Click here to see this online
Morrill Engineering Program - University of Illinois
MEP Connections | Year in Review
Welcome to MEP! | Student Spotlight

MEP would like to welcome one of its newest students, Taofik Sulaiman! Before attending Illinois, Taofik graduated from Chrisland High School in Lagos, Nigeria. Now, he just completed a phenomenal freshman year of Mechanical Engineering by seizing all of his academic, social, and professional opportunities.

Upon moving to campus Taofik participated in the MEP EMBARK program. He stated, “I got to interact with people of similar backgrounds and mindsets which made the move-in experience all so much better.

Since then he has been very active on campus by getting involved with multiple organizations. Taofik served as the chair of the Junior Executive Board (JEB) of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and next year he will assume the role of NSBE Treasurer. He continues to work closely with the chassis subteams of Illini Motorsports (Formula SAE) and Illini Hyperloop. By getting active in the African Cultural Association, Central Black Student Union, 100 Strong, and Men of Impact, Taofik has been able to form close ties to various on-campus communities.

EMBARK | 4 Years Strong

For 4 years, incoming freshmen have been able to move-in early to campus through EMBARK and form an early connection to MEP. Last year, over 40 students were able to attend the annual program and participate in a wide variety of activities. Team design projects, scavenger hunts, and meeting with departmental advisors are only a few of the highlights.  Here's what some of the students had to say:

“It was a great experience that allowed me to meet most of the people that I’m close with now”Andres Carrillo

“The design project really helped improve my teamwork and leadership skills, and I made a lot of friends through the program”Aita Ikuenobe

"EMBARK has always held a special place in my heart. I participated my freshman year, and it gave me some of the best memories I have from my engineering career here. Not only did I learn about teamwork and professional skills, but I also found my passion for engineering and MEP. I've been back as a volunteer and design project coordinator every year since then because it gives me the chance to inspire new minds." – Sara Rothe

SOS Retreat | Succeeding Together

Every year, MEP hosts its System of Success (SOS) Retreat during which current students and alumni join together for an overnight trip at the Allerton Mansion in Monticello, IL. MEP alumni organize workshops to engage with the students by teaching soft skills and real-life tips that often cannot be found in a classroom.

Last year, Jasmine Winston (BSCEE, Bulley & Andrews) acted as the overall program coordinator, and she was joined by 11 other alumni (see list below). Some of their event highlights include team building activities, salary negotiation tips, mock interviews, and discovering ways to achieve mind/body balance. The keynote address was given by Keith Searles (BSCEE, Urban GIS) on "What They Don't Teach You In Class." With over 30 students in attendance, the alumni were able to successfully pass on their knowledge. Many thanks to Jasmine for her help. Craig Griffin (BSCE, Apple) will coordinate the 2016 retreat.


Adam Addams (BSME, Metalex)

Kamaria Massey (BSTSM, HBK Engineering)

Artie Jataputra (BSEE, HBK Engineering)

Keith Searles (BSCEE, Urban GIS)

Brenda Fierro (BSEE, HBK Engineering)

Tieranny Baker (BSCEE, Bulley & Andrews)

David Burns (BSCS, Redbox)

Toriono Granger (BSME, Radius Project Development)

Ivory Hill (BSNPRE, Allstate)

Ugwem Eneyo (BSCEE, Graduate Student, Stanford)

Jesus Sotelo (BSME, Graduate Student, UIUC)

 Will Hill (BSCompE, Gemalto)

MEP Awards Banquet | Celebrating Excellence

On Friday, April 15, 2016, students, alumni and staff attended the banquet, an annual celebration of the year's events and things to come. Several of our students were recognized with scholarships from our corporate partners to reward their amazing scholastic achievements. Senior Brittany Miriki, Mechanical Engineering, and junior Omar Joya, Electrical Engineering, served as Mistress and Master of Ceremony.

One of the alumni in attendance, Cesar Martinez (BSCS, VMware AirWatch), stated:

"We reap the benefits of what the MEP has taught and provided for us every single day, and that's why we love to give back as much as we can to the program: to give thanks to those who supported us, to give back as others had during our college careers, and to give inspiration with our stories of how the MEP has helped us to reach our ultimate success in our lives."

This academic year was spectacular for MEP and its students. Let's all do our parts to make 2016–2017 even better!

Commencement | New Beginnings

Over 150 students participated in the 37th Annual Latina/Latino Congratulatory Ceremony making it the largest in University of Illinois' history. Every year, this ceremony honors Hispanic students completing a bachelors, masters, or Ph.D and celebrates the great achievements of the Hispanic community. Several MEP students participated in the ceremony representing over 50 newly graduated engineers. Additionally, Jesus Flores (BSCEE) was recognized with the La Casa Academic Achievement Award in recognition to his superior GPA and service to the Latino community. The graduates were challenged to keep pushing themselves and continue paving the way for the over 900 enrolled Latina/Latino students in the freshman class of Fall 2016 at the University of Illinois.


The 2016 Annual Black Congratulatory Ceremony was nothing short of astounding and memorable. The ceremony, hosted by the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center (BNAACC), is held every year to honor graduating students of African descent with a ceremony reflecting the African-American traditions. The class of 2016 was the largest participating class since 2010. There were 246 participants, including 21 doctoral candidates, 22 master's degree recipients and 203 undergraduate participants. Of the fourteen graduates from the College of Engineering, seven (pictured above) participated in the ceremony. The college wishes the best of luck to all of the 2016 graduates with all of their future endeavors.

Words for our Departing Seniors

The MEP Administration (Dean Ivan, Andrea, and Victoria) would like to wish a heartfelt congratulations to all of our graduating engineers in the Class of 2016. There’s absolutely no doubt in our minds that collectively you will do many great things and leave your imprint on the world. As you embark on solving the world’s greatest challenges, utilize the opportunities, training, and preparation that you have received from Engineering at Illinois.

Best of luck in your future endeavors and remember, “sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do”. – Oprah Winfrey

We look forward to engaging with you as MEP Alumni!!!! If your information has changed and/or to keep us informed, contact us through the alumni update page.

Alumni Endowment | Giving Back

Attention Alumni! Discussions at the post-banquet alumni meeting garnered interest in supporting endowments for student organizations within the MEP. While you generously and selflessly give back to the MEP, there are other ways to support the students that will continue in perpetuity.

Alumni from both SHPE and NSBE have discussed raising funds to endow scholarships for students involved in these organizations. An endowment may be created through the University given that at least $25,000 are available to invest. The expected payback on this figure is 4% ($1000). If your employer offers a donation matching program, this can be a significant way to impact the students even more. If you are interested in helping to endow either of the efforts above or contribute to the already established Paul Parker Endowed Scholarship, please reach out to us at

Save the Date!


August 14 – 16

Welcome Back Meeting

August 31

SOS Retreat

September 30 – October 1

Black Alumni Reunion

September 29 – October 2