Tyson Smiter Named Cockrell School’s 2020 Outstanding Scholar-Leader

May 27, 2020

tyson smiter

Class of 2020 mechanical engineering graduate Tyson Smiter, who has been heavily involved in student organizations and committed to his academics since he joined the Cockrell School of Engineering, has been named this year’s Outstanding Scholar-Leader.

Every year, the Cockrell School selects an Outstanding Scholar-Leader from among the senior class, recognizing a candidate whose hard work and dedication, both in and out of the classroom, exemplify leadership and inspire our community. The student must have completed at least 60 credit hours at UT Austin and maintained at least a 3.8 in-residence GPA.

Around the Cockrell School, Smiter is known for his incredible support of his fellow students and the future of Texas Engineering, his guidance and leadership, and his lively personality that energizes entire rooms. He has served in multiple positions in student organizations and on committees across the school, all while remaining dedicated to his academics and filling his summers with enriching experiences.

In addition to his 3.95 GPA, Smiter has held four officer positions with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), including being the only person ever elected to two terms as president. Under his leadership, NSBE has increased chapter membership by more than 15%, reached the highest NSBE chapter GPA in the last decade and developed the largest NSBE Freshman Action Team in chapter history. As NSBE president, Tyson directed the operations, strategies and goals of the over 130-member organization with a $26,000 budget, over 50 events each year and a 15-member executive board.

Smiter led his team to back-to-back intramural basketball championships and supported his fellow engineering students by serving as a tutor. He also served on the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Advisory Board and helped lead an overhaul of technical elective options for students, which resulted in a program that is better designed to help students identify future career paths within the broad field of mechanical engineering.

Following a summer studying abroad in China after his freshman year, Smiter interned at General Electric, then Goldman Sachs. He is joining Microsoft in a full-time position after graduation.

“Whether it's meeting with a prospective student, a donor, or a fellow student, I can always count on Tyson to represent The University of Texas at Austin and the Cockrell School incredibly well,” said Gillian Hagamen, who is the undergraduate student program coordinator in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering and nominated Smiter for the Outstanding Scholar-Leader Award. “People who meet with Tyson usually remark to me afterwards how impressed they are with everything he's accomplished and how warm and genuine he is. He is truly deserving of this year’s Scholar-Leader Award.”

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