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Engineering Enhancements

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.498.1 - 8.498.6

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Paper Authors

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Anne Beddingfield

author page

A. Wayne Bennett

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2793

Mississippi State University Enhancing Student Leadership Skills

Anne M. Beddingfield and A. Wayne Bennett

Mississippi State University The James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


The James Worth Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU) has examined the shift in the engineering education paradigm and reacted by embracing change and looking for new opportunities. The strategic planning process began in 1996 with an Engineering Leadership for the 21 st Century initiative. As a part of Leadership 21, with a generous grant from the Robert Hearin Foundation of Jackson, Mississippi, five enhancements were developed for undergraduate students: 1) improve communication skills, 2) expand the integration of computers in the educational process, 3) develop cross-discipline leadership- teamwork skills, 4) improve entrepreneurial thinking and 5) expand global awareness. Four of the programs have been endowed and special facilities have been created to enhance student access and opportunities.

A number of special programs have been developed to achieve the enhancements. The programs are designed to complement engineering students’ technical education through a variety of workshops, seminars, and activities to build communication, leadership and teamwork skills. In addition, a select group of students is participating in special activities serving as the College’s Ambassadors for internal and external constituents. The College also supports a semester long congressional fellowship program in Washington, D.C. for engineering students.

The paper will discuss the development, implementation and results of the programs to date.


Effective engineers must possess both solid technical and communication skills to thrive and succeed in today’s business world. Working in teams of engineers and across disciplines requires practicing effective communication techniques and employing leadership skills. The engineering workplace is closely tied to the global economy and engineers must feel comfortable interacting in an international atmosphere. In addition, an understanding of laws and policy is valuable for engineers to comprehend and appreciate the legal system in the United States.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Expositions Copyright 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Beddingfield, A., & Bennett, A. W. (2003, June), Engineering Enhancements Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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