Engineering Celebrates Alumni at Awards Banquet

From left, Hall of Fame inductees Sam Alley and Pam McGinnis with Dean Kim Needy.
Stephen Ironside

From left, Hall of Fame inductees Sam Alley and Pam McGinnis with Dean Kim Needy.

College of Engineering alumni, faculty, staff and guests gathered Saturday, April 15, to induct two new members into the college's Hall of Fame and recognize 18 graduates with Distinguished Alumni and Early Career Alumni awards.

The formal event featured dinner and an awards ceremony led by Dean Kim Needy and co-hosts Pam McGinnis and Becca Leonard, with remarks by Terry Martin, provost and executive vice chancellor for academics, at the Fayetteville Public Library Event Center. McGinnis is chair of the college's Dean's Advisory Council and Leonard is chair of the Early Career Advisory Council.

"We wish the very best for all of our students when they leave the University of Arkansas, and it's so rewarding to celebrate the success of our outstanding alumni," Needy said.

Sam Alley is welcomed by chancellor emeritus John White
Sam Alley, left, is welcomed by Chancellor Emeritus John A. White, who joined the Hall of Fame in 2020.
 
Pam McGinnis shows the detail of her Hall of Fame medal
Pam McGinnis shows the detail of her Hall of Fame medal.

The two new inductees to the Hall of Fame were: Sam Alley (B.S.C.E. 1979), chairman of VCC, a Little Rock-based contractor, and Pam McGinnis (B.S.I.E. 1990), retired vice president of global sales, marketing and retail operations at Phillips 66.

Alley was recognized as a distinguished alumnus in 2015, while McGinnis received that honor in 2017.

Alley moved with his family from a small town north of Jerusalem to Rose City in North Little Rock at age 14. Inspired by mentors, he found a passion for engineering. He graduated in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering.

He co-founded VCC in 1987 on his 31st birthday after working as a project manager for a Little Rock construction firm. Alley is recognized as one of the top engineering and construction professionals in the United States, and VCC is consistently listed in the top 100 contractors by the Engineering News Record and recognized as the largest retail contractor in the nation.

Together with his wife, Janet, Sam Alley established the master's degree in construction management at the U of A. He also served on the steering committee for Campaign Arkansas and is a member of the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering.

McGinnis is the second woman to be inducted into the college's Hall of Fame. A native of Springdale, she earned a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering in 1990. She worked for more than 31 years in the oil and gas industry. Prior to assuming her role as vice president at Phillips 66, she was chief procurement officer and held a variety of leadership positions across the company, including commercial supply and trading, marine shipping and truck and rail transportation.

Prior to her retirement, she served on the boards of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering and the Fuels Institute. She was a member of the executive Inclusion and Diversity Council and served as a global sponsor for the Phillips 66 Hispanic Network. McGinnis also served as chair of the board for the Houston Area Habitat for Humanity.

Nine graduates were honored with Distinguished Alumni awards: Steven J. Austin Sr. (B.S.C.S. 2001); Indrajeet Chaubey (M.S.B.A.E 1994); Jeff Fackler (M.S.O.M. 2013); C. Denese Bracy Jackson (B.S.Ch.E. 1990); Karen Jewell (B.S.I.E. 2000); Mike Linstrom (B.S.Cmp.E. 1985); Herbert J. "Bert" Parker (B.S.C.E. 1977, M.S.C.E. 1978); E. Lamar Pettus (B.S.M.E. 1968); and Rajesh Calicut Subramaniam (M.S.E.E. 2001)

Another nine graduates received Early Career Alumni Awards: Christopher Adkins (B.S.I.E. 2012); Brian Gene Ballew (B.S.M.E. 2012, M.S.M.E. 2015); Teni Rane Butler (B.S.Ch.E. 2016); Stephanie G. Cone (B.S.Bm.E. 2014); Emmanuel Decrossas (Ph.D.E.E. 2012); Wiwat Leebhaisomboon (B.S.Cmp.E. 2009, M.S.Cmp.E. 2011); Michael Keith May (B.S.B.E. 2010, M.S.Bm.E. 2014); Christopher P. Velardi (M.S.O.M. 2019); and Adam White (B.S.C.E. 2008).

More information about past honorees is available on pages dedicated to the College of Engineering's Hall of FameDistinguished Alumni Award and Early Career Alumni Award.

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