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Two students from the Mechanical Engineering Department were recently honored by the Cockrell School of Engineering with the Student Leadership Award. The award was bestowed at a ceremony held February 15th during National Engineers Week.

Mike Vu

Mike Vu is an undergraduate in the Mechanical Engineering department and the Plan II Honors Program. Mike has been an officer of engineering honors society Tau Beta Pi, a member of the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, and is the Program President of Student Engineers Educating Kids (SEEK). Mike feels that his most significant engineering experience as a student has been his involvement with SEEK.

SEEK

SEEK is an after-school mentoring program. SEEK administers weekly, hands-on demonstrations in middle-school classrooms to teach students engineering principles from various disciplines. SEEK mentors provide a positive, one-on-one influence to middle-school students that can help them develop goals and better learning skills.

As co-president of SEEK, Mike coordinates a team of 80 Cockrell School students each semester who participate in the regular weekly mentoring programs. During his presidency, Mike has initiated a number of innovations, including expansion to additional schools, close coordination with the Communities in Schools program and improved registration procedures.

Dean Fenves presents the Student Leadership Award to graduate student Cassandra Telenko

Dean Fenves presents the Student Leadership Award to graduate student Cassandra Telenko

Cassandra Telenko

Cassandra Telenko is a doctoral student in Mechanical Engineering. Originally from Rutledge, Pennsylvania, Cassandra received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 2007 and her Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from UT in 2009.

Cassandra has been actively involved in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), SEEK, Women in Engineering Program (WEP), and is in her second year as chair of the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Board (MEGSB). Under her leadership of the MEGSB, ME graduate students have become actively involved in a large number of ME departmental community building activities, such as faculty/student mixers, as well as engineering educational outreach events.

Cassandra expects to graduate with her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in May 2012. She plans to first work in the research industry to create sustainable products and eventually become a teaching professor.

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