The Texas A&M University College of Engineering boasts an impressive honors program of over 1,000 students. The program is newly redesigned, with this being the second year as a college-level program. Engineering Honors provides students with unique opportunities to network with faculty and industry leaders. In honors courses, students are given individualized attention and curricular challenges that push them to reach their full potential.
Within the Engineering Honors program, there is an executive committee comprised of 18 students currently active in the program. Three students were recently elected as officers over the committee. The goal of the committee is to not only uphold the quality of experience within the program, but to also maintain contacts with industry partners.
Kevin Kmetz, a sophomore biomedical engineering student, is the chair of the executive committee. As chair, he oversees the committee and collaborates with the vice chairs of internal and external affairs to ensure that the standards of the program are continually met. He also works closely with Senior Director of the Engineering Honors Program, Dr. Nancy M. Amato, and Program Specialist, Pauline Wade.
The executive committee is committed to providing the most beneficial experience for honors students. Kmetz, who served on the inaugural executive committee last year, is excited about the opportunity to once again lead and serve Engineering Honors.
“The people you surround yourself with are going to be great at A&M, but it is especially evident in Engineering Honors,” Kmetz said. “Everyone around you is going to be challenging you. One thing I really like about honors classes is the feeling that you aren’t competing against your classmates, you are working with them. In Engineering Honors, we are part of a team.”
Kmetz currently works alongside Ph.D. student, Lindsay Woodard, in Dr. Melissa Grunlan’s polymeric biomaterials laboratory. After graduation, Kmetz plans on pursuing orthopedic device design and would ultimately like to own his own bioengineering or medical device company.
Freshman general engineering student, Whitney Souery, serves as vice chair of internal affairs on the executive committee. In this role, she is in charge of managing the types of programs and events held by Engineering Honors, with the overall goal being to foster a greater sense of community among honors students.
“I think [Engineering Honors] is a way to enhance your engineering degree,” Souery said. “Yes, you are learning how to be an engineer already, but it’s better preparing you and challenging you in more ways.”
Souery currently works under Dr. Corey J. Bishop, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, in the Pharmacoengineering Lab. She is interested in a career as a medical scientist with a specialty in drug and gene delivery.
Zach Hardy, a junior nuclear engineering student, has participated in Engineering Honors for over a year and serves as the current vice chair of external affairs. He believes that participating in the program is a route to success.
“Participating in the Engineering Honors program is probably one of the best things you could do because you get to develop relationships with your professors,” Hardy said. “They typically assign projects that go beyond the scope of the course and into the scope of another, which vastly benefits your performance in future courses.”
Despite pursuing their individual interests and dreams, each of these three committee members are working together to elevate the experience for students in Engineering Honors.
Among many requirements, students must complete at least 18 hours of honors credit in courses offered by the college of engineering or college of science, maintain a high-level grade point average and participate in undergraduate research and various program activities. Because of the quality of students involved in the program, these requirements are seen less as drudgery and more as unique and exciting opportunities to grow. For more information about the Engineering Honors program, visit https://engineering.tamu.edu/programs/eh