August 30, 2022
Awarding over $350,000 in scholarships since 2006, the Mississippi Automotive Manufacturers Association (MAMA) is proud to present 15 scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year to community college and university students interested in pursuing a career in the automotive manufacturing industry. Since 2006, MAMA has supported the growth of a strong workforce essential to the health of all industries in the state. This year’s scholarships were awarded to technical and engineering-related majors, as well as non-traditional majors, that can be applied in the automotive industry. Along with the scholarship, recipients will also receive one-on-one mentoring from a MAMA member in their region and the opportunity to participate in job skills workshops.
MAMA serves it members by promoting growth, development, and improvement in the automotive industry in Mississippi, as well as serving as a forum for interaction among automotive manufacturing companies in the state. In extending his congratulations, Kevin Burgess, MAMA’s President, said, “MAMA is excited to target ambitious students with an interest in an automotive career with scholarships to help them become the next leaders of our industry. The outstanding group of students who received this year’s Mississippi Manufacturers Association’s scholarships bode well for the future of automotive manufacturing in our great State. I congratulate them and wish them success in completing their degree, followed by a successful start in our industry!”
This year, five Mississippi State Students were among the successful 2022-2023 MAMA Scholarship candidates:
Mississippi State University Student Winners
Chiedo Atuegwu, a senior majoring in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics at Mississippi State University, has a zeal to challenge himself and adapt to new environments. His 4.0 GPA and numerous honors and awards, including being a 2020 All-Texas Academic team member and a 2020 All-USA Academic Team nominee, demonstrate that he continues to rise to his challenges. His work experience almost makes his 4.0 GPA in electrical engineering a footnote, having worked several jobs in construction and oil, serving as equipment and fuel operator for several companies, a field crew leader, and safety specialist - huge experience for a future engineer. A professor described Chiedo as rising star, not only at his university, but in the State of Mississippi, the United States, and internationally. Atuegwu wrote that he pursues his education with the utmost effort so he can also help improve the welfare of his family and community.
Lee Bowman is a junior at Mississippi State University majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Bowman, a Shackouls Honor College participant, is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society and a Presidents Scholar maintaining a 3.93 GPA. He is in the Accelerated MBA-Project Management Program, the MBA Venture Pathway Program (MVP), and serves as a representative for the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department. Lee has furthered his hands-on skills through numerous internships, including Nissan Motor Corporation in Smyrna, TN; Viking Range in Greenwood, MS; Milwaukee Tool in Clinton, MS; and at Milwaukee Tool in Jackson, MS. He has also worked as an undergraduate researcher evaluating Urban Air Mobility at MSU. Lee enjoys participating on the MSU Men’s Club volleyball and soccer teams and as a Community Leader at First Baptist Ridgeland.
Minjae Cho, a junior at Mississippi State University, has maintained a 3.9 GPA majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Cho is a Shackouls Honors College member and has research experience at CAVS (Center for Advanced Vehicular System) and at APSL (Advanced Propulsion Spray Lab) at MSU. A dream to fly after watching jets above his home in Korea ended after he suffered an injury. However, that gave him motivation to grab a new dream – designing, developing, and upgrading jet engines. A professor wrote, “I have been the adviser of Minjae during his undergraduate student research program. It has been such a delight to see his sincere life and enthusiasm to learn new things. He has demonstrated his passion and intelligence in a proactive manner.” Cho has also served as a Korean teacher at the Starkville Korean School, a Physics tutor, and as treasurer of the Korean Student Association.
Erastus Lum is a senior at Mississippi State University majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Erastus maintains a 3.94 GPA and still manages to find time to work on project cars with his brother. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, a member of Phi Kappa Phi, and a recipient of a Who’s Who Award and President’s Scholar Award at Hinds Community College. Lum recently completed a co-op at Nissan North America in Canton, MS, in Parts Quality Engineering. His supervisor at Nissan stated that it was a pleasure to work alongside Erastus and that he had probably benefitted as much from Erastus’ knowledge as Erastus had benefitted from his knowledge. Lum was a Hot Wheels and Legos aficionado as a child and credits both toys for his interest in cars today.
Garrett Mills is a junior Mechanical Engineering major at Mississippi State University and is a member of the Shackouls Honors College. This year he completed a summer internship in Reliability Engineering with Graphic Packaging International and a spring co-op with Factory Planning at Mercedes-Benz where he also served as a member of the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Student Co-op Board. In 2021, Garrett completed an internship with Westlake Compounds. Mills has been on the President’s List consistently at MSU, was the 2019-2020 Outstanding Chemistry Student of the Year at East Mississippi Community College, the Valedictorian of his high school class, and a member of the 2017-2018 Lowndes Young Leaders Program. He was elected president of his Kappa Sigma Fraternity Pledge Class, and in high school was captain of his High School tennis team as well as captain of the marching band drumline.