March 19, 2004

Contact: Jill Hummels, School of Engineering, (785) 864-2934.

KU engineering students win honors at national association meeting

LAWRENCE -- University of Kansas engineering students brought home honors from the National Association of Engineering Student Councils' 21st annual national conference March 11 through 14 at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Thirteen KU students made the trek to the conference and returned with awards for Most Unique Council, Council Most Active in NAESC and Best Philanthropy. One KU student who previously was president-elect of the Central Region was confirmed to the president's position, two KU Engineering Student Council members were elected to national offices and one student was elected to a regional post, said George Oruoch, Nairobi, Kenya, senior in aerospace engineering and president of KU ESC.

The following students were elected or promoted to their office:

 • Andy Schmidt, junior in computer engineering from Bloomington, Minn., confirmed to the presidency of the Central Region of NAESC; the position also gives Schmidt a seat on the NAESC national board

 • Nicolas Frisby, junior in computer engineering from Merriam, re-elected vice president of administration for NAESC national

 • Ian Bradt, junior in electrical engineering from Johnston, Iowa, re-elected as vice president of relations for NAESC national

 • Shannon Griswold, junior in computer engineering from Merriam, re-elected as vice president of administration for NAESC Central Region

Council awards reflect the strength of KU ESC's programs at the local, regional and national level.

The award for Most Unique Council honored KU ESC for its multiple activities. "You just have to prove that the activities you do are better," Oruoch said. KU ESC put together a photo collage to demonstrate the breadth and depth of its endeavors.

The award for Council Most Active in NAESC honors a school's commitment to participating in national affairs. The KU ESC played host for the 2003 national conference and is involved beyond KU. Additional involvement in activities with other NAESC schools helped the KU council clinch the award.

"We have two regional officers and three national officers on the NAESC board, and we have been actively involved with other schools in our region," Oruoch said.

The Best Philanthropy award recognizes a student council's efforts to help others. KU ESC sponsors E Club, a six-week program at West Junior High School in Lawrence that gives young teens an introduction to several engineering professions followed by an activity that demonstrates something about each field.

The KU contingent also took top honors in the Can Castle Competition. Each NAESC region constructed a castle using nonperishable food items they brought from their home school. KU ESC was the only school from the Central Region to participate. Judging criteria included creativity and total height of the structure. After the contest, all food items were donated to a Milwaukee food pantry.

Jennifer Gunby, Roeland Park senior in business administration and civil engineering and finance officer of KU ESC, said she was proud of KU's performance at the national conference.

"It shows that KU engineering students are willing to go above and beyond in their leadership roles by taking on the responsibility needed to contribute at the regional and national level," she said.

KU students who attended the conference are listed below by hometowns, year and major in school, parents' names, high school alma mater and ESC office.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Merriam
Nick Frisby, junior in computer engineering, son of Albert and Linda Frisby; Shawnee Mission Northwest High School graduate; KU ESC activities chairman.
Susan Srivisay, freshman in computer science, daughter of Savath and Krissy Srivisay; Shawnee Mission North High School graduate; KU ESC Freshman Council Community Outreach chairwoman.

From Olathe
Jonathan Ashley, freshman in chemical engineering, son of Darryl and Diane Ashley; St. Thomas Aquinas High School graduate; National Society of Black Engineers representative.

From Roeland Park
Jennifer Gunby, senior in civil engineering and business administration, daughter of Fred Gunby and Cal and Joni Bender; Shawnee Mission North High School graduate; KU ESC finance officer.
Sara Gunby, junior in chemical engineering, daughter of Fred Gunby and Cal and Joni Bender; Shawnee Mission North High School graduate; KU ESC national communications coordinator.

From Shawnee
Shannon Griswold, freshman in computer science, son of Barbara Lisher; Shawnee Mission Northwest High School graduate; KUESC Web chairman.
Will Miller, freshman in aerospace engineering, son of Donald and Luba Miller; Shawnee Mission Northwest High School graduate; KU ESC freshman officer.

SEDGWICK COUNTY
From Derby
Tanner Rinke, junior in mechanical engineering, son of Tracy Henseler; Derby High School graduate; KU ESC mechanical engineering representative.

IOWA
From Johnston
Ian Bradt, junior in electrical engineering, son of Christopher Bradt and Denise White-Bradt; Johnston High School graduate; KU ESC secretary.

MINNESOTA
From Bloomington
Andy Schmidt, junior in computer engineering, son of Greg and Bonnie Schmidt; Academy of Holy Angels graduate, Richfield, Minn.; KU ESC vice president.

MISSOURI
From Ballwin
Kyle McCommis, freshman in chemical engineering, son of Jimmy and Laura McCommis; Parkway South High School graduate, Manchester, Mo.; KU ESC freshman officer.

TEXAS
From Plano
Jason Boots, sophomore in mechanical engineering, son of Gary and Shirley Boots; Plano Senior High School graduate; KU Student Senate engineering senator.

KENYA
From Nairobi
George Oruoch, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Daniel and Mary Oruoch; Lenana School graduate; KU ESC president.

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