CSE goals advanced by Advisory Council

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University has established an outstanding group to serve as its Advisory Council. Membership on the council is by invitation of the department head and based on leadership, accomplishments, and interest. The current council is made up of former students who are or have been corporate and professional leaders. There are currently 26 members on the council, which is chaired by Mr. Eric Marin, BS '86.

In 2012 Marin was honored as a CSE Distinguished Former Student at the Annual Computer Science and Engineering Awards Banquet as was council member, Chris Jones, BS '99. Other council recipients of the prestigious award are Steve Swanson, PhD '98, (2010); Curtis Hite, MS '94, (2007); and Ronnie Ward, PhD '73, (2005).

Swanson is currently in command of the International Space Station crew. Jones was awarded the Dwight Look College of Engineering Outstanding Early Professional Achievement Alumni Honor Award in 2014; Hite received the inaugural Outstanding Early Professional Achievement Alumni Honor Award from the college in 2013; and Ward was the recipient of the 1998 Dwight Look College of Engineering Outstanding Alumni Award.

The council meets twice a year on campus to brainstorm with faculty on ways to involve other former students in the council's mission to assist CSE in its drive for excellence. This is accomplished by creating and improving departmental programs, providing co-curricular opportunities, and calling attention to the many accomplishments of the department's students and faculty.

Recently council members as well as other former students have endowed scholarships for our computer science and engineering students and have encouraged other former students to do the same. During the past year, 7 endowed scholarships were created which nearly doubles the number of endowed scholarships we have. These and other gifts have increased the department's endowment by nearly 60% since September 2013.

One of the ideas suggested at last spring's council meeting will be realized this fall in two tailgating extravaganzas for former students. They will be held for the first Texas A&M football game with the Lamar Cardinals on Sept. 6 and for the Oct. 11 game with the Ole Miss Rebels.

The CSE Advisory Council helps ensure that the department has the resources to achieve its goals by being a source of financial support and by referring others who can be supportive. We are proud to have these dedicated and distinguished former students on our team.