Atlanta University Center Consortium

Five AUC Freshmen Place Second in ILI T.I.M.E. Challenge

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Pictured left to right: Zelalem Tenaw, Carter Bowdoin, Leoul Tilahun, Stephen Seymour and Nicolette Barriffe.

Five, first-year dual degree engineering students placed second in  a high-level science, technology, engineering, math, and entrepreneurial activity to “imagineer” innovative practical uses and business models for NASA technology in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Nicolette Barriffee, electrical engineering, Clark Atlanta University; and Morehouse College students Carter Bowdoin, mechanical engineering; Stephen Seymour, mechanical engineering; Zelalem Tenaw, computer science; and Leoul Tilahun, computer engineering, along with 20 students from historically Black colleges and universities, minority serving institutions, and institutions of higher learning, took on the task to take existing NASA-patented technologies to the marketplace in the Institute for Local Innovations T.I.M.E. Challenge.

The students second-place winning for their Riverside Water Purification landed them  $750 plus a $250 book stipend for each student.

NASA is challenged with hundreds of patented technologies ready to be taken to the marketplace, and too few entrepreneurs ready to move them.

New Orleans-based ILI Inc., in collaboration with Atlanta-based Liquid Studios design firm, is brings a High Impact Practice to HBCUs across the country by way of the ILI Technology Implementation Market Engine Challenge. This innovative student engagement program invites individual students, teams of HBCU students, as well as students from other colleges and university led by HBCU students to participate in the program.

In addition to the winnings, participating students receive mentoring from industry experts, via the Liquid Studios network (www.liquidstudios360.com) and others, to increase student knowledge, skills, and career interests in economic sectors aligned with NASA-patented technology identified by ILI.

Check out the competition in pictures.

Not Just for Eating, Potatoes Make Engineers

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M-T co-hosting the April 2017 AUCC/DDEP Awards Ceremony.

Middle school marks a milestone in life for many young minds. For Marcus-Tor Strickland, it marked a career turning point. After performing a sixth-grade science project, his trajectory was to become an engineer.

“I didn’t know what I was doing was called engineering,” said the dual degree engineering alumni who graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in mathematics and an electrical engineering degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. “I just liked lighting up a light bulb with a potato.”

M-T, as he prefers to be called, has moved beyond “potato electricity” to managing large-scale business and manufacturing processes and quality analysis and improvements for Fortune 500 companies such as Clorox, Nucor, GM and Time Warner. Today, he is a business development engineer for Murata Electronics, a global designer, manufacturer, and supplier of advanced electronics materials and components, and multifunctional high-density modules.

Imbued with a heart to serve, M-T’s service work began as a youngster by volunteering with Hosea Feed the Hungry. Through service, he strives to be the “most valuable man in the world.”

“Not through monetary or material gains, but in a way I can positively impact everyone I come in contact with,” said M-T, who feels his desire to help others has led to his success as a corporate and community leader. “Every skill I take to work, every piece of knowledge I have gained, has been forged and hardened through community volunteer work.”

M-T at Missouri University of Science and Technology

Some of his volunteer work includes advising an i21 STEM NSBE Jr. Chapter, a group of aspiring engineers supported by the Atlanta University Center National Society of Black Engineers’ chapter, and being an assistant Scout Master of Boy Scout Troop 100 in Atlanta.

A proud AUCC/DDEP alumnus, M-T credits the program with opening doors that allowed him to take a hold of his future.

“Being a part of the AUCC/Dual Degree Engineering Program allowed me to develop communication and presentation skills that most engineers don’t focus on and enabled me to attend and matriculate to a top-five engineering institution,” said M-T whose name, Marcus, means warrior in ancient Greek, and Tor, means King in old southwest African Swahili.

“That combined with the drive to find mentors, internships and co-ops every summer I was in school, has propelled me into many positions, including my current one with Murata, where I have been an integral part of a multibillion-dollar corporation and in some cases an agent for change and growth.”

On July 29, M-T’s StricklyUNLTD will host #BeUNLTD👑2017, a back-to-school bash to share engineering career opportunities with young minds. He can be reached socially, @Brotha_MT, or email, BrothaMT@StricklyUnlimited.com, or phone, 404-941-4MTS for more information.

Banks Shares Her Building Blocks for Success

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India on her GE Transportation internship

As a toddler, India Banks had a knack for stacking blocks. Around 5, she graduated from building blocks to Legos. Banks became so good at constructing Legos that she even entered a Lego competition when she got older.

