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Andria Elkins and David Cotten
Andria Elkins and David Cotten | Image: Contributed by Andria Elkins
David Cotten has established the Andria N. Elkins ’04 scholarship to provide one or more scholarships to full-time students in good standing pursuing a degree in the Industrial and Systems Engineering department at Texas A&M University.
Cotten is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Tulane University. He currently serves as the vice president of Western Hemisphere Operations Sales and Operations at Scientific Drilling International.
Andria Elkins ’04 was the driving force behind Cotten’s endowment and shared several causes that factored into her excitement for establishing a scholarship in the department. 
“Texas A&M means a lot to me,” Elkins said. “I truly experienced the Aggie spirit during my time on campus in a way that helped shape me into who I am today.”
It was Elkins love for Texas A&M, recognition of the impact her time on campus had on her and desire to create meaningful impact that led to the endowment.
“David and I attended the Industrial & Systems Engineering Awards Gala held this April and were moved by the student’s efforts and related scholarship offerings,” Elkins said. “After leaving the event I asked myself, ''Why aren’t my peers and I being better about reinvigorating scholarships for our current students?’ which led to a conversation about endowing a scholarship.”
Cotten surprised Elkins by establishing a scholarship in her name while she was away on a work trip.
“Something Texas A&M instilled in me and is a testament to the Aggie mentality in general, is the idea of being optimistic with each new encounter,” Elkins said. “David has always been supportive of this mentality and it translated to the endowment of this scholarship.”
Cotten and Elkins both hope the scholarship will help students worry less about the financial stress of attending Texas A&M and allow them to focus on their education.
“We want to help students who, for whatever reason, need support through the means of a scholarship,” Elkins said. “We need more people who believe in STEM and we need employees who are excited and ready to fill the role that awaits them after graduation and this scholarship is a way to meet that need on both ends of the spectrum.”

How to Give

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is celebrating its 80th anniversary in the coming years. The department’s goal for this celebration is to have 80 scholarships for the 80 years the department has existed. Endowments supporting the students in the department have an immeasurable impact on their education. If you are interested in supporting the department’s goal or would like more information on how you can give, please contact Thadd Hargett, senior director of development.