Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Incredible Students: Student Body President Avery Cheeley

The votes have been cast, and LETU has announced the 2014-2015 student body president as Avery Cheeley.

Avery Cheeley, LETU's '14-'15 Student Body President
Cheeley, a junior mechanical engineering major, feels his sociable nature will help him be an effective president.

“The biggest thing that student body president does is have a gauge of student opinions and I think I can do an effective job at that because I know students and administration. I can be a good advocate for students,” Cheeley said. “My skills are geared toward people. It’s who I am.”

Cheeley has built his reputation for being an effective leader this school year as YAC president – an experience he described as “awesome.”

“It’s been a great year,” he said.

While Cheeley fully plans to support academics and student life, his aim is to encourage the spiritual lives of LETU students as well.

“One thing I’m really passionate about, and I would pursue regardless, is discipleship and creating small groups on campus for people who are seeking growth – that they would have a way of going about that. Student led, student run.”

He said wants to enlist interested students in starting small groups that branch out beyond being limited to specific floors.

“Mentorship, discipleship, seeking God – that’s something I think is necessary,” he said.

Dean of Students Corey Ross is confident in Cheeley’s new position and as an efficient voice between students and administration.

“Avery has done a great job this past year as the leader of student activities. I know him to be a strong leader who is not afraid to ask difficult questions and who genuinely seeks to learn from his conversations with students and administrators.  He will not hesitate to share, respectfully, what is on the students’ minds and hearts, but he will also do a great job communicating back the perspective he is gaining along the way.”

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Incredible Female Engineers

Today is “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.” It's been more than half a century since American women picked up wrenches in factories across the United States and helped support the war effort as their husbands, fathers and brothers headed to Europe and Asia. That catalyzing event began a change in course for women in the workforce that continues today. Despite how far we've come, we still have strides to make. Today, women only make up about 15% of the engineering industry according to the National Society of Professional Engineers, but LETU women engineering students don’t let the statistics stop them. 

LeTourneau University offers one of the most rigorous engineering programs in the country, and while the field used to be exclusively male-dominated, the LETU female engineering student counts grow each academic year. LeTourneau University is a place where there are no glass ceilings, and success is limited only by how hard our students work. Our female students are integral members of all of our STEM majors, as well as aviation.
Spring 2012 graduate Lorrin Quinn, currently employed at Rockwell Collins as a Systems Engineer, refused to be daunted by those who discouraged her from engineering: 
“As a woman whose most obvious skill set lies in communication, I was regularly told by others that I would be better suited to a different field than engineering. My engineering professors and parents were among the only ones insistent I would make a great engineer.”

Quinn found her differences from the male engineering population were actually an asset to her career.

“After finishing college, I found that I was highly sought after in the industry because the combination of technical knowledge and strong communication, writing, and personal skills is rare in the engineering field and greatly desired.” Quinn said. “What others considered to be reasons I shouldn’t be an engineer turned into my greatest strengths in the industry. So, just because you're not like the boys going into engineering doesn't mean you don't belong. Your differences make you valuable.”

Kristy Raley, another recent LETU alumna, just graduated in Fall 2013 with a degree in biomedical engineering and is already employed as a Design Engineer at Ulterra. She’s obviously passionate about her profession.

“I love computational modeling. I love using math to predict how parts will behave before they are even built so we can change and avoid problems. I did that in college and fell in love with it, and I am happy that I found a job that lets me do that.”

Raley makes her alma mater proud – she’s an advocate for encouraging young girls to enter technical fields, her interest in engineering stemming from attending a computer science camp for girls in high school.

“At that camp I learned I was really good at problem solving and working in group projects. We built an NXT robot that followed a flashlight through a maze,” she said.  “I loved the collaboration and how we all added our skills to the group to make our project the best,” Raley said, then quickly added, “My team won the race!”

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Incredible Interviews: Heritage Scholar Competition

One hundred and forty-three of the best and brightest high school seniors from 30 states and four countries recently visited LeTourneau’s campus to compete for the prestigious Heritage Scholarship.

It’s not something to be taken lightly – the Heritage Scholarship covers four years of tuition and is worth over $100,000. To be eligible, students must have at least a 3.6 GPA and score of 28 on the ACT or 1260 on the SAT. The competition takes into account their GPA and test scores, but depends primarily on an interview by faculty from the student’s area of interest.

One Heritage Scholar traveled all the way from Kandern, Germany to compete. Keith Gallagher is currently awaiting the Heritage Scholar awards announcement back in Europe. He has several reasons why he’s set his sights on attending LeTourneau.

“I love both the maths and sciences and would like to continue my exploration in them through mechanical engineering, and LeTourneau is such a renowned engineering school. I also desire to attend a Christian university. It was hard to find one with a statement of faith I agree with, until I read that of LeTourneau.”

While the competition was paramount, the weekend was also a fun time of meeting other students and getting to know LeTourneau.

“It was a very enjoyable event. I was quite impressed with the campus, the staff I met and the school as a whole,” Gallagher said. “I enjoyed the entire event, but I would say my favorite part was meeting a lot of cool people, including staff, current students and my fellow competitors.”

Longview, Texas a long way from Germany. Keith isn’t worried, though. He strongly feels LeTourneau is the university for him: “As a missionary kid, I have always thought of ‘home’ as the place where I am currently located, and I will quickly come to think of LeTourneau as such. ‘Home’ is the location of the people I love; this transition will not be leaving home for me, but making home bigger.”