Seven Engineering Seniors Earn Leadership Awards

Group represents School of Engineering's best and brightest minds

Recipients of the Outstanding Senior Leadership Award in the UM School of Engineering are Thomas McFann (left), Brenna Sit, Will Tribble, Davis Odle, Seth Gray, Hemant Joshi and Evan Thomas. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Seven students have been named recipients of the Outstanding Senior Leadership Award in the University of Mississippi School of Engineering.

This year’s honorees are Seth Gray of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Hemant Joshi of Nepal; Thomas McFann of Arlington, Tennessee; Davis Odle of Union City, Tennessee; Brenna Sit of Brandon; Evan Thomas of Leland; and William Tribble of Charlottesville, Virginia. Each recipient was selected through a competitive nomination process in his or her respective department.

Nominations for the award are based on the students’ records of academic achievement, leadership, professional development and community service. Resumes and personal statements were screened, and the students also delivered a presentation to the selection committee about their undergraduate experiences while pursuing their engineering degrees.

This award is a testament to the academic and nonacademic accomplishments of these seven students throughout their years at Ole Miss,” said Dave Puleo, dean of the School of Engineering. “We are pleased to recognize this group of outstanding seniors as they prepare to launch their careers.”

A chemical engineering senior, Sit maintained a 4.0 GPA as a Provost Scholar and is a member of the Center for Manufacturing Excellence. She served as secretary and president of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society as well as served on the Engineering Student Body Leadership Council and as a School of Engineering ambassador. She also received the Outstanding Chemical Engineering Sophomore and Junior awards and was named a Taylor Medalist. She also completed co-op and internship roles with ExxonMobil in Baytown, Texas.

“I’m honored to receive the School of Engineering Senior Leadership Award, and I’m very grateful to the faculty, staff and fellow students who have taught me so much,” Sit said. “The Ole Miss School of Engineering has shaped my teamwork, communication and leadership skills through its culture of community and has given me relationships and memories I will cherish for a lifetime.”

In addition to the School of Engineering Leadership Award, Sit was the university’s representative to the Mississippi Engineering Society’s Outstanding Senior Award program in Jackson. She has accepted a position with ExxonMobil to start after graduation.

Gray, a chemical engineering major, is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. He is a member of the Columns Society and served as both a School of Engineering and a university ambassador. He also serves as treasurer of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society and philanthropy chair of Chi Psi fraternity. Additionally, he represented the School of Engineering at the PULSE Leadership Council. Gray completed an internship with Ergon BioFuels as well as a co-op with DuPont. After graduation, he has also accepted a position with ExxonMobil.

A civil engineering major, Joshi is also a member of the Honors College and Tau Beta Pi. He serves as vice president of the Institute of Transportation Engineers as well as vice president and co-founder of the Nepalese Students Association. He is actively involved with Engineers Without Borders and the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is also an undergraduate research assistant and works as a community desk assistant in the residence halls. He plans to attend graduate school to study structural engineering.

McFann, a computer science major, received the Doris Raymond Scholarship from the Honors College. He received the Outstanding Sophomore and Junior awards from the computer science department. He was named to Who’s Who in 2018 and served as a member of the Columns Society. He also served as president of Upsilon Pi Upsilon computer science honorary and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa society. Additionally, McFann completed three summer internships with International Paper in Memphis and plans to return to International Paper full time after graduation.

Another member of the Honors College, Odle is studying civil engineering. He has been involved in a variety of activities including the Chancellor’s Leadership Class, American Society of Civil Engineers and his fraternity. He has also served as a School of Engineering ambassador and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Odle has worked as a research assistant for the Center for Graphene Research and Innovation and has completed internships with FedEx and Tyson Foods. He has accepted a job with Amazon at its headquarters in Seattle.

Thomas, a mechanical engineering major, transferred to the university from Mississippi Delta Community College. There, he was president of Phi Theta Kappa, a member of the MDCC honors program and was selected to the MDCC Hall of Fame. At Ole Miss, Thomas received a Lyceum Scholarship and was a member of the transfer Chancellor’s Leadership Class. He has also been inducted into Phi Kappa Phi. Additionally, Thomas has completed internships with Entergy, BorgWarner and Parker Hannifin. After graduation, he hopes to remain in Oxford with a full-time position.

A general engineering major, Tribble was the winner of the 2018 Gillespie Business Plan Competition. A member of the Honors College, he has been selected for membership in Tau Beta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi societies and received the Brevard Engineering Scholarship. Tribble served as vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa and engineering editor for the UM Undergraduate Research Journal. He also serves as vice president of the UM Cycling Club and was a student representative to the Active Transportation Advisory Committee. Additionally, he served as an intern with Pearson Education, Frost Converting Systems and the University of Virginia Health System. He plans to work with Pearson Education after graduation.