Skip To Main Content
Mia McCallum
Mia McCallum, pictured with the Masai tribe during the Traveling Aggie tour of Tanzania, has established an industrial engineering scholarship. | Image: Courtesy of Mia McCallum

Tied together by their love for engineering, Mia McCallum and her late husband, Mark Kawamura ’79, had successful careers in the field that brought them together. To honor both her and her husband’s careers, McCallum has established Kawamura-McCallum Six Sigma Excellence Endowment in the Wm Michael Barnes ’64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University.

McCallum received her industrial engineering degree from the University of Iowa, and Kawamura graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in industrial engineering as well. Their education provided them with many opportunities for successful careers in engineering following graduation. They valued the solid foundations that their universities paved for their future.  

“Our college educations helped us appreciate the breadth of possibilities engineering skills can be applied to,” McCallum said. 

Both McCallum and her husband had wonderful careers due to their training and certifications in Six Sigma, a set of quality management processes and techniques. With these certifications, they had the pleasure of working with colleagues across the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe. They enjoyed the technical and strategic challenges that the Six Sigma careers exposed them to. 

McCallum spent years coaching and formally teaching Six Sigma and lean manufacturing production methods to others. The endowment she has recently established allows her to extend support of Six Sigma and lean manufacturing techniques to another generation of engineers.  

I hope for young engineers to have a valued skill set as they enter the work environment. Learning how to creatively solve problems in a collaborative way will help those young engineers contribute to the success of their organizations.

Mia McCallum

Industrial systems and engineering professor Dr. Amarnath Banerjee witnessed the impact of McCallum’s generosity through a previous gift, which helped 15 students receive their certification at a reduced cost.

“Our students are extremely grateful for McCallum’s generosity,” Banerjee said. “The department truly appreciates this generous endowment to honor Mark, and the gift will help us support future industrial engineering students’ pursuit of receiving the Lean Six Sigma Certification.”

McCallum hopes this scholarship, which will be awarded specifically to students enrolled in the Lean Six Sigma Certification Program, will inspire future industrial and systems engineers to gain the same quality of education that was provided for her and Mark from prestigious universities like Texas A&M.

“Although I did not graduate from Texas A&M, I have grown to appreciate and respect the energy, spirit and commitment of the university and its former students,” McCallum said. 

How To Give

Endowments supporting students in the college have an immeasurable impact on their education. If you are interested in supporting the College of Engineering and its departments or would like more information on how you can give, please contact one of our development officers.