April 15, 2022
Congratulations to the 2022 Bagley College of Engineering Student Hall of Fame class!
Over the next few days, we will be highlighting each SHoF recipient.
The new members participated in a Q&A reflecting on their time at Mississippi State.
What is your name, age, classification and major?
My name is Serena Liles. I am 23, a senior, and I am double majoring in biomedical engineering and biological sciences.
What year did you begin studying at MSU and when is your expected graduation date?
I began studying at MSU in 2017, and I graduate in May 2022.
Why did you choose to attend MSU, and why did you choose an engineering field of study?
In high school, I originally planned on studying history, but several of my friends and teachers recommended I go into engineering. I chose MSU because, even though I did start as a history major, I had the option of changing to engineering, which I did five days after orientation. I chose an engineering field of study because I felt like it would best prepare me for a wide variety of career fields.
What are your favorite campus organizations you have become a part of?
My favorite organization I am part of is Engineering Recruitment Leaders. I have been a member for four years and have seen the organization grow from 20 to 80 students. I also served as president for the 2020-2021 year. We meet with prospective students and their parents and give them the student perspective on engineering at MSU. Another favorite is the Jackson Free Clinic Health Ambassadors. We are an undergraduate branch of the Jackson Free Clinic, and we aim to educate MSU students and the Starkville community about health eating habits and maintaining good health. Additionally, I have been part of the Engineering Living Community for three years, serving as the Lead Tutor for two of those. We tutor and mentor freshman engineering students in the five historically most difficult courses.
What has been your favorite course you have taken at MSU and why?
My favorite course at MSU was pathogenic microbiology. I took it fall of my final year, and it truly is one of the best classes offered. The course is challenging, but the lab is unique in that we received mock patient files and had to use biochemical identification techniques to determine which pathogen was causing the patient’s illness. I enjoyed it because it directly relates to my future career.
Which course has been your most challenging at MSU and why? What was something you learned about yourself after taking that course?
The most challenging course I ever took at MSU was bioinstrumentation II. It was difficult because it was both online and a challenging class to begin with due to the nature of the material. Something that I learned about myself is that I cannot be afraid to ask for help from peers and professors when I do not understand the course material.
What is one thing you have learned, related to engineering, during your time in the Bagley College of Engineering?
Being a part of the College of Engineering allowed me to hone my critical thinking skills. Upon starting my degree in engineering, I quickly realized that memorization would not be as useful as taking the time to think through a problem. I believe this skill will carry over into my future career as a physician.
How has MSU and specifically the department of engineering prepared you for professional life after college?
By choosing a career in medicine, I am expected to adhere to a lifetime of learning. I believe that the academic rigor of the College of Engineering has prepared me both for medical school and the lifelong learning that is to follow throughout my professional life.
What are your plans after graduation?
I will be starting medical school at the UMMC School of Medicine in August 2022!
What will you miss most about MSU after you graduate?
More than anything, I’m going to miss the people of Mississippi State after graduation. Not only have I met some of my best friends at MSU, but the community that MSU fosters on campus is truly one-of-a-kind.