OU in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Currently, I am working as a Quality Assurance Engineer in the Quality and Mission Success Center of Excellence at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth, Texas. There I spend most of my time working on Aerowide Quality Strategy, Affordability, and am leading the Data Quality portion of the company’s Digital Transformation initiative. I was named Executive Director of SEDS in November of 2019 and can’t express enough how excited and honored I am to serve my term and help the organization grow and flourish over the next few years!

""Contact:"" libby.loyd@seds.org

George Sarkodie, Vice Chair

Hello SEDS Family! I’m George Sarkodie, your current Vice-Chair and Co-Chair of SpaceVision2020 for the 2019-2020 term. I’m a senior at the University of North Texas where I will graduate with a BS in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering. At UNT I work in a Smart Polymer lab where I’m currently doing research using shape memory polymers for various biomedical applications such as gut electrodes and anti-bacterial liners for prosthetics. My recent love for polymers is leading me to a future where I will one day work on the next-generation of spacesuits! I competed in the L’Space Proposal Academy where I lead a team to write a proposal on modeling the hysteresis effect in Shape Memory Alloys for Mechanical Counter-Pressure Spacesuits. I’m an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Diversity Scholar and also the SEDS-USA member for the Alliance for Space Development (ASD), a group of nonprofits who have the passion to influence space policy changes within the US government.

Contact: George.Sarkodie@seds.org

Matthew Barr, Treasurer

Matt-barr.jpg

Hello all! My name is Matt and I come from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. I am a junior mechanical engineering student working as the Treasurer for SEDS USA, a research assistant for the Robotics and Locomotion Laboratory at UMass Lowell, a ground station engineer and web developer for the Lowell Center for Space Science and Technology, and as a Drone Pilot for the Civil Engineering Department of UMass Lowell. I am passionate about space exploration and contributing in any way that I can to the overall knowledge basis that humanity has.

Contact: Matthew.Barr@seds.org

Ian Burrell, Chair of Council of Chapters

What’s good with it Space Fam! My name is Ian Burrell, Chair of the Council of Chapters for SEDS-USA. The Council of Chapters is the organized collection of 80+ US-based SEDS chapters, as chair my job is to oversee activities, collaborations, expansion, and communication between them and the Board of Directors. As a 4th-year at Virginia Tech studying Mechanical Engineering, I have a passion for space engineering and the world of non-profit aerospace organizations. I was president of the VTSEDS chapter and served on the board for three years in various positions. I am currently the Executive Coordinator for the Alliance for Space Development (ASD), a collection of non-profits who advocate for space policy changes within the US government. I am also involved heavily with the Students on Capitol Hill event, which brings SEDS members and other students from across the country to D.C. to assist with the ASD’s political agenda. I consider myself a people-person, and it has been a pleasure working with so many from across the country and world with SEDS projects and activities.

Contact: Ian.Burrell@seds.org

Eitan Lis, Secretary

Contact: Eitan.Lis@seds.org

Obi Anyadiegwu, Member at Large

Contact: Obi.Anyadiegwu@seds.org

Mauricio Martinez, Member at Large

Hello! My name is Mauricio Martinez and I’m holding the position of Member at Large for the 2019-2020 Board of Directors term. I’m a sophomore Pre-Engineering student at Texas A&M International University, which is located right at the border between Texas and Mexico. I will be transferring next semester to pursue a bachelors in Aerospace Engineering. I decided to start a SEDS chapter at TAMIU last summer, and a lot has happened since then. Our chapter is currently working on Level 1 rocketry certification and the design of a two-stage rocket. Also, I was awarded a scholarship to attend SpaceVision 2019, where I had the idea to run for Member at Large. I’m currently in charge of the Chapter of the Month initiative, which awards one chapter per month with a room and four tickets for SpaceVision. I’m available to help out in other projects and would love to give feedback or hear any ideas that you have to make SEDS a better organization for all of us.

Contact: Mauricio Martinez@seds.org

Operations, Projects and Job Site Staff

The board is hardly the entire SEDS USA organization. It takes many staff to make sure our website, sponsored projects, and overall business operations continue to move forward.

Operations Staff

The Operations Staff include:

  • Joalda Morancy, Director of Operations
  • Morgan Kainu, Spacevision Liason
  • Albert Lin, Webmaster
  • Prem Griddalur, Social Media Coordinator
  • Lauren Welsh, Wiki Manager

Development Staff

The Development Staff include:

  • Anand Biradar, Director of Development
  • Elvin Garayev, USA Chapter Expansion Manager
  • Cameron Garey, High School Expansion Manager
  • Ryan Udell, Strategic Partnerships Coordinator
  • Morgan Kainu, Job Site Manager
  • Anthony Razzo, Job Site Developer

Projects Staff

The Projects Staff include:

  • Nicole Chase, Director of Projects
  • Sumayya Abukhalil, SEDS SAT-2 Competition Manager
  • Alex Thornton, SEDS Rocketry Competition Manager
  • Nicole Chase, SEDS SSPI Satellite Competition Manager
  • Justine Walker, SEDS Dove Art Launch Initiative (DALI) Manager
  • Nathan Fallon, Projects Staff

Fundraising Staff

The Fundraising Staff include:

  • Megan Bennett, Director of Fundraising

Board of Directors Alumni

Point of Contact

Lauren Welsh
lauren.welsh@seds.org