April 18, 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 Caitlin Luke, and I am 22 years old. I am currently a senior majoring in mechanical engineering.
What year did you begin studying at MSU and when is your expected graduation date?
I began studying at MSU in the fall of 2018, and I am graduating in May of 2022.
Why did you choose to attend MSU, and why did you choose an engineering field of study?
Attending MSU is a sort of tradition in my family. I had grown up visiting this campus for football games and to visit my cousins and my brother. When it was finally my time to choose a college, Mississippi State undoubtedly felt like my home away from home! The decision was easy.
While exploring different majors and talking to people within those departments prior to attending MSU, I found that I simply clicked best with those I spoke to in the engineering department. I have always possessed a deep love for math, problem-solving and critical thinking, so I knew engineering would be the best fit for me.
What are your favorite campus organizations you have become a part of?
My favorite organizations have been Society of Women Engineers, Tau Beta Pi, and my sorority, Delta Gamma!
What has been your favorite course you have taken at MSU and why?
I actually have two favorites. As far as engineering goes, dynamics was my favorite because it was one of the first courses where I was introduced to principles and concepts that I have continued to apply throughout the vast majority of my classes. What I learned in that class laid the groundwork for success in future courses. Another favorite was floral design! I really enjoyed having a break in my week to clear my head, sit down, and make a beautiful floral arrangement. Having fresh flowers in your dorm each week is a definite mood-booster.
Which course has been your most challenging at MSU and why? What was something you learned about yourself after taking that course?
My hardest class was 100% physics II. The material just didn’t stick in my brain despite hours upon hours of studying and going to my professor’s office hours. I struggled and got discouraged. Pretty quickly into the semester I realized that I needed more help, enrolled in weekly private tutoring sessions, and managed to succeed in the class. That experience taught me that I will not thrive in every situation or always be able to keep up with my peers, but that’s okay. Everyone learns at their own pace!
What is one thing you have learned, related to engineering, during your time in the Bagley College of Engineering?
What each one of my classes have had in common is the way we go about solving problems. This has been the most helpful tool, especially when presented with an abundance of information at once. We always write down what we are given, determine what the problem needs us to find, and present our solution. It sounds simple, but it can make an overwhelming problem a lot easier to tackle!
How has MSU and specifically the Department of Engineering prepared you for professional life after college?
Mississippi State has gone above and beyond in preparing students for their future. The career fair and the career center have both proved to be valuable assets, and I have utilized both to search for internships, critique my resume, and practice my interviewing skills. The Department of Engineering has also aided me through courses such as professional development, and there is a phenomenal potential for networking throughout the department. Our professors also prepare us by assigning us team projects similar to those we would encounter in industry, such as our senior design project.
What are your plans after graduation?
I will be continuing my education here at MSU this coming fall, and I will be working toward earning my master’s degree in mechanical engineering under Dr. Matthew Priddy.
What will you miss most about MSU after you graduate?
The thing I will miss most is the friendships I’ve made here over the years. Even though I’m not leaving quite yet, it’s difficult to wrap my head around the fact that it’s no longer “Have a great summer! See you next semester!” It’s “Good luck at your new job and keep me updated!” The classmates that I’ve spent nearly every day with for the last four years, the people I chat with in passing on the Drill Field, and the sorority sisters who have become my best friends won’t be around anymore. Everyone is growing up and moving off to chase their dreams, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.