2016 Award Winners

Michelle Isenberg
Lou Takacs Award
Michelle Isenberg photo

Michelle Isenberg is a Strategic Workforce Specialist with Ameren, a Fortune 500 energy company headquartered  in St. Louis, MO. She has 8 years of HR experience, and has been focusing specifically on her passion, collegiate recruiting, since 2012 at Ameren. Michelle spends much of her time on campus speaking to student organizations, conducting workshops, attending career fairs, and building rapport with the students. Also in this role Michelle manages Ameren's intern and co-op program, which has grown steadily over the last few years. She says these 100+ co-ops are Ameren's talent pipeline for future full time opportunities. She finds it very rewarding to see students learn and grow during their internship or co-op experience. In her personal life, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, loves to bake, and enjoys gardening.
Michelle graduated from the University of Missouri- Columbia with a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration.

Bernadette Friedrich
Director of International Student Engagement
Alvah K. Borman Award
Michigan State University
Cooperative Engineering Education Program
Bernadette Friedrich photo

Bernadette Friedrich is responsible for the Cooperative Engineering Education program at Michigan State University and is also the Director of lnternational Student Engagement. She has been at MSU for 20 years. Bernadette began her career in Co-op at Gannon University in 1990 as a co-op coordinator. She obtained a PhD in Higher Education at Michigan State University, a Master of Science in Health Care Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Gannon University. She recently authored a cooperative education workbook, Your Engineering Career, to assist students to fully unpack their cooperative education experiences while on their assignment.

Stephen Hayden
2016 Intern of the Year
Mississippi State University
Stephen Hayden photo

Stephen Hayden is enrolled in the Shackouls' Honors College at Mississippi State University, is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the past four of his six semesters he has made the President's or Dean's list. He participated in the EcoCAR competition for three years and held important roles and responsibilities during his time as a member. The Bagley College of Engineering Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Combined Degree Program for Mechanical Engineering has recently accepted him into their program, as well. Stephen held an internship position with BorgWarner in Water Valley, MS in May of 2014. While there, he assisted the manufacturing engineers in producing solenoids for automatic transmissions of Chrysler vehicles. Using AutoCAD and Inventor, he was able to design an original insert to accommodate a different solenoid for a specific test stand. He also worked closely with the Safety Department to help improve the safety practices throughout the plant. He began working with Aerospace Testing Alliance (ATA) on the Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee in May of 2015.

Kelly O'Connell
Co-op of the Year
Northeastern University
Kelly O'Connell photo

Kelly O'Connell is a fifth year student at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. She is pursuing a civil engineering degree with a minor in mechanical engineering. By bridging the two disciplines, she directed her studies to focus on the fundamentals of energy. As a co-op employee, she worked for three different companies to broaden her understanding the engineering industry. From her construction job at Barletta Engineering Corporation, she learned how to face problems head on, negotiate with subcontractors, and think creatively about solutions. From her water resources consulting job at Environmental Partners, Group, she learned how to balance multiple projects and work with multiple stakeholders. From her energy job at Energy and Resource Solutions, she learned how to direct her own learning to increase her value to the team, and how to inspire a team of people to do their best work. As a globally-minded individual, she has been heavily involved in Northeastern' s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) for the past 5 years. She led her chapter of EWB throughout her junior year, managing a 12-member executive board and projects in Honduras, Panama, and Uganda.

She also traveled to Uganda twice to help construct a pumped water distribution system for a village of 1,100 people.

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