College of Engineering News Room

USF E-Council Awarded Best Professional Development at NAESC Southeast Regional Conference

2020-2021 E-Council Board

Established in 2015 by Dr. Robert H. Bishop, Dean of Engineering, the USF Engineering     Council is the governing body for all engineering clubs that are formed to promote interest in various engineering areas.

by Russell Nay

Of the participating engineering student councils from member universities, the USF College of Engineering Student Council (USF E-Council) won the award for Best Professional Development at the 2020 National Association of Engineering Student Councils (NAESC) Southeast Regional Conference held virtually November 6 and 7.

The award is presented to a participating student engineering council that has experienced considerable organizational growth or made strides to redevelop how it serves its institution’s engineering students.

USF E-Council Chair Leila Sorrells said that the council has focused on encouraging more students to participate with engineering organizations’ professional development activities this past year.

“USF’s E-Council is honored to be a part of NAESC and finished this year’s conference proud that USF has been awarded the Best Professional Development award and the bid for the 2021 conference!” she said.

Sorrells said that E-Council started its Fall 2020 with its own Week of Welcome event to help new students connect with engineering organizations at USF and get a head start on furthering their careers. Engineering organizations held a virtual showcase allowing new students to meet orgs’ e-boards and see what they can learn by getting involved.

One of these Week of Welcome events was a seminar from College of Engineering Dean and Professor Robert Bishop who spoke about his own career development and leadership experience.

E-Council represents and governs engineering student organizations at the dean’s office level and was created by Bishop in 2015 as one of several leadership programs to help students gain leadership and team-building experience.

“The work of E-Council leadership to represent and serve our student engineering organizations is reflected through the council’s acceptance into NAESC last year and through this year’s Best Professional Development award,” Bishop said. “I’m proud to see the E-Council’s efforts recognized among engineering student councils across the Southeast.”

In 2019, former E-Council chair Curtis Gaskins said that “USF E-Council is looking to broaden its vision next year” by doing even more to serve student orgs and USF’s engineering community in addition to its original role of a funding council that consolidates funding requests to USF Student Government.

Sorrells said that November’s conference gave E-Council board members a chance to learn from other engineering student councils, corporate sponsors and researchers about how they can enhance the support they provide engineering organizations at USF.

“We were able to discuss with councils from across the southeast about how they run Engineering Week activities, how they support recruitment for engineering organizations, and how they have adapted their practices during this pandemic,” she said. “Our board looks forward to adopting some of these practices moving forward to provide engineering students and organizations not only with budget application assistance but also with broader support.”

This support includes hosting the college's first virtual career fair and promoting more opportunities for students to get involved with the engineering organizations that comprise the E-Council General Body over future semesters.