Seniors Chibueze Amanchukwu, Oscar Carrasco-Zevallos, Diganto Choudhury, Haley Helweg, Nate Mentzer, Ryan Rihani, Aaron Trask and Bryan Yaggi received the annual award due to their academic achievement, character and leadership abilities.
Chibueze Amanchukwu is a chemical engineering major from Richmond. Amanchukwu is strongly respected by professors and peers alike, and has been cited for exemplary professional ethics and high standards.
He participates in numerous campus organizations, has held leadership roles in the student AIChE chapter, including a key role in hosting the regional conference, and is currently the chapter’s president.
Amanchukwu has worked on campus at the Texas A&M Cyclotron Institute and the past two summers was employed by Marathon Petroleum Company where he was praised for sound judgment and critical thinking skills. He will graduate in May 2012.
Oscar Carrasco-Zevallos is a biomedical engineering major from Argyle. He discovered a passion for research during his sophomore year, which inspired him to find others of like mind and create CURE, the Council of Undergraduate Research in Engineering.
His professors praise his sterling moral character and exceptional scholarly drive, predicting that in graduate school and beyond he will be an ambassador for the caliber of Texas A&M’s students.
Carrasco-Zevallos has worked for two years in A&M’s lab for optical molecular imaging, won Best Thesis in the honors Undergraduate Research Fellows program and was among 25 undergraduates selected nationwide for a prestigious research program at Cal Berkeley. He will graduate in May 2012.
Choudhury is an electrical engineering major from Nigeria. Professors say he is conscientious, responsible and mature, always pursuing excellence. As part of the prestigious Academy of Future Leaders Class of 2011, he helped establish Rehab Nova International to create vocational homes for the disabled in Sudan.
He has also served as treasurer for Child Rights and You, helping raise funds for undernourished children in Asia. An Aggie Muster host and two-year participant in Big Event, he was selected for the Honors Research Fellow program and is the second author of a paper published by the IEEE Communications Society flagship conference.
This summer Choudhury worked for National instruments and he will graduate in May 2012.
Haley Helweg is an industrial and systems engineering major from Seguin. Her professors praise her for her character, integrity, professionalism and dedication to excellence in coursework.
Helweg holds the highest student position at the Texas A&M Rec Center where she is the evening and weekend facilities manager and is described as an exemplary leader who demonstrates outstanding skills in problem solving, communications, customer relations and crisis management.
She has contributed to a dozen campus organizations during her time on campus, including the Institute for Industrial Engineers and the Student Engineers’ Council, and as chairman of Rock the Ring, she organized a fundraiser to buy an Aggie ring for a selected applicant, and as a coordinator for Fast Track to Aggieland, she helped organize a weekend trip to A&M to mentor high school students. She will graduate in May 2012.
Nate Mentzer is a mechanical engineering major from The Woodlands. He has played on A&M’s Men’s Rugby Club for four years, and founded Challenger Rugby at A&M for children with disabilities.
Mentzer regularly participates in mission trips and leads Bible studies. He is active in the student chapters of ASME and the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and has completed four internships with Rudolph & Steen in California and with GE–Energy, Anadarko Petroleum and Chevron Mid-Continent, all in Texas.
He was praised for delivering on-time results with the quality and consistency of engineers already in the workforce and is described as a successful leader and excellent communicator whose quantity of achievements is surpassed only by the quality of his character. Mentzer will graduate in May 2012.
Ryan Rihani is a biomedical engineering major from Spring. He has been active in the Student Engineers’ Council, the American Medical Student Association, intramural sports, an animal fostering organization and RCIA at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in College Station.
Pursuing his goal of being a doctor, Rihani worked 15 months at Brazos Valley Urgent Care as a volunteer nurse and doctor’s shadow. Rihani participated in a History of Medicine Study Abroad and witnessed firsthand the impact of a doctor’s compassion and since his freshman year he has participated in the elite Michael E. DeBakey Institute Undergraduate Research Program at A&M.
Rihani is described as a star participant, serving as team leader, winning honors as top researcher and soon to be published as the second author of a paper in the American Journal of Physiology. He was asked to help run the institute’s summer research program and was praised by its founder as “the complete package” who made the program a “great success.” He will graduate in May 2012.
Aaron Trask is a chemical engineering major from Arlington and is described as a natural leader inside and outside the classroom. Trask served as Fish Camp co-chair and Tours and Traditions Executive for the MSC Hospitality Committee. He is praised for his integrity, excellent communication and commitment as a team player.
Trask has worked three years at the Aggieland Visitor Center, rising to student manager where his many duties included arrangements for visits by dignitaries. He has had two co-ops with ExxonMobil where he played a key role in commercializing a new product.
He is a two-year member of the Maroon Coats student ambassadors for the Texas A&M Foundation. Trask will graduate this December.
Bryan Yaggi is a mechanical engineering major from Arlington. He is a fourth-generation Aggie who was the outstanding scholastic freshman in the Corps of Cadets and served as Corps Scholastics Sergeant and Officer his junior and senior years, when the Corps posted its highest GPR in a decade under his leadership.
Yaggi has been on Muster Committee and served as Awareness Coordinator in charge of publicity. He has also participated in intramurals and played on the Corps’ basketball team. During the summer he has been a counselor at a Christian sports camp, took part in Engineering Study Abroad in Spain, and has held two internships—with Schrickel, Rollins and Associates and Halliburton Energy Services.
He is praised for character, integrity, intellect and work ethic. He will graduate this December.
Each of the seniors received an engraved medallion and a $5,000 educational grant. Their names appear on a plaque in the Zachry Engineering Center.
The Engineering Faculty Senior Award was renamed the Craig C. Brown Outstanding Senior Engineer Award in 1996 in recognition of Brown's endowment for the award. He received the award as a Class of 1975 civil engineering senior. Currently, Brown is chief operating officer, owner and president of Bray International Inc. as well as chairman and president of the Craig and Galen Brown Foundation.