• October 17, 2018

Student Spotlight: Ashton Killen - The Trail Blazer: Life & Arts

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Student Spotlight: Ashton Killen

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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2018 4:57 pm | Updated: 5:13 pm, Thu Oct 11, 2018.

Though cell phones can reach across the world, Ashton Killen has service beyond the stars. 
 
 Killen got her amateur (ham) radio license alongside her mother and father when she was 12-years-old, and now she wants to use these skills, as a second level general license holder, to help those effected by landslides in her community.
 
“There has to be some better way to detect them before they happen,” said Killen, who is from Proctorville, Ohio and majoring in geology at Morehead State University.
 
The same signals used for communication across the globe and space can be used in emergency situations, where there are limited power sources available, making ham radio a crucial skill to have for her future.
 
“My favorite thing is emergency communications,” said Killen. “All we need is a generator, battery pack, anything and we can set up our radio station and we can start communicating, we can start relaying messages doing all this emergency communication, helping out everybody that without us they wouldn’t have any communication.”
 
Not every student has to become licensed for such purposes, and getting certified can also help with networking and finding job opportunities after college.
 
“If you’re applying for a job and you go in for your interview, the boss has a ham and you go ‘hey I have my amateur radio license too,’ you’ve made a connection,” said Killen, president of the Amateur Radio Club.
 
For the first semester of the club’s youth, Killen worked to help people study for their operator’s test, but her work didn’t stop there.
 
The ham club officially became licensed last semester, and Killen has started to work on their next set of goals, which include setting up a ham fest for the spring, where amateur ham radio operators can come and sell radio equipment.
 
“For the next year I really want a ham fest,” said Killen. “I want to get our name out there and I want us known at least regionally as a ham club.”
 
The group meets every Wednesday in the Ronald G. Eaglin Space Science Center on the campus of Morehead State University.