Celina M. Sumrall

I am a proud Ole Miss engineering graduate (2X)! I did not start my college experience as an engineering student. I came to Ole Miss not really knowing what I wanted to do. I changed majors several times never finding my place. I thought I did not have the math skills to be an engineer. It turns out that I was the only thing holding me back. My math skills are fine. Confidence was another issue. I took a leadership class that indicated that my interests were more in the engineering realm of things. This was a surprise to me, but with some encouragement and a lot of patience from my parents, I decided on engineering my junior year. Once I changed my major to civil engineering, I never looked back. I think the first thing I noticed was how well I fit in with the other students. It was only then that I began to figure out who I was. I am still friends with many of my fellow engineering students today, all of which became great professional engineers. After I graduated and worked a few years I decided to go back and earn my masters degree.? I am the last person I would have pegged for both a bachelor and masters degree in engineering. I am also a professional engineer. I guess I am a late bloomer. As for Ole Miss, I have to thank the Civil Engineering staff for welcoming me to the program and all the help along the way. I had to learn to study in a different way, but it all paid off. It is never too late to do what you like. I am sure that there are others out there like me that just need time and I little push in the right direction.

Finally, as a female engineer, I feel it is important to be a positive example to other young women like me. These are girls that may like science (and maybe even math) but are never really encouraged to explore the engineering profession. This is something I really believe can and should be changed by the time my 5-year old daughter is ready for college. There is certainly one thing I can tell them . . . Ole Miss is a great place for an engineering degree!