“From there, she progressed to K’Nex and with no instructions that girl was building amusement park rides and had things flying around,” said her mother, Bobette Banks, director of Communications for Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors. “When we would ask her how she figured it out, she would say, ‘I just look at the pictures; I don’t need words.’” It was then her parents recognized they should encourage her to consider a career in engineering.

“I originally thought I wanted to do sports medicine and physical therapy when I was in high school,” said the 22-year-old dual-degree engineering student. “STEM fields like math and science are not always encouraged to us as options, and it can often be daunting when faced with these challenging subjects. So, I’m happy my parents steered me in that direction.”

Recently in Atlanta to attend her graduation from Spelman College, the mathematics/civil engineering student just completed her first year of engineering school with Atlanta University Center Consortium partner engineering institution University of Michigan. A three-two program, the Dual Degree Engineering Program offers the best of both worlds for AUC students.

While attending Spelman, Banks said she experienced its great sisterhood. “At Spelman, I was nurtured in an intimate environment with my peers who happened to be predominately black females, like myself,” wrote Banks in her Michigan profile. “[Spelman] challenged me to find something unique about myself because I was no longer a minority.”

Settling in at Michigan has been as she puts it, “very different and a lot bigger.” When you compare a student body of approximately 2,100 women to a university of more than 10,000 engineers and an overall student body of 44,000-plus, a mental adjustment does have to take place.

“Luckily for me, I have a lot of men from Morehouse in the [Civil and Environmental Engineering] department with me,” said Banks, who also plays classical piano. “This makes the campus feel a lot smaller and more manageable.” Not only does she have Morehouse brothers, Banks has found closeness and friendship in a CEE department sisterhood, women with a common goal.

This summer, Banks is interning in at Whiting-Turner, a construction management, general contracting, design-build and integrated project delivery services company. In addition to Whiting-Turner, Banks has spent summers interning with the National Society of Black Engineers’ SEEK program, GE Transportation and IBM. It was through these internships she learned specifically she wanted to become a civil engineer. “She always had a curious mind and a determined spirit,” said her mother. “I think she will make a great engineer, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her mother. I’m saying it because of her work ethic, her intelligence, and her commitment to doing things until she gets it right.”

For Banks, the journey from Spelman to Michigan was made easier through the guidance and support of the Consortium. Coaching, scholarship, friendship, and a myriad of employment and internship opportunities are offered to all registered DDEP students in the AUC.

“DDEP has been great to me. Everyone in the DDEP office has always been very sweet to me and supportive,” said the Silver Spring, Maryland, native. “The financial support has made paying for school more manageable for my parents, and I can’t thank DDEP enough.”

Her father, Medaris Banks, a pharmaceutical sales representative for Merck echoed that sentiment, saying: “We cannot stop talking about how much we’ve appreciated you all taking such good care of India these past three years. Being a part of the AUC was a rewarding experience for her, and you all were an integral part of that.”

Michigan is a Great Place to Learn, Work and Play

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AUCC students on campus 2017

Established in 2004, the University of Michigan College of Engineering Dual Degree in Engineering is a partnership between the University of Michigan and the colleges of the Atlanta University Center Consortium. This unique collaboration provides a successful pathway for students to complement a liberal arts degree with an engineering degree from one of the world’s top universities.

Rich in learning experiences and opportunities and a phenomenal launching pad for success, the University of Michigan drives the thriving economy in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the state’s sixth largest city. Abundant in research programs and integrated technology implemented and supported by Michigan graduates, Ann Arbor offers a broad cultural heritage of visual and performing art. In 2017, Forbes ranked Ann Arbor the best college town in the country.

As the No. 1 ranked-U.S. public research university by the National Science Foundation with $1.39 billion in research expenditures, 2.8 million square feet of lab space for research and teaching, and 428 new invention reports, Michigan houses one of the top engineering schools in the country. The UM College of Engineering maintains top-10 rankings in nearly every one of its undergraduate and graduate engineering program.

UM/AUCC DDEP women celebrating Spelman’s Founders Day

Why Michigan Engineering?

All Michigan Engineering’s graduate and undergraduate programs rand No. 5 and No. 6 in the nation. Its engineering specialties include aerospace, biomedical, chemical, climate and space sciences and engineering, civil, computer science, electrical, environmental, industrial and operations, materials science and engineering, mechanical, naval architecture and marine, and nuclear and radiological sciences.

Exceptional Leadership

Dean Alec Gallimore

Our dean is a “Rocket Scientist”, no, really! Alec D. Gallimore is the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering at The University of Michigan, as well as the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. His lab works with NASA and the U.S. Air Force on a prototype propulsion system that is considering a future mission for sending humans to Mars.

