Four seniors have been awarded the 2013-2014 Outstanding Senior Leadership Award in the University of Mississippi School of Engineering.
This year’s recipients are Samuel Di of Oxford, Madeline Costelli of Gulfport, Zachary Morgan of Horn Lake and Trey Powell of Pascagoula. Each was selected through a nomination process in their respective departments, based on their records of academic achievement, leadership, professional development and community service. Nominees also delivered a presentation to the selection committee about their experiences as students in the engineering school.
“As in the past, this year’s competition has brought forward a group of outstanding seniors, who not only excelled academically but also demonstrated strong leadership qualities,” Dean Alex Cheng said. “We congratulate all the students who participated in the competition.”
Di is an electrical engineering major with a minor in computer science. A member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, he won Eta Kappa Nu’s Outstanding Sophomore, Junior and Senior awards. A recipient of a Taylor Medal, Di has been a student employee in the National Center for Physical Acoustics since 2010 and served as a School of Engineering Ambassador and treasurer of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. His other honors include Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi and the Chancellor’s Honor Roll every semester of his enrollment.
Di participated in summer undergraduate research programs at the University of Southern California and the University of Minnesota. He is a named
contributor to published work presented at the 2013 Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Symposium. Di was the institutional representative to the Mississippi Engineering Society’s Outstanding Senior Award, where he was recognized by the state organization at its annual ceremony. His plans are to attend graduate school and major in electrical engineering.
Costelli is a civil engineering major. Another Taylor medalist who is consistently on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll, she serves as vice president of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, vice president of design for Engineers Without Borders and is on the concrete canoe team for the American Society of Civil Engineers.
She has traveled to the African nation of Togo three times to work on the EWB school building project. Costelli holds memberships in Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society and Kappa Delta sorority. Her summer internships include Neel-Schaffer Inc. in Jackson and the Mississippi Department of Transportation in Gulfport. On campus, she worked as a research assistant in the Center for Advanced Infrastructure Technology. She has accepted a full-time position with Lanier & Associates Inc. in the company’s structural division.
Powell is also a civil engineering major. He is the recipient of several scholarships, including a John G. Adler scholarship from the UM School of Engineering, a Phi Theta Kappa scholarship, Community College Leadership and Academic Excellence scholarships and the highly competitive Chancellor’s Scholarship. A Taylor medalist, he has been inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and Mortar Board honor societies, as well as Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society and Tau Beta Pi. He serves as president of the American Society of Civil Engineers and as treasurer of TBP.
An engineering intern with Neel Schaffer Inc., Powell is deciding between full-time employment opportunities and pursuing a graduate degree.
Morgan is another electrical engineering major with an emphasis in computer engineering. A member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and regularly listed on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll, he has served as president of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers organization and Eta Kappa Nu electrical engineering honor society. A Luckyday scholarship recipient, he is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Eta Sigma and Tau Beta Pi.
Morgan has also been heavily involved with the FIRST Robotics Competition. His internships have focused on software and electrical engineering, with Raytheon in Texas and Maryland, respectively. He is a named contributor to work presented at the 2013 Electrical Engineering Research Experience for Undergraduates Symposium and at the 2013 Interplanetary Small Satellite Conference.
After graduation, Morgan plans to be a research assistant for the computational electromagnetics and antennas research laboratory as he pursues a doctorate at Pennsylvania State University.