UM-Dearborn student receives prestigious Alan Mulally Leadership in Engineering Scholarship

December 15, 2017

Erica Magnuson, UM-Dearborn Mechanical Engineering, student has received the prestigious $10,000 Alan Mulally Scholarship, awarded to only ten students around the country.

Erica Magnuson has always enjoyed the practical applications of math and science, but after taking an Industrial and Systems Engineering course in her first semester at UM-Dearborn, she fell in love with industrial engineering, particularly system optimization.

This passion and deep-rooted interest has led to Magnuson’s success both inside and outside the engineering program at UM-Dearborn. She is president of Alpha Pi Mu (Industrial Engineering Honor Society), an Engineering 100 lab assistant, and a K-12 volunteer in the outreach program to mentor students on mathematics development and fundamentals of engineering. Previous involvements include being a peer mentor for the College of Engineering and Computer Science, a UM-Dearborn orientation leader and Wolverines Orientation Wilderness Camp counselor.

Topping this list off, Magnuson has recently received the prestigious Alan Mulally Leadership in Engineering Scholarship. The award program, which began in 2015 and will run for 10 years, is part of Ford Motor Company’s global initiative to honor the outstanding service of former CEO Alan Mulally.

Magnuson’s proven leadership ability and strong engineering abilities helped her win the $10,000 scholarship, a competitive honor that Ford awards annually to only ten outstanding students globally who are working toward degrees in the automotive field at premier partner universities.

She is the first UM-Dearborn student—and only student in the state of Michigan—to receive the scholarship to date.

“This scholarship will help me to complete my degree, while working towards my dream career of being an industrial engineer,” she said. “I am incredibly thankful and honored to have been awarded this scholarship.

After learning about industrial and systems engineering during her first semester on campus, Magnuson loved the idea of working with system optimization and knew it was the right field of engineering for her. Her classroom experiences and leadership opportunities gave her the desire to begin making a larger difference in the lives of others. She values the need for reliable and efficient automobile assembly systems in order to continue moving innovation forward.

She recalled her first time on campus and the unique community atmosphere she felt instantly. The small class sizes and close connections with her professors allowed her to sense the magnitude of support she would receive from the faculty and staff. “My decision to attend UM-Dearborn has been one of my best decisions,” Erica said. She believes that her experiences at UM-Dearborn have been practical, challenging, and rewarding. “I have had the opportunity to learn, grow as a leader, and develop as a professional through numerous experiences.”

As a past executive board member/professional development coordinator of the Society for Women Engineers UM-Dearborn chapter, Magnuson has worked with alumni to plan Women in Engineering panels and engineering outreach events such as the FIRST Robotics competition. After being awarded this scholarship, she has been inspired to continue working hard in her studies and volunteering to spread her enthusiasm and passion for engineering to others around her.

Back to top of page