Minot State to honor Pinnick for Academic Hall of Fame

MINOT, N.D. – Minot State University’s Academic Hall of Fame committee will honor its 2019 inductee Veronica (Cavallo) Pinnick ’04 at the MSU Student Center Conference Center Friday, Oct. 4.

A social begins at 3 p.m. with a short program set for 3:30 p.m. Hor d’oeuvres will be served. The social and program are free and open to the public. Contact Celeste Simmons, administrative assistant in Academic Affairs, by EMAIL for more information or see attached POSTER.

Pinnick is currently an Integration and Test Manager at NASA Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.  She was the first speaker in the University’s newly adopted Alumni Speaker Series in March.

She joins eight others in the Minot State Academic Hall of Fame. Robert Hubbard was inducted in 2014, Kim Baldridge in 2013, Robert Holmen and Joe Alme in 2012, and Carrie Forshner Evans, Lisa Feldner, Delane C. Kristky, and Rosanne Olson were a part of the inaugural class in 2011.

“Minot State is proud to induct Dr. Veronica Pinnick into its Academic Hall of Fame,” said Minot State Vice President for Academic Affairs Laurie Geller. “Her remarkable work with NASA is just one of the many reasons she deserves this honor. She also inspires others as a mentor and passionate advocate for science, education, and outreach. Still early in her career, I cannot wait to see what she does next. Congratulations, Veronica!”

Pinnick earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Minot State in 2004. Following graduation, she attended Texas A&M where she completed a doctorate in analytical chemistry in 2009. It was at Texas A&M that she studied under renowned professor Emile Schweikert, a leading researcher in time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Pinnick was tasked with developing instrumentation that could measure nano-particle materials.

Upon completing her Ph.D., she had offers from major companies around the country including a lucrative offer from tech giant, Intel. Instead, Pinnick took a shot on a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Under the guidance of professor Bob Cotter, Pinnick had a chance to work on the development of a mass spectrometer for NASA.

Pinnick finished work on a highly advanced mass spectrometer for the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) that will be sent into space in 2020 as part of the Exo Mars Rover’s mission to Mars in June. She is transitioning into two new missions, Plankton, Aerosol, Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) and a project for Mars Sample Return.

Information on PACE and Mars Sample Return can be accessed via NASA’s website.

Induction into the Minot State University Academic Hall of Fame honors meritorious service in an academic discipline and highlights the accomplishments of our most distinguished alumni. Nominations may be made by any individual or organization, either within Minot State University or from the community at large. Nominees must be Minot State alumni who completed a significant portion of their education at Minot State, gone on to complete an advanced degree, and made a substantial contribution to the advancement of their field of study.

More information on the Minot State Academic Hall of Fame, including past winners and to nominate individuals, can be accessed ONLINE.

Along with the reception and social, Pinnick will speak at the Minot State Board of Regents meeting on Friday, Oct. 3 and attend the MSU Alumni Association’s social at the Clarion Hotel Friday evening, before being in the Homecoming Parade Saturday, Oct. 4.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 09/25/19   

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