Applying to the College of Engineering
Begin your application to the College of Engineering by visiting: http://www.engin.umich.edu/college/admissions/undergrad/transfer/applying.

The Michigan Difference
Transitioning from the AUC to a top-tier engineering school has its innate challenges and multiple benefits. At Michigan Engineering, we provide a network of support to ease the transition from the time you seriously consider Michigan until you complete your degree. Here are some of the ways we facilitate the process:

UM’s Commitment to Diversity is Broad and Deep

President Mark Schlissel

“At the University of Michigan, our dedication to academic excellence for the public good is inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is central to our mission as an educational institution to ensure that each member of our community has full opportunity to thrive in our environment, for we believe that diversity is key to individual flourishing, educational excellence and the advancement of knowledge.”
President Schlissel’s Charge to the U-M Community for a Strategic Planning Process on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Center for Engineering Diversity & Outreach
CEDO is a hub for students and student organizations from diverse backgrounds. CEDO provides expertise, leadership, and programming that supports the College of Engineering’s belief that an excellent educational experience is intrinsically linked to fostering a climate that celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion for faculty, staff and students.

Scholarships

Visiting student group on State Street in Ann Arbor

Students who are admitted to Michigan Engineering receive an Engineering Scholarship of Honor. The scholarship award is $30,000 per year for up to 2.5 years for out of state students, and $15,000 per year for up to 2.5 years for in-state students.

Students currently enrolled in the College of Engineering, and doing well academically, are encouraged to review, and consider applying for the scholarships additional engineering scholarships. The two most common scholarships awarded are the College of Engineering Need- and Merit-Based Scholarships, and the Industry Sponsored Scholarships. Visit https://scholarships.engin.umich.edu/current-students/ for more information.

UM/AUCC DDEP Senior Leadership Group
SLG is a student-driven organization created by upper-level UM/AUCC DDEP students. Their goal is to maintain the UM/AUCC DDEP community, recruit students to the University of Michigan, and help ease the transition from AUC to Michigan Engineering.

Michigan Difference Summer Transition Program
The Michigan Difference Summer Transition Program provides resources and experiences for AUC DDEP students to be engaged in summer experiences on UM’s campus to help ease the transition from the AUC to a top-ranked engineering college.  

  • Summer Research Opportunity and Admissions Pathway is a program for AUC dual degree engineering students. If you are interested in a deeper dive into engineering research to address grand challenges that face our nation, this summer opportunity always you to work in labs of Michigan Engineering world-renowned engineering faculty for 10 weeks. The program includes room and board, travel and a stipend.
  • Michigan Department of Transportation offers an opportunity for students from historically black colleges and universities who have completed their first, second, or third year of college to do a paid summer internship with them. The program helps students understand whether civil engineering is a match for them, and they gain exposure to the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. Participants from the AUCC reside on the University of Michigan’s campus and have an opportunity to explore the College of Engineering and the vast resources available at Michigan.

    Faculty-student mentoring dinner

Additional Opportunities

The breadth of Michigan allows for almost unlimited opportunities and resources to ensure your success. Faculty, staff, and offices are committed to help you make your Michigan experience all that you want it to be. Explore the possibilities, set your goals, and take advantage of the many ways to ensure you reach them.

Mentoring programs include:

  • Partnerships between faculty, undergraduate students, and graduate students to support the learning and success of DDEP scholars.
  • Monthly dinners with faculty and graduate students create multiple opportunities for DDEP students such as research, extended employment networking and one-on-one mentoring.

NSBE social

Student Life

Matthew Nelson is NSBE national chair and a UM graduate student

Michigan is home to over 1,300 student organizations ranging from Greek to social activism, including the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, and project teams like BLUElab and the Solar Car Team. Michigan Engineers hold prominent offices at all levels of the NSBE organization, with Matt Nelson, Michigan graduate student, currently serving as national chair of NSBE.. You will be inspired and challenged and your world will expand as you work with peers from every state and over 114 nations. Ann Arbor is the “quintessential college town” — vibrant, friendly, and rich in culture. The school spirit is amazing, and Michigan athletics are always a source of pride and excitement. Go Blue!

