2011 Epting/Mathews Co-op Student of the Year

From left: Davis Quick, George Threadgill, both of Ergon Refining, Mary Ann 
Murdock, award winner, Dr. Jason Keith, Department Head, Chemical Engineering, 
and Mike Mathews, former Director of the Cooperative Education Program.The Cooperative Education Program with the financial support of Northrop Grumman has instituted a new award and scholarship in honor of two former directors, Dr. Luther Epting and Mr. Mike Mathews.   These two gentlemen have made significant contributions to Cooperative Education at Mississippi State as well as on the national level.  It is a great privilege to honor them by naming this new award and $500 scholarship the Epting/Mathews Co-op Student of the Year award.

The Cooperative Education Program with the financial support of Huntington Ingalls, formerly Northrop Grumman, is in the second year of honoring an outstanding co-op student with the Epting/Mathews Co-op Student of the Year award and $500 scholarship. Mary Ann Murdock is the 2011 honoree to receive the award given at a ceremony during Co-op & Internship Interview Days in early October.

Mary Ann, a Chemical Engineering student, from North Little Rock, AR is finishing her senior year here at MS State. She completed her third work semester this past spring with Ergon Refining in Vicksburg, MS. Mary Ann has accomplished what few students in engineering do by completing a full co-op rotation and still graduating in four years. Mary Ann is the current External Vice President of American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Lambda Sigma Honors Society. She continues to distinguish herself as a President's Scholar, Dean's Scholar, and is enrolled in the Shackouls Honors College. Mary Ann also currently serves as a Co-op Ambassador.

In addition to excelling academically, Mary Ann is also an outstanding co-op employee. Her supervisor, Greg Mitchell, Process Engineering Manager at Ergon Refining, had this to say about Mary Ann, "She worked independently very well and did an outstanding job of leading others in a forward direction. We could not have asked for a better performance from a co-op student."

Faculty advisor, Dr. Bill Elmore, says that Mary Ann is a terrific team player, willing to listen to others while contributing excellent ideas of her own to help the project or task, at hand, move forward successfully. She doesn't hesitate to offer to be at an event early to help set up or stay late to clean up (a trait rare among students).

Mary Ann definitely recognizes the value of co-op in her life professionally, personally and academically. She wrote this in her application. "The co-op program has changed my life and given me the experience and assurance needed to be a successful engineer. It has been an integral part of my education and has kept me motivated to continue to grow as an engineer and a person.

Mary Ann will represent Mississippi State and the Cooperative Education Program in the National Co-op Student of the Year competition hosted by the American Society for Engineering Education, Cooperative & Experiential Education Division.