Carnegie Mellon University
December 19, 2014

National Engineering Honors Society Revamps Educational Initiatives

National Engineering Honors Society Revamps Educational Initiatives

This year, Carnegie Mellon's Chi Epsilon chapter has been ramping up its commitment to education, introducing new initiatives that will provide greater opportunities for its members to connect with the CEE community. Under the leadership of chapter president Stacie Lackler, the society launched a monthly research seminar series in which CEE faculty are invited to deliver talks about their current research to the student body. "The lecture series is about giving back to the community and giving more," says Lackler. "We want to create more opportunities for students to learn about the research our professors are conducting, and to help them find out how they can get involved."

In addition, Chi Epsilon is strengthening its alumni relations, so that students can tap into networking and job opportunities as they approach graduation. "Developing a strong alumni system will provide a huge professional advantage for our members," says Lackler. By planning an alumni event for carnival next semester, she hopes to lay the groundwork for her predecessor to continue these important connections.

Chi Epsilon is also fostering connections within the student body itself. Board members are collaborating with the  American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) student chapter to institute a mentor program, in which undergraduates can benefit from the experience of upperclassmen. "Getting advice about what courses to take or how to manage your time from someone who's been there is really helpful, but it can be daunting for younger students to approach the seniors," Lackler explains. "This is helping to break a lot of those boundaries."

According to Lackler, reaching out to underclassmen is the key to creating a stronger Chi Epsilon. "Its more meaningful when you're in it for a few years," she says. "You get to see improvements that are the direct result of the effort that you put in." By encouraging Juniors to take on leadership roles, Lackler and her fellow members hope to establish more year-to-year continuity, and a greater sense of pride within the society.