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K-State Today

April 10, 2013



K-State named best freshman engineering council in nation

By Brandon Brunner

K-State's Engineering Student Council and Leaders In Freshman Engineering, or LIFE, was named the best freshman council in the nation at the 2013 National Association of Engineering Student Councils Conference in Urbana, Ill.

"There were two major reasons we were given this honor," said Ben Williams, freshman in chemical engineering, who attended the conference. "First, we have a unique structure that sets us apart from the other freshman councils, and second, we have a very defined mission. Most freshman councils just exist, but we exist for a real purpose — to raise retention rates in the College of Engineering."

Ryan Pachta, freshman in mechanical engineering, also attended the conference. Pachta and Williams were given the chance to present to the conference about how to run a successful freshman council.

"Since our structure is so different, everyone was really eager to ask questions," Pachta said. "There wasn't a single other council with a structure similar to ours, so I got to work with other universities across the nation to develop their own freshman councils."

The freshman group is coordinated through Engineering Student Council by Debbie Dolechek, senior in architecture engineering, and Dylan Hunter, sophomore in civil engineering.

"I was in LIFE as a participant last year when we completely restructured it," Hunter said. "It's been incredible to see how much difference the restructure made. It's just been a phenomenal opportunity to see the organization from both sides."

"We've seen fantastic results this year with LIFE, and next year things will only get better," said Brendan Bishop, president-elect of the Engineering Student Council, who was also elected as regional recruitment coordinator for the national association while at the conference. "We have awesome plans in the works for next year's group, and we look forward to developing the next generation of freshman engineers."