March 2, 2023
Congratulations to the 2023 Bagley College of Engineering Student Hall of Fame class!
Over the last few days, we have been 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?
Alayna Todd, 23, Senior, Chemical Engineering and Fashion Design & Merchandising
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 will graduate this May, 2023.
Why did you choose to attend MSU, and why did you choose an engineering field of study?
In high school, I had a variety of interests and was unsure what career path I wanted to pursue. MSU presented the most opportunities and allowed me to study many of my favorite topics at the same time. I chose to study engineering because I love math and solving problems. Engineering gives me the platform to make a difference in the world by doing what I love.
What are your favorite campus organizations you have become a part of?
Some of my favorite campus organizations I have been a part of are College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Ambassadors, Engineering Student Council and American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
What has been your favorite course you have taken at MSU and why?
Textiles for apparel was probably my favorite course I’ve taken at MSU because it sparked in me a passion for textiles and showed me how I could combine my two degrees to prepare me to enter into an ever-growing field full of innovation and exploration.
Which course has been your most challenging at MSU and why? What was something you learned about yourself after taking that course?
Chemical reactor design was certainly my most challenging course at MSU. The material is complex and requires a significant amount of consistent time and effort. While the course was incredibly difficult, it pushed me to study harder than I ever have before and reminded me that I am capable of more than I think. I also was reminded of how crucial it is to have a strong support system to help keep you going.
What is one thing you have learned, related to engineering, during your time in the Bagley College of Engineering?
From day one in the Bagley College of Engineering, I found the best group of classmates and friends. We formed a project group that first day and have stayed together ever since. Working with this group taught me how to capitalize on each person’s strengths and weaknesses to create a group that is able to ebb and flow with each other’s schedules and abilities. If one person is having a tough semester, the other members are willing and able to pick up some extra tasks to reduce that person’s workload. I am proud of the work we have produced and the lifelong bonds we have formed.
How has MSU and specifically the Bagley College of Engineering prepared you for professional life after college?
Through the Bagley College of Engineering and specifically the Swalm School of Chemical Engineering, I gained a mentor to guide me in my job search and final semesters at State. My mentor is a prime example of the quality engineers Mississippi State produces. She has helped me narrow down my career path, critiqued my resume, prepared me for interviews and aided me in accepting my job offer. Because of the advice and guidance she has provided and continues to provide, I have such peace about entering the workforce and this new phase of life.
What are your plans after graduation?
I will be moving to Houston, Texas to work as a Materials Engineer designing the next space suit.
What will you miss most about MSU after you graduate?
I will miss so much about MSU and my time here. I’ve made so many memories studying with friends, going to baseball games, giving out hugs before big tests, pulling all-nighters in the sewing lab and making late night Cook Out runs with my friends. MSU has blessed me with some of my closest friends, my biggest challenges and my greatest victories.