College of Engineering Announces Outstanding Seniors

From top left across and then down: Shelby Paschal, Michaela Mertz, Andrew Dominick, Matthew Watters, Taylor Martin, Austin Brown, Rocky Hedrick, Kaitlin Denny and Will Carlisle
Photos by Katie Chevrier

From top left across and then down: Shelby Paschal, Michaela Mertz, Andrew Dominick, Matthew Watters, Taylor Martin, Austin Brown, Rocky Hedrick, Kaitlin Denny and Will Carlisle

In April, each department in the College of Engineering named one student as their 2015 Outstanding Senior. The College of Engineering selected one of these students as the 2015 College of Engineering Outstanding Senior.

The students selected were: Shelby Paschal, biological and agricultural engineering; Michaela Mertz, biomedical engineering; Andrew Dominick, chemical engineering; Matthew Watters, civil engineering; Taylor Martin, computer engineering; Austin Brown, computer science; Rocky Hedrick, electrical engineering; Kaitlin Denny, industrial engineering; and Will Carlisle, mechanical engineering. Shelby Paschal was selected as the College Outstanding Senior.

Shelby Paschal has maintained a 3.97 GPA in biological engineering while staying active in leadership roles and research in the field of water quality. She has worked at the Arkansas Water Resources Center since her sophomore year and interned last summer at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center where she researched water quality trends in the Chesapeake Bay. She is an active member of Tau Beta Pi, serves as the student chapter president of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and was honored as one of the 2014 Outstanding Undergraduate Students for the Arkansas Section of ASABE. Post-graduation, Paschal will pursue a position in environmental consulting and sustainability of water resources.

Michaela Mertz is an Honors College student with a GPA of 3.96 and will graduate with highest honors and a nanotechnology minor. She has held various officer positions in Phi Sigma Rho and Tau Beta Pi and is a College of Engineering Ambassador. Mertz has won numerous awards, including the University of Arkansas Leadership Scholarship. Her research was supported by an Honors College research and travel grant, and she presented her work at the Biomedical Engineering Society's Annual Meeting in fall 2014. Mertz also participated in the University of Virginia's Summer Research Internship Program. After graduation, Mertz will begin graduate school at the University of Florida.

Andrew Dominick is an Honors College Fellow with a 4.0 GPA. Dominick serves as treasurer of Omega Chi Epsilon, is a member of Tau Beta Pi and has served on the AIChE Student Council. Dominick presented his honors research at two conferences and won first place in a paper competition. His senior design team also won a first place award at a design competition. Dominick was selected as the 2014-2015 College of Engineering Presidential Scholar. He also volunteers with non-profit organizations in Northwest Arkansas and interned with FutureFuel Chemical and L'Oreal USA. After graduation, Dominick will begin a career with Eastman Chemical Company.

Matthew Watters is an Honors College student with a 4.0 GPA and an Honors College Research Fellowship. He co-founded the American Concrete Institute student chapter and the National Campus Pantry Coalition and served as president of the American Concrete Institute student chapter. Watters is using DEM modeling software to better understand the effects of particle size gradations of sand used in mortar. He was recognized as a University of Arkansas Senior of Significance and a Razorback Classic by the Arkansas Alumni Association. Watters has professional experience as a proctor and website developer for the Center for Training Transportation Professionals. After graduation, he will begin graduate school at the U of A.

Taylor Martin will graduate with a minor in mathematics and a 3.8 GPA. She has been a peer mentor for the College of Engineering for the past 3 years, has talked with prospective students at CSCE open houses and has helped with the High School Programming Competition. Martin was recognized as a University of Arkansas Senior of Significance. She is currently working with a team on a senior capstone project to create a service for students with food allergies to use in dining halls on campus. Martin has interned with J.B. Hunt, GE Healthcare and Wal-Mart and will join Wal-Mart full-time after graduation.

Austin Brown is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and has achieved a 3.9 GPA. He is involved in the Association for Computing Machinery and the National Society of Professional Engineers. Brown has received several competitive scholarships, including the George W. Swilley Memorial Scholarship. Last year, he worked on a semester long project to produce a search engine based on a static document set. He is also actively involved in community outreach and service with his church. Brown interned with Cerner Corporation in Kansas City last summer and will join them full-time after graduation.

Rocky Hedrick is an Honors College student with a 4.0 GPA. He has held leadership positions in student societies, including president of Eta Kappa Nu and recording secretary of Tau Beta Pi. He has worked on a research project dealing with infrared imaging using both short and long wavelength infrared camera cores. Hedrick traveled abroad to Belize with Arkansas Engineers Abroad, where the team constructed piping for a clean water project. Hedrick interned with Harrison Energy Partners, FutureFuel Chemical Company, Arkansas Power Electronics and Koch Industries. He will join Eastman Chemical Company full-time upon graduation.

Kaitlin Denny is an Honors College student and will graduate with a double minor in mathematics and Spanish and a 3.87 GPA. She has served as a FEP peer mentor, as the secretary and vice president of the student chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and as the president and financial secretary of the student chapter of Gamma Sigma Sigma. For her honors thesis, Denny is using a mathematical modeling approach to examine the decision of allocating dredge resources to projects.  She studied abroad in Madrid the summer after her sophomore year, gaining fluency in Spanish. Denny interned with Marshalltown Company and Wal-Mart. After graduation, she will join Huhtamaki full-time in the Kansas City area.

William Carlisle is an Honors College student and will graduate with a minor in business management and a 3.95 GPA. He has served as the president of the student chapter of Pi Tau Sigma and as the vice president of the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Carlisle was a selected participant for the Student Integrated Intern Experience by the National Science Foundation. For his honors research, Carlisle investigated utility energy efficiency programs of surrounding states and compared their evaluation, measurement and verification policies. He interned with CenterPoint Energy and the San Juan Business Unit of ConocoPhillips. After graduation, Carlisle will join ConocoPhillips full-time in Anchorage, Alaska.


Katie Chevrier, communications Intern
College of Engineering
(479) 575-5697,

Camilla Shumaker, director of communications
College of Engineering


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