Bagley College honors 2016 distinguished alumni

April 8, 2016

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Ten alumni were inducted as Bagley College of Engineering’s Distinguished Engineering Fellows during an annual ceremony on March 31.

From L-R: Paul Lichlyter, Terry M. Abel, Michael Wade Shrader, Robert Andrew Martin, Theresa Graves Maxwell, David John Machado, Leslie Henderson, Mark E. Henderson, Kirt J. Cuevas; (not pictured: Donald Wendland)

From L-R: Lichlyter, Abel, Shrader, Martin, Maxwell, Machado, L. Henderson, M. Henderson, Cuevas; (not pictured: Wendland)

By naming annual Distinguished Fellows, Bagley College celebrates the accomplishments of its alumni and reunites the honorees with their alma mater and engineering heritage.

In 1991, the College of Engineering named 100 Distinguished Fellows as part of its 100th anniversary celebration for engineering education at Mississippi State. The program was reborn in 1999 with the edition of 10 Distinguished Fellows. Each year, eight to 10 esteemed alumni are given the prestigious recognition.

The 2016 Distinguished Fellows are (by location):

GULFPORT, Miss. – David J. Machado earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from MSU in 2000. Seven years later, he started a small consulting civil engineering and surveying firm in his hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi. After achieving a master’s degree in business administration from Tulane University, he sought growth for his company. It has now evolved into Machado | Patano and M |P Design Group, a conglomerate that provides full service engineering, surveying and architectural design services.

During his time at MSU, Machado also served as the student chapter president of American Society of Civil Engineers. He continues to leave his mark on his alma mater by mentoring prospective and current engineering students. Machado and his wife, Donna, recently pledged a gift to the new Civil and Environmental Engineering complex, in the form of the “David and Donna Machado Instructional Theatre”.

HOUSTON, Tex. – Donald Wendland began his thirty years of experience in the oil and gas industry by earning a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from MSU in 1983, followed by a law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1986. He currently serves as senior counsel to Noble Energy Inc., and specializes in projects located in the eastern Mediterranean, western Africa and other new venture areas.

Wendland lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife, Leslie Ann, and their two children. He was honored with the President’s Award from the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators in 2010, where he served for six years as a vice president.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Terry M. Abel began his career with Lockheed Martin after earning a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from MSU in 1982 and 1983, respectively. In 1990, Abel transferred to his current home in Huntsville, Alabama, where he has continued a 26-year relationship with engineers and scientists at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Abel oversees educational partnership efforts for the National Space Club in Huntsville, including outreach activities focused in STEM. He and his wife, Linda Sims Abel, have also worked to personally establish an endowed scholarship at MSU, which will have its first recipient in the fall semester of 2016.

KILN, Miss. – Leslie Henderson graduated from MSU with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemical engineering in 1998 and 2000, respectively. After graduation, she took her engineering skills to Mississippi Polymer Technologies, a small start-up that commercialized newly discovered high-performance polymers. Leslie Henderson holds many accolades, including the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Outstanding Citizen Award, the Coast Young Professional’s 2014 Forever Young Award and two bronze medals in the 2006 World Beer Cup Competition.

Also honored with the title of Distinguished Fellow is her husband, Mark Henderson. He holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering from MSU. Mark Henderson is the co-founder and chief engineer at LogLinear Group, LLC, which works to develop atmospheric radars. He holds multiple technology patents in acoustics and radar systems and is the president of the Kiln Corporation Committee.

Together, in 2004, they founded Mississippi’s first packaging brewery, Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company. The brewery also holds the title of founding member of the Mississippi Brewers Guild. Leslie Henderson currently serves as the manager of the company, employing 25 people and selling beer in 18 states. Mark Henderson manages the strategic vision of the brewery, as well as business development, capital acquisition, and legislative efforts. He also designs and builds manufacturing machines to improve the efficiency and safety of production. The couple have two children.

MADISON, Miss. – M. Wade Shrader began his medical career by earning an MSU bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering in 1991. During his time at MSU, he was elected to the first class of Presidential Scholars in 1987, and was later inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame. After spending four years with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center’s Flight Mechanics Branch, Shrader pursued a career in medicine, graduating from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

He currently serves as the Professor and Chief of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at Children’s of Mississippi, a part of the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Shrader is married to MSU alumna Carol Mason Shrader.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Kirt Cuevas, who earned an MSU bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1983, currently serves as the vice president of Environment, Health and Safety at International Paper. He originally joined the company in 1983 and has held several vice presidential positions while gaining 32 years of manufacturing experience.

Cuevas, who also serves on the Board of Directors for the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, resides in Memphis, Tennessee, with his wife, Caroline.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fl. – Founder and CEO of Lichlyter Consulting, Inc, Paul Lichlyter, began his career by graduating summa cum laude with an MSU computer science degree in 1989. Before founding his own firm in 2004, Lichlyter spent 12 years with Andersen Consulting, working in multiple industries and leading recruitment efforts on the MSU campus. In 2001, he was invited to become a partner with the firm, which had re-branded itself as Accenture.

Lichlyter and his wife, Amy Nettles Lichlyter, have four children, including a current MSU mechanical engineering student.

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Andrew Martin, who owns both Martin Oral and Facial Surgery and Renew Face and Laser in Starkville, graduated summa cum laude from MSU in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in biological engineering, before pursuing a medical career.

After MSU, Martin attended the University of Mississippi’s School of Dentistry and received a doctorate degree in dental medicine with magna cum laude honors in 2004. Upon graduation from dental school, he attended the University of Alabama-Birmingham where he completed a six-year advanced education program, combining medical school and residency training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Alabama’s School of Medicine in 2007 and completed his surgical residency in 2010.  While at UAB, he served as Chief Resident and conducted research in the area of head and neck cancer.

Martin and his wife, Mary Katherine, a graduate of MSU’s college of business, have two daughters.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A 1980 summa cum laude industrial engineering graduate of MSU, Theresa Graves Maxwell retired in January of 2015, after almost 35 years as a public servant with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). She began her career at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and became an expert in human spaceflight mission planning and operations, serving as a flight controller, project manager and supervisor. Maxwell also earned a master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Alabama and later joined the International Space Station Office at NASA Headquarters. At the time of her retirement, she was the deputy director of that office.

Maxwell, who lives with her husband, Kim Toufectis, on Capitol Hill, has served on the advisory board for Bagley’s ISE department and is on the board of trustees for the Center for Spiritual Living in Washington, D.C.

The Bagley College of Engineering is online at

By: Amanda Meeler