Dear Alumni and Friends,

I hope you are having a good summer!

On campus, we are busy with new student orientation. Every week we schedule two-three orientation sessions, some of them scheduled during the weekend for the convenience of parents and students.

On each of the orientation days, students first attend a campus-wide orientation. Students and parents are then treated to lunch at Johnson Commons. After lunch, students visit the schools in which they are enrolled. At the School of Engineering, we give students and parents a nice presentation, conducted by our capable assistant deans Marni Kendricks and Scott Kilpatrick, student ambassadors, as well as Engineering Student Body officers. The presentation includes testimonials from current students about their university experiences and advice on do's and don'ts. New students then receive individual faculty advisement on their course schedules. Most of these events are conducted in the Brevard Hall student lounge areas. It is enjoyable to see a group of new students and parents (and sometimes younger siblings, too) strolling around, excited about what is to come!

At this moment I cannot report to you the final new student statistics as the orientation period is not yet over. However, I am confident to say that last fall we broke the all-time record and enrolled more than 300 freshmen, and this fall we will break that record.

Although orientation is not yet over, let me nevertheless mention some interesting observations based on the number of students at this moment. The engineering freshman class is approximately 50 percent in-state and 50 percent out-of-state. Out-of-state students are coming from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. This is a diverse group. As most out-of-state students tend to come for the last orientation session, close to when school begins, we will see an even wider representation. At the moment, 17 percent of freshmen are female, and 23 percent are from a minority group.

So we look forward to another great academic year with the new as well as returning students. I will keep you updated!


Alex Cheng Signature

Alex Cheng
Dean of the School of Engineering


Job board, online store expand school's presence

A new "job board" continues to help increase the University of Mississippi School of Engineering's online presence.

Karl Brenkert Jr.

Job Board

Since its launch last December, the site has attracted more than 1,000 hits. Almost 100 jobs have been submitted and approved. Thirty-eight employment opportunities presently are available on the site.

"I pitched the idea for a job board to students in the computer and information science senior design class last fall," said Marni Kendricks, assistant dean for undergraduate academics in the School of Engineering. "Only one student accepted the challenge. We kept refining the idea for weeks until it became fully functional."

The Web page was developed, starting from Kendricks' sketches on paper.

"The board was created to serve as a place for employers to submit job opportunities to students as potential employees, specifically students in the School of Engineering," said Robert DeCurtins of Olive Branch, the senior computer science student who designed the project. "The old job awareness and offerings system consisted of long emails due to multiple forward[ing of] job listings. It was pretty bad. I believe that engineering students work hard enough just earning a degree, so we should have an easy and clean way of viewing job opportunities and listings."

The site functionality is straightforward. Employers can submit a job that contains contact and job-specific information and even attach a document. After submission, the job opportunity must be approved by an administrator before it can be viewed on the main page.

The main page lists all approved jobs as separate "tiles." When a guest clicks on one, all the information about the job appears. Guests can export the jobs information as a PDF for later viewing or printing. Attachments also can be downloaded if included in the posting.

Jobs can be filtered by multiple categories including "Co-op and Internships," "Recent Graduate" and "Teaching/Research Professional" on the main page.

"Robert devoted significant time and effort to this senior design project, and I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome," Kendricks said.

"Hopefully, it will continue to grow," DeCurtins said. "I believe that this site offers a tremendous service to the School of Engineering. This service will allow students and alumni to start careers quicker and with more ease than ever before. The ease and hopeful success of the website should attract new employers, giving more opportunity."

A Web store and Facebook page are two other engineering school online sites experiencing growth.

"The Web store went online last October," said Scott Kilpatrick, also an assistant dean for student services in the engineering school. "It's used by students and alumni to purchase School of Engineering merchandise directly from the manufacturer, which is much more convenient than having to order it from us by mail or coming by in person."

A portion of the sales proceeds go to the Engineering Student Body, Kilpatrick added.

"I started our Facebook page a couple of years ago to allow those who use social media to have more contact with the School of Engineering," he said. "Beginning this fall, an engineering student will maintain the page, keeping it more up to date. Hopefully, that will generate even more hits than we've seen to date."

To visit the Job Board, go to http://www.engineering.olemiss.edu/jobs/main/. To see the Web store, visit http://www.promoplace.com/nationalawards/stores/olemiss. For the School of Engineering Facebook page, go to http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=154799667866646.