Celebrating the 40th Honoring Our Best & Brightest

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Partner institution 2017 graduates (left to right) Julian Pilate-Hutcherson, Morehouse/Notre Dame; Taira Fowler, Spelman/Notre Dame; Sanura Dewa, Spelman/Columbia University; and Brienne Coates, Spelman/Georgia Tech. Graduates not pictured include: Adrienne Fairbanks, Spelman/IUPUI; Jgenisius Harris, Spelman/Georgia Tech; Ron Hobson, Morehouse/Michigan; Emanuel Peterson Jr., CAU/Michigan; Lewis Jones, Morehouse/Michigan; Jenine McKoy, Spelman/Michigan; Philip Nwachokor, Morehouse/Michigan; Joi Officer, Spelman/IUPUI, Joseph Thibault Twahirwa, Morehouse/Notre Dame; Reginald Wilbourn, Morehouse/North Carolina A&T; Regis Wilbourn, Morehouse/North Carolina A&T.

Ninety-six students received nearly a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships and awards at the 40th Annual AUC Consortium Dual Degree Engineering Program Networking Event and Awards Ceremony, Saturday, April 15, at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot. Hosted by DDEP graduates Marcus-Tor Strickland and Melody Thomas, the event is held to recognize outstanding dual-degree engineering students from Clark Atlanta UniversityMorehouse College and Spelman College. The awards banquet offers an opportunity to showcase all participants – students, partnering and member institutions, as well as the corporations who sponsor and hire Atlanta University Center students.

AUC schools are a primary feeder for minority students who enter engineering schools, including the No. 1 and No. 3 top bachelor’s degree producing institutions North Carolina A&T State University and Georgia Institute of Technology. AUC students have the benefit of receiving two degrees – one from the home institution and one from the engineering institution – in approximately five years.

Ceremony hosts were Marcus-Tor Strickland and Melody Thomas.

Students received the following awards:

AUCC DDEP Alumni of the Year

  • Corey Harris, Clark Atlanta University/Georgia Institute of Technology

This year’s recipient is the founder and CEO

Corey Harris

of HBIVENTURES LLC, a company that focuses on growth-stage entrepreneurship. His educational credentials include a bachelor’s of engineering and computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology and Clark Atlanta University. He also has an executive MBA from the Michael J. Coles School of Business at Kennesaw State University. His corporate background involves leadership responsibilities including managing teams at AT&T for the international deployment of network services, focusing primarily on network service delivery and assurance. Currently, he serves as a lead product developer for the AT&T Connected Car Team, working to expand AT&T’s reach into the “Internet of Things.” He is working with high school students, the city of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Tech Startup Community to encourage youth to pursue entrepreneurship in science and technology. Harris lives in Woodstock, Georgia, with his wife, Sharon, and their daughters.

Work Study Student Recognition

  • Natasja Baldwin, Freshman, DDEP, Spelman College
  • Imani Bey, Junior, Spelman College
  • Asia Kindley, Sophomore, Spelman College

With their tireless support, these students assist AUCC in moving projects forward. Without these students, much of the work of this office could not be possible.

ExxonMobil Achievement Award Recipients

  • Kayla Dean, Fourth-Year, Spelman College/Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Wayne Stevens, Fourth-Year, Morehouse College/Georgia Institute of Technology

ExxonMobil Most Outstanding Fourth-Year Chemical Engineering Student

  • Ogechi Irondi, Clark Atlanta University/Georgia Institute of Technology

ExxonMobil Most Outstanding Third-Year Mechanical Engineering Student

  • Andrew Davis, Morehouse College

Most Outstanding AUCC Dual Degree Engineering Students of the Year

This highest honor goes to students who have been extraordinary examples while matriculating and remaining an active participant in the program.

  • Marcus McCarty, Morehouse College

McCarty entered Morehouse College as a part of the Dual Degree Engineering Program Fall 2012. While at Morehouse, he pursued a general science degree with a sociology minor. Active in the SGA Senate as well as the marching band and the National Society of Black Engineers during his matriculation at Morehouse, McCarty also served as the Youth Minister at a local Atlanta church. He held two research and development internships with Procter & Gamble, one industrialization internship with Rockwell Automation, and returned to Procter & Gamble for his last internship in business development. McCarty transferred to Auburn University in the fall of 2015 and will complete a combined industrial engineering and mathematics degree in May. He has accepted a full-time position as a category development account manager with Procter & Gamble starting in June. He also intends to simultaneously obtain his graduate degrees in STEM education. He hopes to increase the enrollment and achievement of African-Americans in STEM and to show the benefits of a STEM degree in traditional and nontraditional STEM careers. He loves to give back, whether it through ministry or mentoring and wants to see others fulfill their purpose. His personal mission is McEagle – Making Certain Everyone Achieves, Gains, Leads, Excels.”

