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A large group of students and donors standing together
A group of outstanding students were recognized during the annual Student Awards Banquet. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Outstanding students from the Texas A&M University College of Engineering were recognized and honored during the annual Student Awards Banquet on Oct. 26.

2023 Craig C. Brown Outstanding Senior Engineering Award

First created in 1947 as the Engineering Faculty Senior Award, the Craig C. Brown Outstanding Senior Engineer Award is the most prestigious honor bestowed on a graduating senior in the College of Engineering. The award is based on outstanding scholastic achievement, leadership and character.

Craig Brown ’75, a civil engineering major, received the Engineering Faculty Senior Award as a senior at Texas A&M, and it meant so much to him that the now president and CEO of Bray International expanded the recognition of the award.

Craig C. Brown, Carsen Benner and Joe Elabd
Bray International President and CEO Craig C. Brown, Carson Benner and Dr. Joe Elabd, interim vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Engineering | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Carson Benner
Mechanical engineering
Hometown: Houston, Texas

Carson Benner has paid forward the support he received while at Texas A&M by serving other students on campus. He worked as an Engineering Community of Scholars Fellow, helping incoming engineering students adjust to university life and engineering coursework. He also volunteered with disability services to make courses accessible for students requiring accommodations. During the last winter break, Benner traveled to Honduras with Global Medical Brigades to provide medical and dental care to underserved villages. He serves as the co-president of the Brown Foundation Freshman Leadership Organization, which coordinates social and professional events for freshmen scholarship recipients. He also conducts orthopedics research in the Biomechanical Environments Laboratory on campus and at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Craig C. Brown, Mary Catherine Daniels and Joe Elabd
Craig C. Brown, Mary Catherine Daniels and Dr. Joe Elabd | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Mary Catherine Daniels
Industrial engineering
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.

As a first-generation Aggie and out-of-state student, Mary Catherine Daniels has been eager to pursue leadership and involvement that impacts the communities that have welcomed her with open arms. She served her peers in the College of Engineering as a Career Fair Coordinator and Internal Relations Chair on the Student Engineers' Council. She represents the Texas A&M Foundation to prospective students and donors as a Maroon Coat and serves on the executive board of Chi Omega as director of programming. She has also been a National Scholar Ambassador, a two-year Fish Camp counselor and a staff member for The Big Event. Daniels has spent summers interning at Dell Technologies and, most recently, PepsiCo, where she will return as part of the Supply Chain and Engineering Rotational Program following graduation.

Craig C. Brown, James Sampson and Joe Elabd
Craig C. Brown, James Sampson and Dr. Joe Elabd | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

James Sampson
Biomedical engineering
Hometown: Elmhurst, Ill.

James Sampson has used his time at Texas A&M to get involved in every facet of campus life. He continued his lifelong passion of playing soccer into college, working his way up to the starting goalkeeper and vice president roles for the Men’s Soccer Team. He also serves as the ice president of his men’s organization, Paradigm: Forging Model Men of Aggieland, and works hard to promote their Leukemia & Lymphoma Society philanthropy events. In his spare time, he has served his community through peer notetaking, The 12th Can and Engineering World Health in Rwanda. Outside of academics and extracurriculars, Sampson works as a nanoparticle researcher in Dr. Tapasree Roy Sarkar’s cancer biology laboratory. He also tutors fellow students for the Medical College Admission Test, helping him prepare for his upcoming enrollment in Texas A&M’s School of Engineering Medicine (EnMed) program.

Craig C. Brown, Caitlin Sannes and Joe Elabd
Craig C. Brown, Caitlin Sannes and Dr. Joe Elabd | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Caitlin Sannes
Biomedical engineering
Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas

In her time at Texas A&M, Caitlin Sannes has been involved in Engineering Honors, where she serves as the chair of the executive committee. In this role, she has helped plan and execute many events to enrich the educational experience of honors students, including a blanket-making drive for Twin City Missions. Sannes also serves as a mentor for incoming freshmen and is the co-president of the Brown Foundation Freshman Leadership Organization. She is an undergraduate researcher with the Translational and Innovative Nanomedicine Laboratory, where she researches the effects of manganese dioxide nanoparticles on the tumor microenvironment with the hope of improving the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy and cancer outcomes. She is also a founding member of Partners in Health Engage TAMU, a healthcare policy advocacy organization dedicated to expanding access to healthcare.

Craig C. Brown, Eric Wang and Joe Elabd
Craig C. Brown, Eric Wang and Dr. Joe Elabd | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Eric Wang
Biomedical engineering
Hometown: Lawton, Okla.

In addition to his academic excellence, Eric Wang's journey is distinguished by a strong commitment to community service, both locally and globally. As the external relations co-team lead at BUILD, a student-run nonprofit organization, he fosters new partnerships with donors, leads grant-writing efforts and coordinates international missions, all aimed at making a difference in underserved communities worldwide. Wang also serves as a research assistant at the Texas A&M Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory. His prolific research contributions have resulted in numerous peer-reviewed publications, poster presentations, and the completion of an honors thesis focused on wound healing. His unwavering commitment to the Aggie core value of selfless service extends to the nonprofit clinic in Bryan, where he launched and coordinated free Spanish interpretation services.

