Dear Engineering Alumni,

April was an exciting month for the Ole Miss School of Engineering. On April 15, the annual honors banquet was held to recognize the accomplishments of some of our most distinguished students, faculty and alumni.

Headlining the annual event is the Engineer of Distinction, an award representing the highest level of professional accomplishment that an engineer can achieve as a graduate of the School of Engineering. This year’s Engineer of Distinction is Dr. George Flinn, a 1965 electrical engineering graduate. A Memphis resident, Dr. Flinn is a practicing radiologist and owner of Flinn Broadcasting, which owns 40 radio and television stations throughout the country. He serves on the Shelby County Board of Commissioners and is running for U.S. Congress in Tennessee’s 8th District.

The David W. Arnold Engineering Award, given to a student who exemplifies service, intelligence, character, leadership, creativity and judgment, was awarded to Melanie Graupner, a senior geology major from Germany.

Also this year, three outstanding seniors were named. The awards were based on their academic records, along with their involvement in service and their leadership qualities. They are Christina Bonnington, an electrical engineering major from Oxford; Scott Haltom, a mechanical engineering major from Ridgeland; and Casey Wilson Pearce, a chemical engineering major from Oxford.

All three of these outstanding seniors also received the Taylor Medal, the university’s top academic honor. Other School of Engineering recipients of the Taylor Medal were Alissa Carroll, mechanical engineering; Anna Hailey, chemical engineering; Jesse Steward Pinion, electrical engineering; and Safa Kanan Hadi Salman, electrical engineering. Never in the School of Engineering’s history have we had so many Taylor Medalists at one time!

Additionally, senior Anna Hailey received the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship this spring. She is the second Ole Miss engineering student to win the national award. Steven Hester, a 1996 electrical engineering graduate, was also a recipient.

In faculty news, the School of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Award went to the much-deserving Dr. John O’Haver, professor of chemical engineering, director of the Center for Math and Science Education and associate dean of the School of Engineering.

We are very proud of this exceptional group of engineers.

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Alex Cheng
Dean of the School of Engineering


haileyChemical engineering honors student Anna Kathryn Hailey was named The University of Mississippi’s 12th Barry M. Goldwater Scholar.

The Ole Miss senior from Muscle Shoals, Ala., is the eighth UM student to receive the prestigious award since 2000. Last summer, Hailey became the university’s first exchange student with the Institute for Thermal Power Engineering at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. While there, she joined Chinese researchers in their work on carbon storage and sequestration methods.

“I was very happy and excited to learn I had received the Goldwater,” said Hailey, who is actually pursuing a triple major in Mandarin Chinese, chemistry and chemical engineering. “This scholarship will help pay for my fifth year of college, which I need to complete my three majors. Then I hope the Goldwater will help me gain admission into graduate school so I can continue my studies.”

To read more about Hailey and the Goldwater, visit http://news.olemiss.edu/goldwater/.


The Ole Miss Engineering Advisory Board held a productive meeting April 8-9. The 25-member board supports the continued development of the School of Engineering, recognizing the desire and need for the school to maintain programs of excellence and a posture of leadership in engineering education. The board meets every spring and fall.