AUCC Outstanding Achievement Awards

Pictured left to right are Melvin Hill, Amadi White, Steven Ragland, Mykala Jones, Mya Gibbs, Naomi Edouard, Rakiya Winton and Michael Worthen.

This award is presented to students who have displayed outstanding achievement in their areas of concentration.

  • Arshad Ali, Most Outstanding Graphics Student, Morehouse College
  • India Banks, Most Outstanding Civil Engineering Student, Spelman College/University of Michigan
  • Kayla Dean, Most Outstanding DDEP Poster Presenters, Spelman College
  • Naomi Edouard, First-Year, Spelman College
  • Mya Gibbs, Second-Year, Spelman College
  • Ashlee Gordon, Most Outstanding Third-Year, Spelman College
  • Melvin Hill Jr., Fourth-Year, Morehouse College/Auburn University
  • David Holden, Most Outstanding Computer Science Student, Morehouse College
  • Jordan Howie, Most Outstanding Aerospace Engineering Student, Morehouse College/University of Michigan
  • Ogechi Irondi, Fourth-Year, Clark Atlanta University/Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Christopher Jackson, Most Outstanding Third-Year Student, Clark Atlanta University
  • Mykala Jones, Fourth-Year, Clark Atlanta University/Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Ashley Lofton, Fourth-Year, Spelman College/Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Tamia Middleton, Most Outstanding First-Year Student, Spelman College
  • Paris Napue, First-Year, Clark Atlanta University
  • Kayla Newsome, Most Outstanding Second-Year Student, Clark Atlanta University
  • Steven Ragland, Fourth-Year, Morehouse College/Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Micquel Roseman, Most Outstanding Graphics Student, Clark Atlanta University
  • Francis Rozier, Most Outstanding DDEP Poster Presenters, Morehouse College
  • Donovan White, Most Outstanding Second-Year Student, Morehouse College
  • Amadi White, Fourth-Year, Spelman College/North Carolina A&T
  • Elisa White, First-Year, Spelman College

Pictured left to right are Perry Francois-Edwards, Kayla Dean, Aisha Jackson, Courtney Wallace, Rakiya Winton, Anjali Coryat and Victor Green.

Leading By Example Awards

This award is presented to students who know what it means to lead by example.

  • Jeffery Butler, Second-Year, Morehouse College
  • Anjali Coryat, Second-Year, Spelman College
  • Kayla Dean, Fourth-Year, Spelman College/Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Perry Francois-Edwards, Fourth-Year, Morehouse College/University of Michigan
  • Victor Green, Second-Year, Clark Atlanta University
  • Aisha Jackson, Fifth-Year, Spelman College/Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Austin Little, Fourth-Year, Morehouse College/Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Jamila Moses, Fourth-Year, Spelman College/Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Josuel Musambaghani, Third-Year, Morehouse College
  • Hamim Nigena, Fifth-Year, Morehouse College/Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Indigo Rockmore, Third-Year, Spelman College
  • Courtney Wallace, Fourth-Year, Clark Atlanta University/North Carolina A&T
  • Rakiya Winton, Fourth-Year, Clark Atlanta University/Georgia Institute of Technology

Excellence Awards

This award if for those who exemplify excellence during the academic year.

  • Ariel Austin, First-Year, Spelman College
  • India Banks, Fourth-Year, Spelman College, University of Michigan
  • Jeffery Butler, Second-Year, Morehouse College
  • Imani Carson, First-Year, Spelman College
  • Saleigh Derico, Third-Year, Spelman College
  • Kanis Grady, Second-Year, Clark Atlanta University
  • Bakari Greene, Fourth-Year, Morehouse College, University of Michigan
  • David Holden, Second-Year, Morehouse College
  • Tyler Houston, Second-Year, Morehouse College
  • Kennedy Kishumba, Second-Year, Morehouse College
  • Alexander Meyer, Fourth-Year, Morehouse College/Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Nacarri Murphy, Fourth-Year, Spelman College/Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Eric Patterson, First-Year, Morehouse College
  • Jeremy Robinson, Third-Year, Clark Atlanta University
  • Shakirah Rogers, First-Year, Spelman College
  • Malik Schkoor, Second-Year, Morehouse College
  • Courtney Wallace, Fourth-Year, Clark Atlanta University/North Carolina A&T
  • Tyler White, Fourth-Year, Clark Atlanta University/North Carolina A&T

Pictured left to right are Roger Louisaire, Khristopher Shemwell and Chuck Harrell.

Engineering Success Awards

This award is for students who have gone above and beyond in their engineering discipline.

