FVCC Graduating its 47th Class

Commencement speaker at ceremony is former professional snowboarder, Google X engineer and FVCC alumnus Andrew Crawford

By Tristan Scott
Flathead Valley Community College graduates outside the Flathead County Fairgrounds. Beacon File Photo

Flathead Valley Community College will graduate its 47th class May 15 during the college’s spring 2015 commencement ceremony. The ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. in the Trade Center at the Flathead County Fairgrounds on 265 North Meridian Road in Kalispell.

During the ceremony, 404 FVCC students will be recognized for completing graduation requirements for the summer and fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters.

FVCC plans to award 388 associate degrees and 69 certificates to graduates for a grand total of 457 degrees and certificates for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The commencement speaker will be FVCC alumnus and Google X systems engineer Andrew Crawford.

A former professional snowboarder, Crawford is a Kalispell native who, at the height of his career, was ranked among the top-10 snowboarders in the world. He competed internationally at several Winter X-Games and was a character in two video games before starting engineering school at FVCC at the age of 30.

While studying at FVCC, he interned at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and eventually graduated with honors with a mechanical engineering major and an aerospace minor at Montana State University.

During his time at MSU, he was accepted to and graduated from the NASA Academy at NASA Ames Research Center, interned as a research associate at NASA Ames and worked with NASA and the U.S. Army on prototype helicopter simulation platforms.

In 2013, Crawford attended the semiannual International Aeronautical Astronautical Congress in Beijing, where he presented his argument for making the Saturn moon Enceladus a top priority for celestial destinations to explore for life in the solar system. He debated fellow would-be space pioneers who favored other destinations, such as the moon, Mars or an interstellar asteroid.

At Google X, Crawford has worked as a systems test engineer on Google’s self-driving car.

For more information, contact Registrar Marlene Stoltz at 756-3846 or mstoltz@fvcc.edu.

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