Craig C. Brown, Jessica Williams and Joe Elabd
Craig C. Brown, Jessica Williams and Dr. Joe Elabd | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Jessica Williams
Computer science and mathematics
Hometown: Pearland, Texas

Jessica Williams has twin passions for developing quantum computing and strengthening communities. She researches for CERN on electronics upgrades for higher luminosity and improved processing algorithms. She has advised several boards across the city and university about housing policy, historic preservation and developing student-community collaborations. Williams works to promote service and civic engagement as part of her engineering identity.

2023 College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Awards

The College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Award recognizes one master’s student and one doctoral student who have demonstrated excellence above and beyond usual levels of achievement.

 Joe Elabd and Joshua Jalomo
Dr. Joe Elabd and Joshua Jalomo | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Joshua Jalomo
Outstanding Master’s Award
Engineering Technology
Hometown: New Braunfels, Texas

Joshua Jalomo started his academic career at Texas A&M in Fall 2018, where he later graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary engineering technology. As an undergraduate, he developed a passion for research topics related to advanced control systems for robotics. He has led a research project on developing an energy-efficient control method for a fully autonomous outdoor robot. Aside from his research, Jalomo has worked with the engineering technology and industrial distribution department to debut a first-of-its-kind course to its undergraduate engineering catalog. This course gives students critical skills to plan, design and build a full-stack robotic system. He looks forward to continuing his passion for control systems and robotics beyond his tenure as a master’s student.

Joe Elabd and Angela San Juan
Dr. Joe Elabd and Angela San Juan | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Angela San Juan
Outstanding Doctoral Award
Biomedical engineering
Hometown: College Station, Texas

Embarking on her doctorate in the biomedical engineering department at Texas A&M in Fall 2019, Angela San Juan committed herself to bridging the gap between advanced diagnostic solutions and underserved communities. As part of the Advanced Technologies and Health Systems for Underserved Populations (PATHS-UP) National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center, she’s been at the forefront of research that strives for inclusivity and innovation. Through dedicated efforts, she’s developed nanoparticle systems that enable molecular-based assays to detect upregulated microRNAs, small RNA molecules found in cells. These accomplishments have manifested in two provisional patents and peer-reviewed publications. Venturing beyond academia, San Juan expanded her knowledge base at Global Health Labs, a non-profit organization funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. There, she aimed to create a universal colorimetric dipstick reader for point-of-care applications, resulting in a notable publication of her work.

The College of Engineering also recognized and celebrated 15 newly endowed scholarships:

Gerald E. and Diane Schoonover Clarke Family Engineering Scholarship II, created by Diane S. Clarke to provide financial assistance to full-time students in the college.

Elise and Vance Fairchild ’89 Endowed Scholarship, established by Elise and Vance A. Fairchild ’89 to provide scholarships to full-time engineering undergraduate students in good standing in the college.

Meloy Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, established by Charles A. “Chuck” Meloy ’82 to enhance the entrepreneurial experience of engineering students, paving avenues for academic and career success. In addition to contributing to the ongoing innovation and improvement of the entire suite of programs offered to the engineering community, this investment will provide 40 scholarships a year.

Reininger/Kirst Engineering Scholarship, established by retired Lt. Col. Terrance “Terry” L. Reininger ’71 and Bonnie Kay Reininger ’72 to help alleviate financial burdens for junior and senior Corps of Cadet members who are majoring in aerospace, civil or electrical engineering.

Alton Lee Schellhase Endowed Scholarship in Engineering, created by Brandy S. ’96 and Brad D. Russell ’97 to support first-generation students who are Texas residents and demonstrate financial need.

Neera ’87 and Tony Talbert Endowed Peer Mentorship Scholarship, established by Neera ’87 and Tony Talbert for engineering students who are active peer members in the college’s Peer Mentorship Program and current members of the National Society of Black Engineers.

Endowed First-Generation Scholarship II and Endowed Peer Mentor Scholarship, established by Cynthia ’82 and Fred ’82 Balda to financially support students participating in the college’s mentorship programs.

Dallas A&M Club Endowed College of Engineering Scholarship, created by the Dallas A&M Club to add Dallas County residents attending Texas A&M and are classified as junior or higher.

Flanagan Family Endowed Scholarship, established by Katherine and William C. “Cory” Flanagan ’02 to support Texas A&M students of any undergraduate degree pursuing a minor in cybersecurity.

Dr. Mark H. Weichold ’78 and Dr. M. Katherine Banks Global Programs Scholarship, established by Susan and E. Eldridge Goins Jr. ’62 to help cover foreign travel expenses for undergraduate engineering students who are in good academic standing and participating in global programs opportunities in the college.

Campbell Murrell Fund Engineering Scholarship, created by Melisa Murrell Grace ’87 and Guy Grace to assist current undergraduate students in good standing with the college.

Robert “Bob” Hlozek ’61 Scholarship, established by Robert “Bob” Hlozek ’61 to support students who previously attended Tidehaven High School in Maton, Texas and are currently enrolled in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering.

Khatri Family Endowed Scholarship, created by Gauri P. Khatri to provide financial assistance to students in the college who show financial need.

Saenger Scholars Program Endowment, established by Scott C. Saenger ’83 to support first-generation students studying engineering.

Kathy and Brent Smolik ’83 First Generation Mentorship Endowed Scholarship, established by Kathy and Brent Smolik ’83 for undergraduate students participating in the First-Generation Engineering Students Mentoring Program in the college.