  • Chuck Harrell, Second-Year, Morehouse College
  • Roger Louisaire, Third-Year, Morehouse College
  • Nicholas Porter, Second-Year, Morehouse College
  • Khristopher Shemwell, First-Year, Morehouse College

Pictured left to right are Najma Thomas, Simone Paul, Hannah Floyd, Darrell Fambro, Lamar Lee, Nia Jones, Dinushka Herath, Saidah Coleman, Tamia Middleton, Theodore Cruz, Mykala Jones, Morgan Lipkins, Natasja Baldwin, Kayla Dean and Donovan White.

Shining Star Awards

  1. Frank Adams, Fourth-Year, Clark Atlanta University/North Carolina A&T
  2. Natasja Baldwin, Second-Year, Spelman College
  3. Saidah Coleman, Second-Year, Spelman College
  4. Theodore Cruz, Second-Year, Morehouse College
  5. Kayla Dean, Fourth-Year, Spelman College/Georgia Institute of Technology
  6. Darrell Fambro, Third-Year, Clark Atlanta University
  7. Hannah Floyd, Third-Year, Spelman College
  8. Dinushka Herath, Third-Year, Clark Atlanta University/Georgia Institute of Technology
  9. Jordan Howie, Fourth-Year, Morehouse College/University of Michigan
  10. Lamar Lee, Third-Year, Morehouse College
  11. Morgan Lipkins, Second-Year, Spelman College
  12. Mykala Jones, Fourth-Year, Clark Atlanta University/Georgia Institute of Technology
  13. Nia Jones, Third-Year, Clark Atlanta University
  14. Tamia Middleton, First-Year, Spelman College
  15. Ashley Murphy, Third-Year, Spelman College
  16. Simone Paul, Third-Year, Spelman College
  17. Cedric Porter, Third-Year, Morehouse College
  18. Rashaad Robinson, Fourth-Year, Clark Atlanta University/North Carolina A&T
  19. Najma Thomas, First-Year, Spelman College
  20. Donovan White, Second-Year, Morehouse College

See more photos.

Melody Thomas

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Melody Thomas is a Dual Degree Engineering Program graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Clark Atlanta University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Indiana University Purdue University – Indianapolis.

While attending IUPUI as a full-time student, she had the opportunity to intern at Jacobs Engineering Group, a global provider of technical, professional, and scientific services, including engineering, architecture, construction, operations and maintenance.

As a mechanical intern in Jacobs’ pharmaceutical and biotechnology market, some of Thomas’ duties included supporting senior engineers in the design of HVAC systems via AutoCAD, assisting with site takeoffs of existing building conditions, and maintaining client contacts, milestone schedules, and co-leading weekly client project meetings. Soon after, Thomas joined Jacobs as a part-time cost analyst, gaining some unique experience for someone who had pursued an engineering education.

Upon graduation, she continued at Jacobs as a full-time employee, but could not shake her desire to be farther south. Having finally found her passion, Thomas recently relocated to Atlanta, where she is now a roadway designer for ARCADIS, the leading global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets.

Outside of her career, Thomas enjoys spending time with family, friends and her new puppy. Now that she has returned to Atlanta, she is looking forward to becoming active in the community as a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and Elizabeth Baptist Church, and enjoying the wonderful weather in “Hotlanta.”

GE Brings ‘Good Things’ to the Lives of DDEP Students

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Keith Edmonds pictured next to GE patriarch Thomas Edison.

With 10 business divisions that range from aviation to transportation, General Electric Co. continues to power the world with its innovation. Beginning with Thomas Edison’s incandescent lamp in 1879, today GE has morphed into a global digital industrial company, recording more than $119 billion in 2016 sales revenue, according to MarketWatch.

The Boston-based conglomerate has roots in more the 170 countries and employs 295,000 people around the world. With accolades like “World’s Most Admired Companies,” by Fortune; “Most Innovative Companies,” by Fast Company; “World’s Most Respected Companies,” by Barron’s; “World’s 100 Most In Demand Employers,” by LinkedIn; and “Top Companies for Leaders,” by Aon Hewitt, students at the Atlanta University Center clamor to get into the corporate ranks of GE.

A long supporter of the Atlanta University Center Consortium Dual Degree Engineering Program, GE has hired 100 program students and provided more than $25,000 in scholarships.

“GE is a global company dedicated to ensuring we have a diverse workforce that reflects what is represented in the world today,” said Keith Edmonds, Global Fulfillment Leader in the Gas Turbine Supply Chain for GE. “[At GE], you get to be part of a dynamic team that challenges you and is part of solving some of the world’s most complex issues.”

