Writer: Lorena Sánchez
New Mexico State University’s American Institute of Chemical Engineers student chapter was selected by the national organization as an outstanding chapter for the 2009-2010 academic year—the third year the group has received this distinction.
“We are so thankful for the participation and enthusiasm that we have seen from our advisors and members. NMSU AIChE works very hard to unite the students in chemical engineering, and we are honored to be named an Outstanding Student Chapter,” Michelle Wilson, NMSU’s AIChE chapter president said.
Each year the AIChE’s national organization awards student chapters that have demonstrated enthusiasm, program quality, professionalism, and active participation in community and professional development activities with the title of outstanding chapter.
“We’re pretty proud of the honor. We put a lot of effort into using the chapter as a social experience, but along the way they also learn professional development skills,” David Rockstraw, chemical engineering professor and chapter adviser, said.
NMSU’s AIChE chapter has 104 national student members, the majority of whom are active participants, which greatly benefits a chapter’s chances of receiving the title.
“The chapter has a bright future. We are currently in the brainstorming phase of a competition called ChemE Car through the National Organization. We will complete a car by the Regional Conference in the spring, where we will compete and hopefully qualify for the National Competition that will take place at the National Conference next fall. Next, we are beginning to plan the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference that will take place at NMSU in spring 2012,” Wilson said.
In November, the chapter will be taking 10 students to the AIChE Annual Student Conference in Salt Lake City. They are also setting their sites on the future.
“We are working on a five-year plan that will help NMSU AIChE leave a legacy for future members to look back upon. We keep our Facebook page updated, we take pictures at all events, we are making binders for all officers so they know their exact duties, and we are striving to be named an Outstanding Student Chapter every year,” Wilson said.
To be considered for the award an application must be submitted by the chapter that outlines the accomplishments for that year. The application is then reviewed and the winners are chosen. Community service also plays a large role in determining the chapter that receives this honor.
“They do an incredible amount of community service. I let them do everything, what you’re seeing is a really a product of their labor,” Rockstraw said.
It’s the dedication to the growth, success, and familial connection that has kept such an honor within reach.
“We are setting the standard for years to come, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this great organization,” Wilson said.