Engineering Student Body Officers Demonstrate Creativity, Commitment, Confidence

Gutierrez, Wasson, Noll enjoy planning tailgates and other engineering events

Officers for the UM Engineering Student Body are Jacob Noll (left), Chad Gutierrez and Robert Wasson. Submitted photo by Marty Harding

Increasing student engagement and enhancing the student experience have been two of the main goals of the 2019-20 Engineering Student Body Leadership Council officers. The student leaders came in prepared to build upon current programs and work to create new opportunities to increase visibility of the organization and the School of Engineering.

Officers of the ESB are Chad Gutierrez, president; Robert Wasson, vice president; and Jacob Noll, secretary-treasurer. All three are pursuing a degree in chemical engineering.

Gutierrez, a senior from Gulfport, said he chose to run for president because he believed it would give him the opportunity to make a difference in the School of Engineering. He works with the 20-member leadership council to bring ideas into action, which involves planning a number of student events such as engineering tailgating, National Engineers Week (E-Week) and the Engineering Formal.

“This position allows me to collaborate with students, faculty and staff to facilitate programming for the School of Engineering. It also allows us as a council to hear from students about what we are doing well and areas that need improvement,” he said. “I have been involved with ESB since my sophomore year, and I enjoy how student-driven the organization has been over the years.”

After longtime tailgating “guru” Greg Easson decided to retire from managing the School of Engineering tailgates, ESB was asked to take over organizing the events. While challenges have occurred along the way, the officers unanimously agreed this has been their favorite project as ESB leaders.

Noll said the tailgates provide a way for faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends to meet, bond and share their love for Ole Miss football. Gutierrez reflected that he enjoyed partnering with the other engineering student organizations to make the events successful. Wasson added that he enjoyed being involved with the transition of the tailgating program as well as interacting with students and alumni in a relaxed environment.

As a result, the officers said they believe they had the chance to reach their goal of increasing student engagement and involvement through their work to manage the tailgates with the help of other students who had previously worked with Easson to manage the events.

Gutierrez said he’s excited about the spring semester events including a number of events during E-Week, which are co-sponsored by various engineering student organizations, as well as the Engineering Formal, which will happen in April.

In addition to his role as ESB president, Gutierrez is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Center for Manufacturing Excellence. He is also a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering society, the Columns Society and serves as editor-in-chief of the UM Undergraduate Research Journal. After graduation in May, he plans to enter the field of consulting for the oil and gas industry before attending law school to become a patent attorney.

For Wasson, a junior from Madison, he chose to get involved with ESB during his freshman year because he wanted to build connections within the School of Engineering. During the 2018-19 academic year, he served as secretary-treasurer and wanted to continue to help lead the organization. He also looks forward to the spring events and has ideas for the future of the organization.

“I would like to see the ESB adopt a philanthropy of some sort,” he said. “We are all in a unique position to affect a large number of people, and I think that it would serve both to enhance connections within the school and the local community.”

Outside of ESB, Wasson is student senator for the Honors College, treasurer of Tau Beta Pi and managing editor for the UM Undergraduate Research Journal. After graduation next year, he hopes to attend medical school.

A junior from St. Louis, Missouri, Noll has also been involved with ESB since his freshman year of college. He sought out the opportunity because he enjoyed being involved in leadership roles during his high school years and wanted to make a meaningful impact right away at Ole Miss. His role allows him to work with the ESB council and adviser to manage the group’s finances and keep detailed notes from meetings.

“My goal for the rest of the semester is to help host the biggest and best Engineering Formal yet,” he said. “Engineering Formal is a great event to help students take a break at the end of the semester and enjoy a fun night of dancing and fun with friends.”

In addition to his involvement with ESB, Noll participates in the Columns Society, Tau Beta Pi and STEM tutoring. He also interned with Aerojet Rocketdyne in Huntsville last summer. After graduation next May, he hopes to pursue a career in the aerospace industry.