From reducing the cycle time it takes to manufacture a component to eliminating a quality defect in the supply chain, interns work on projects that impact GE and its customers, according to Edmonds.

“Interns work on real projects that have an impact on our business and will solve a challenging problem for our customers,” said Edmonds, a mechanical engineer graduate from the University of Louisville who has worked for GE for the past 18 years. “The internship gives the student the experience they need to interview for full-time opportunities.”

Both a first-rate organization for producing products to live by and creating leadership programs for future engineers and other professionals, GE is “imagination at work.” It remains a loyal supporter of AUCC/DDEP.

“GE is a world-class company that is part of solving the world’s most complex issues,” said Edmonds, “and we want the best and the brightest to be part of our team.”

 

 

 

 

Reasons to Choose IUPUI

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IUPUI is two world-renowned universities on one dynamic campus in Indianapolis.

Since becoming an Atlanta University Center Consortium partner institution in 2012, 12 Atlanta University Center Dual Degree Engineering Program students have attended Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Two world-renowned universities on one dynamic campus, IUPUI is an urban research university in the center of the nation’s 12th largest city and was created in 1969 as a partnership between Indiana and Purdue universities. The campus is within walking distance from internationally recognized museums, galleries, hospitals, state government, professional sports venues, live music and restaurants. 

Purdue University Engineering Degrees

  • Students who earn their degree in engineering on the IUPUI campus leave with a degree from Purdue University.
  • Engineering degrees offered are biomedical engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, energy engineering, mechanical engineering, motorsports engineering and interdisciplinary engineering.

    AUCC/DDEP to IUPUI alumni pictured left to right: Patrick Brobbey, Morehouse, 2013/IUPUI, 2016; Melody Thomas, CAU, 2013/IUPUI, 2016; and Brian McGuire, CAU, 2013/IUPUI, 2016.

Scholarships Available
Purdue School of Engineering and Technology Scholarship Opportunities:

AUC Leadership Scholarship

  • Students with a CGPA of 3.0 from Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman – $20,000 annual scholarship (estimated)
  • Estimated annual tuition costs after scholarship – $11,000 per year

AUC Transfer Scholarship

  • Students with a CGPA 2.8 – 2.99 receive a $5,000 annual scholarship.

IUPUI Campus Scholarship Opportunities:

  • Diversity Scholars Research Program
  • Norman Brown Diversity and Leadership Program
  • Commitment to Engineering Excellence

Information on the IUPUI campus scholarships can be found at: www.iupui.edu/~scentral/

 

Member institution dual-degree graduates 2016. Thomas pictured fourth from left and Brobbey far right.

Diversity & Resources

Multicultural Success Center
IUPUI has many resources available to help students succeed. The Math Assistance Center, the Writing Center, the Bepko Learning Center, and the Multicultural Success Center are just a few.

The Multicultural Success Center has a focus on cultural programming, awareness and understanding as well as academic success and mentoring, student organization development and support and leadership development.

National Society of Black Engineers
The Purdue School of Engineering and Technology has an active NSBE chapter. Funding from the School of Engineering and Technology Student Council has provided funding for AUC students to attend NSBE National Conferences.

Individual Attention
Though nearly a 30,000-student population, students are not just a number at IUPUI. Smaller class sizes than expected exist for a university of its size and individual attention are routinely part of the IUPUI experience.

Diversity Awards

IUPUI is a 5X HEED Award Winner!
The Insight Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. IUPUI was recognized with this award in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Among Top 30 Best U.S. Non-HBCU Schools for Minorities
IUPUI received the honor of being named among the 30 best non-Historically Black Colleges and Universities for minorities in the United States by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

Internships and Placement
The Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI, has a dedicated staff to help students find paid internship positions in industry and laboratories, as well as full time employment at graduation. AUC students have completed internships or have been placed in full time positions in a variety of different companies including Allison Transmission, Cummins, General Motors, Helmer Scientific, Honda, IBM, Jacobs Engineering, Lockheed Martin, and Medtronic.

Undergraduate Research
Many of the scholarships listed above include opportunities for undergraduate research. However, there are other opportunities for research as well. These include the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research program and the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. Both of these opportunities typically provide funding for students.

Application Fee Waived – So Apply and Make a Visit!
The application for admission fee is waived for AUC students applying to an engineering program on the IUPUI Campus. Admitted AUC students are invited to visit IUPUI. The Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI, will provide funding for costs of the visit.

