The College of Engineering honored an alumnus along with graduating students at its traditional ceremony held Fri., May 6. At the ceremony, Connie S. Phillips, president of the Las Cruces Public School Board and NMSU engineering alumna, was honored as Ingeniero Eminente.
All graduating engineering students at the ceremony will be inducted into the Sociedad de Ingenieros, established at NMSU in December, 1989. The society is dedicated to each graduating class of engineers in anticipation of the future contributions they will make to society while practicing their profession. At each ceremony, eminente members are inducted into the group. These recipients are NMSU College of Engineering alumni who have distinguished themselves in their field of study and who serve as role models for the new graduates.
Phillips received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Ball State University and doctoral degree in engineering, with a concentration in industrial engineering from NMSU.
Phillips has more than 15 years of experience working in the aerospace industry. She began her career working near Cape Canaveral at an imaging, geodesy and electronics company where she worked in research and development and computer software engineering. She continued her career in software, computer simulations, and systems engineering at Martin Marietta (currently Lockheed Martin) in Denver and Washington, DC.
Phillips was selected for a highly competitive intern program where she had the opportunity to shadow a vice president of a Fortune 100 Company for a year. She visited engineering projects throughout the nation and learned the technical and business operations of the advanced technology company. This experience, and corporate positions that followed, gave Phillips a strong knowledge of engineering projects and technologies varying from rocket launch to virtual reality simulations.
Phillips and her spouse, also an engineer, came to work a six-month assignment in Las Cruces where she took a course at NMSU. The industrial engineering department offered applicable courses in operations research, computer simulation and engineering economy, which afforded her an exceptional opportunity to remain in Las Cruces and continue her education. The knowledge she gained from her degree experience at NMSU continues to strengthen her engineering career.
Committed to give back to her community, Phillips is presently in her second elected four-year term on the Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education, currently serving as president. Phillips works to strengthen the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) opportunities in the district. Her engineering education, experience and skills are critical to helping her lead the second largest school district in the state.