Established in 2002, the David Arnold Service Award has allowed the University of Mississippi School of Engineering to recognize students who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve in the community and lead within the university. Engineering departments are given the chance to submit nominations of outstanding students for this award, and a selection committee designates the final recipient. The selection criteria for the award include service, intellect, leadership and character. Only one student receives the award each year.
The 2017 recipient of the David Arnold Award is Frances Miramon of Shreveport, Louisiana. Miramon is a senior pursuing a degree in civil engineering. She is set to earn her degree as a magna cum laude graduate in May. She was nominated for the honor by Yacoub “Jacob” Najjar, chair and professor of civil engineering.
“I recognized early on that she is more than a high-GPA student who gets the correct answers on class assignments, projects and exams,” Najjar said. “Her outstanding service activities and effective leadership roles during the past few years have greatly elevated the reputation of the civil engineering department. With this recognition, I am confident that Frances will continue to excel in a manner that is very consistent with the expectations of the Arnold award.”
While Miramon initially enrolled as a pharmacy student, she quickly found her niche as an engineer. She was more than excited when she was notified of her selection to receive this top honor.
“I was thrilled to receive the David Arnold Service Award,” she said. “Ole Miss engineering has given me so much over the years, and it has been an honor to give back to the program.”
Miramon’s service work includes volunteering with the Leap Frog tutoring program and working with the Oxford High School engineering club to promote STEM education to high school students. One of her most memorable roles has been serving as a School of Engineering ambassador since 2015.
“It has been rewarding to assist in recruiting prospective students as an ambassador,” she said. “I feel like it is my duty to let prospective students know about the wonderful opportunities available to them here in engineering.”
As an ambassador, Miramon has volunteered her time to attend campus recruiting events and write letters to high school students who are considering majoring in engineering. Many of the recruiting events take place on early Saturday mornings.
In addition to her service to the community, Miramon has held a number of leadership roles in engineering student organizations. She is serving as president of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and secretary of Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society. She participated in the Deep South Conference for the American Society of Civil Engineers and is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and Engineers Without Borders.
A Provost scholar, she was named to Phi Kappa Phi and Tau Beta Pi honor societies as well as to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. She received the 2016 Civil Engineering Junior Leadership Award and was nominated for the Outstanding Senior Leadership Award for the School of Engineering. Additionally, Miramon has served as an undergraduate research assistant in both the Nano Infrastructure Research Group and the Center for Advanced Infrastructure Technology on campus.
During spring semester 2015, Miramon studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh, which sparked her interest in transportation and planning. In summer 2016, she spent time in The Woodlands, Texas, interning with Jones/Carter, a multicity engineering firm, in its community development area. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue graduate school to continue her education in civil engineering with an emphasis in transportation systems. She is considering Southern Methodist University, New York University or Penn State.