Questions?
Contact Marilyn Mangin, Director of Student Services and Recruitment, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI. Email: mmangin@iupui.edu or call 317-278-2407.

by Patrick Brobbey, a Morehouse College/IUPUI DDEP graduate and controller integration test engineer at General Motors

The Ride That Guides Dunbar’s Success

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As an anchor attraction, the roller coaster is the high point ride for any child who visits an amusement park. But, for Dionna Dunbar, the roller coaster was more than a favorite ride. “As a child, I was amazed by [its] mechanical ingenuity,” said Dunbar. At a middle school career day, her interest piqued even more when she met a parent who was a mechanical engineer. After that, Dunbar’s curiosity blossomed into full-grown college-seeking interest.

While her parents wanted her to attend Georgia Tech, she was interested in attending a historically black institution. Upon learning about the Dual Degree Engineering Program at Clark Atlanta University, Dunbar said she could not have chosen a better path to success.

“[When] I realized I could attend an HBCU and a major engineering institute, I immediately applied for CAU with all intentions on attending Georgia Tech,” said Dunbar who is senior manager for Venturing and Emerging Brands at The Coca-Cola Co. “I was blessed to have both experiences and ingest from amazing experiences, along the way.

As senior manager for VEB Supply Chain and Procurement at Coca-Cola, Dunbar coordinates the brands’ logistics, plans the supply strategy and financial outputs, sources materials and services, manages manufacturing, controls delivery/shipping, and monitors the quality system.

“When I graduated from AUCC/DDEP, I worked for eight years in the aerospace industry with General Electric, Aviation Business,” said Dunbar, who spent all her college summers working internships with organizations like the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., Milliken in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Georgia Tech Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, and General Electric’s Energy Division in Atlanta.

“There I used my technical background and built a supply chain expertise, and I quickly realized the people making money and decisions were the same people ‘managing’ the money.”

Based on that summation by Dunbar, she enrolled in the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and received her master’s in business finance, further leveling the professional playing field.

“DDEP was the best thing that happened to me and provided a safe zone while transitioning between CAU and GT,” said Dunbar who holds a Six Sigma Black Belt certification. “DDEP taught me discipline and work ethic, and I’ve built lifetime relationships with other DDEP grads, corporations and administrators.”

For Jackson, No Job is Too Much for This Scholar-Athlete

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Chris and mother Nolita Jackson

Christopher Jackson grinds more than 50 hours a week on three jobs – Moe’s Southwest Grill at Clark Atlanta University, Allied Universal Security Services and Uber Eats. While 50 hours a week might be standard for many workers, it is not normal for a full-time mechanical engineering scholar-athlete who holds a 3.85 GPA at CAU.

Jackson is one of 130 scholar-athletes at CAU to earn a 3.0 GPA or higher during the spring and fall semesters. A Dual Degree Engineering Program student, Jackson came to CAU after he was denied admission to Georgia Tech, although he graduated at the top of his class. However, things would work to his advantage.

“I was accepted to the University of Georgia, but I did not want to go there – that’s my rival school of course, and then my major was not accredited at UGA at the time,” said the Warner Robins, Georgia, native, who grew up in Conyers, Georgia. “Once being recruited to CAU for football and hearing of the 3-2 program for engineering and being given a second chance to head to Georgia Tech, I took advantage of the opportunity and have gone with it since.”

Committed, determined, and unwavering, Jackson credits DDEP with guiding him with career opportunities, helping him receive scholarships, and building his credit.

“Chiefly, I feel this amazing program transforms your mindset from that of a child into one of a successful adult,” said Jackson who has landed a summer 2017 internship with Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee.

At the 2016 DDEP Awards Banquet, Chris received the Engineering Success Awards for students who have gone above and beyond in their engineering discipline.

With plans to transfer to Georgia Tech in the fall, Jackson will pursue autonomous intelligence and robotics engineering. After Georgia Tech, Jackson wants to work for RedZone Robotics, Kawasaki Robotics, or contract to do research for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Strictly speaking, the 210-plus pound linebacker’s scholar-athlete accomplishments and successes come from a motivated spirit.

“It is not the fact that you are a scholar-athlete that sets you apart from the majority of the population, but the fact that amid multiple adversities in your personal life, school life, work life, and even sports life, you are motivated to advance through boundaries, limits, and parameters that make others quit the same path you travel,” said Jackson.

“It is certainly not an easy task or feat; however, for those who are not afraid of grinding to get to where they desire to be, it becomes less of a burden to be a scholar-athlete and transforms more into a mentality of ‘If this can’t stop my success, then what can.’”

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