Dean’s Advisory Council meeting focuses on student success

September 21, 2021

Members of the Deans Advisory Council.

Members of the Dean’s Advisory Council pictured, from left: Jim Fitterling, Ray Kowalik, Christine Pierson, Jim O’Neill, David Payne, Associate Dean of Research Giovanna Guidoboni, Ron Wood and Dean Noah Manring. DAC members not pictured: Chih-Hsiang (Thompson) Lin, Mike Brown, Steve Edwards, Brian Howard, Kelly King, Sharon Langenbeck, Michael Melton. The group discussed student success at the Sept. 17 meeting.

Mizzou Engineering is investing more resources in student success to ensure the College continues its legacy of preparing graduates for leadership positions. That was one take-away from the Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC) meeting held Friday, Sept. 17.

“Our mission is to create leaders, advance technology and develop entrepreneurs in a research and interdisciplinary environment,” Dean Noah Manring said. “That will result in well-informed citizens, economic development, job creation and an improved standard of living for Missouri and beyond.”

The DAC is made up of some of the College’s most prominent alumni, with many serving as CEOs, presidents and other C-suite executives at top engineering companies in the world.

To continue placing graduates in those leadership roles, Mizzou Engineering is increasing efforts to equip students with the skillsets they need for industry success. This academic year, for instance, the College awarded $1.7 million in scholarships to students from all backgrounds. Faculty members are participating in evidence-based training to learn the latest best practices and keep courses effective and relevant. And student services such as advising, tutoring and career assistance — along with external opportunities such as student organizations and study abroad experiences — ensure students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them for the real world.

The efforts are paying off. In the past several years, Mizzou Engineering has celebrated student accolades such as National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships and Goldwater Scholars. More faculty members have been honored with prestigious honors such as being named fellows of their respective associations; and being named Curators’ Distinguished Professors and Kemper Fellows for Excellence in Teaching. Research activities, as indicated by expenditures and awards, are on the rise. And the College welcomed a record number of employers during this year’s in-person Career Fair.

All of those factors support the College’s vision to educate engineering leaders and design innovative solutions to make the world a better place, Manring told DAC members.

The DAC supports those goals by providing industry expertise, guidance and advocacy.

“Members of the Dean’s Advisory Council are critical to ensuring that we continue a legacy of placing students in positions of leadership and influence,” Manring said. “We rely heavily on their industry knowledge and guidance as we strive to keep our programs current and relevant.”

During their day-long visit to campus, DAC members also toured the NextGen Precision Health facility and many attended the College’s Alumni Awards Banquet that evening.

Co-chairs of the Dean’s Advisory Council are:

  • Jim Fitterling, BS ME ’83, Chairman & CEO of Dow Inc.
  • Chih-Hsiang (Thompson) Lin, BS ME ’83; MS EE ’90; PhD EE ’93, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Applied Optoelectronics, Inc. (AOI)

Members of the Dean’s Advisory Council are:

  • Mike Brown, BS EE ’79 (MS from UMKC ’97), Chairman, President & CEO of Euronet Worldwide
  • Steve Edwards, BS EE ’78, CEO of Black & Veatch
  • Brian Howard, BA Bio Sci ’86 (MD from University of Rochester, MBA from Emory University), retired as President and Owner of North Fulton Plastic Surgery
  • Kelly King, BS ME ’90 (MBS from Saint Louis University), Executive Vice President of AT&T
  • Ray Kowalik, BS Civil ’85; MS Civil ’99, CEO of Burns & McDonnell
  • Sharon Langenbeck, BS ME ’74; MS ’76; PhD ’79, retired as NASA Jet Propulsion Lab Project Element Manager
  • Michael Melton, BS EE ’81; JD ’84, President & CEO of TME Enterprises; MEM Concessions, LLC
  • Jim O’Neill, BS Civil ’81; MS Civil ’82, retired as President, Boeing Defense Space and Security Development and St. Louis Senior Executive of Boeing
  • David Payne, BS EE ’83, CEO of PayneCrest Electric and Communications
  • Christine Pierson, BS IE ’85 (MBA from Rockhurst University), President & CEO of Tresl
  • Ron Wood, BS EE ’64, retired as President & CEO of Black & Veatch