Sophomore chemical engineering class includes highest percentage of females


One hundred ninety two members of the sophomore class officially joined the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University this fall, boasting the highest number of female undergraduates to date. The students were welcomed at a reception hosted by Dr. M. Nazmul Karim, department head and T. Michael O’Connor Chair II, and the student chapters of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and Omega Chi Epsilon.

Dr. Victor Ugaz, director of the undergraduate program and Charles D. Holland ’53 Professor, encouraged attendees to consider the vitality they collectively offer the academic environment.

“A university cannot exist without students,” Ugaz said. “The faculty are here because of students like you and that’s what today’s event is all about.” 

He further advised all to engage their professors during office hours and share their interests and professional goals.

Senior Alexis Musso, program chair for AIChE, said that she hoped the event would inspire students to join the extracurricular organizations available to them through the department. 

“We want them to feel welcome,” she said.

This is the first year in which undergraduate students were admitted to the program in their sophomore year, part of the college-wide initiative to provide a foundational freshman year. Forty percent of the department’s sophomore class is female. Over 600 undergraduate students — sophomores, juniors and seniors —  are presently enrolled in chemical engineering studies at Texas A&M.