Melissa Dunn — Outstanding Undergraduate
B.S.E. in Engineering Management
Graduated from Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Arizona
One of the biggest challenges for Melissa Dunn as an undergraduate was that she couldn’t do everything. She sure did her best to try, though. Dunn, an engineering management honors student, was heavily involved in her time on campus and took advantage of all that Arizona State University has to offer.
Dunn was the president and founder of the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) at ASU, she was a member of the Outreach Committee in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), she was the secretary and pledge educator in the Mu Epsilon Theta sorority, she finished 2nd and 6th at the 2013 and 2015 Intercollegiate Racquetball Tournaments respectively as a member of the ASU club racquetball team and she helped bring a research-tested leadership model to local high schools as part of the Leadership Society of Arizona (LSA).
The Mesa, Arizona native was sitting down to do her homework one day after racquetball practice and was distracted by her email. What followed was a series of revelations for her. “I opened the first one and it was from a world renowned professor whose class I was taking that semester, Dean Kashiwagi, Dunn says. “He was asking me if I wanted to work with him and become an undergraduate teaching assistant.”
She hesitated to answer the email because a thought passed through her mind. “How fortunate and amazing is this opportunity to work with such a famous and impactful person! Then, it hit me. This wasn’t the only famous, world renowned, impactful person I was working with at this time on a daily basis. Many of my professors had the same, if not better, credentials than this one asking me to help him.”
From engineering faculty to sport coaches, Dunn realized she was surrounded by highly regarded people. “I was taking a class led by Doug Montgomery, the leading industrial engineering statistician in the world for his research in design of experiments,” Dunn says. “I also was being educated by Dan Shunk, another world-renowned industrial engineering consultant. And not only was my educational setting this famous and highly awarded, but so was my extracurricular life. In racquetball we have two coaches, one who was a professional racquetball player ranking in the top five in the world in his day and since then, has been coaching the top ranked players in the world. The other coach was also a professional racquetball player ranking in the top 10 in the world during his career.”
At this point she knew she made the right choice to attend ASU. “I had all of these experts in their fields at my fingertips, wanting to help me improve and learn. I knew I was in the right place,” Dunn says.
Dunn’s time at ASU isn’t complete as she has been accepted into both the industrial engineering and construction management graduate programs in the Fulton Schools.
“My dream in life is to add value to others, myself and the world,” Dunn says. “I hope to always teach others and continuously learn myself. I see my future as full of wisdom, service to others and always happy because of the former two.”