Students of the Month: Sarah Farris and Austen Cain

March 2012 By

The Engineering Students of the Month for March 2012 are Sarah Farris and Austen Cain.

Name: Sarah Farris

Sarah Farris was chosen for an Outstanding Engineering Senior Award in the electrical engineering department for her outstanding academic performance, her student leadership and the diverse nature of her academic program.

Hometown: Hendersonville, Tenn.

Area of Study: Electrical Engineering

Minor: Cinema

Classification: Senior

What piqued your interest in engineering?

"I knew for many years before college that I would most likely get a degree in some kind of engineering. I liked science, math and solving puzzles too much for me to confidently choose anything else. My dream is to be an engineer in the entertainment industry. Almost everything these days requires some sort of electrical design, whether it is a theme park ride or a new 3-D camera."

Why did you choose engineering?

"I became an engineer because I wanted to be a problem-solver. A successful engineer or scientist will always be seeking new solutions to the problems presented to them by society and their line of work. A successful engineer must have the ability to think outside of the box, to take an old problem and see it in a new light to produce a better solution."

What do you plan to do when you graduate from Ole Miss?

"My plans after graduation are to get a job in the engineering field. My dream is to find an engineering job, possibly in the entertainment industry, where I can combine my engineering skills and my love for storytelling."

Name: Austen Cain

Austen was always a solid student in geological engineering, but he seems to have grown stronger semester by semester. He won a national scholarship to take the required five-week field course in South Dakota in summer 2011. As his courses have progressed, he continues to excel.

Hometown: Ringgold, Ga.

Area of Study: Geological Engineering

Classification: Senior

Hobbies: Hiking, sports, hunting, fishing, cooking

What piqued your interest in engineering?

"Throughout my entire life, my family has been vacationing to the U.S. national parks and numerous other areas with magnificent geological formations. These vacations sparked my interest in geology as a child. I remember being 8 years old, just staring at the Grand Canyon and struggling to understand how something so magnificent was formed by the Earth. This was a breathtaking moment in my life."

Why did you choose engineering?

"Rapid developments in science and technology and the number of challenges they present inspired me to choose engineering as a profession."

What do you plan to do when you graduate from Ole Miss?

"I [plan to attend graduate school and acquire] a master's degree in petroleum engineering. I've applied to the University of Oklahoma, University of West Virginia and University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I became interested in petroleum engineering because of a class I took, taught by Walter Guidroz, a BP employee."

Do you have advice for potential engineering students?

"Quality engineering students possess academic excellence, leadership qualities and willingness to give it their all. Incoming engineering students will want to stand out. Outside the classroom, they will need to be very active by taking part in leadership roles, groups, clubs, social organizations, athletics, etc. These qualities show professionalism and are very important for someone aspiring to be a leader one day."