Clay N. Hixson Student Success Center

Professional Development Series

In an effort to support the CORE VALUES of the College of Engineering, the Engineering Student Success Center created The Renaissance Engineer Professional Development Series. The Series consists of FREE 50-minute work ­shops that cover a variety of topics.

The Renaissance Engineer Professional Development Series was created in line with the mission of the university and college to improve undergraduates’ experiences and to produce well-rounded, profession-ready engineers, computer scientists and engineering technologists. The series consists of workshops, lectures and seminars conducted by pro­fessionals and covers topics to help students develop “soft skills.” Some of these topics include diverse career paths, leadership, finding mentors on the job, finding leadership opportunities on the job, interpersonal communication strategies, networking, interview strategies, working on a team, project management and working in a global context.


Spring 2018 Schedule


Josh Flood, Bridgestone

February 1, 2018

11-11:50 AM

Clement Hall 212

Making the Most of Your Internship

Unwritten rules for maximizing your intern/co-op experience from the perspective of HR.  Whether it’s your first internship ever or your last internship before graduation, there are many simple (but unwritten and often unexplained) guidelines to keep in mind in order to increase your chances of achieving the ultimate goal – a full-time job.  Take note of the do’s and don’ts straight from HR.


Beth Powell, Ph.D., Tennessee Tech

February 15, 2018

11-11:50 AM

Tech Pride Room, University Center

First Impressions: Making an Impact with Your Resume

In this workshop, we will discuss ways to present your best professional self in your resume. We will address these questions: What content needs to be in the resume? How should you organize your achievements for biggest impact? What writing style should you use to highlight your accomplishments? This workshop is for all levels--from freshmen to seniors--and you are welcome to bring your resume for feedback.

Dr. Powell has a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition and has taught technical communication for over ten years. She currently works in the Student Success Center in the College of Engineering at Tennessee Tech, where she assists in programming for student retention. 


DeWayne Allen, UTAS

February 27, 2018

11-11:50 AM

Clement Hall 212

Mastering the Interview

The purpose of this workshop will share tools and techniques of the interview process.  Students will learn the steps of the process and how to ensure that you will leave the knowing the results.

The workshop is intended to be light hearted and interactive.

DeWayne Allen, PMP, currently serves as Director of Customer Strategy and Growth for United Technologies Aerospace Systems (UTAS) division of United Technologies Corporation located in Charlotte, NC. United Technologies (UTC) with 2017 sales of $61B, is a diversified company that provides a broad range of high-technology products and services to the global aerospace and building system industries.

He holds a dual B.S. in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and Business from Tennessee Technological University and an MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix—Southern Arizona. He also received an Executive MBA in Aerospace and Defense at the University of Tennessee as a part of the UTC executive development program. He has also completed graduate certificate programs at University of Arizona and Arizona State University.

DeWayne’s passion involves getting minorities and kids interested in careers in math and science fields. He works with National Society of Black Engineers, Black Engineer of the Year STEM Conference, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, National Youth Sports, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. DeWayne has also served on several boards, including the Southern Arizona Black Chamber of Commerce, Southern Arizona Black College Support Group, Tennessee Technological University College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, and the founding member of the school’s Minority Affairs Scholarship Foundation. DeWayne is married and has one son. 


Linda Lesperance, NEMAK and Sage Frye (TTU ’16), NEMAK

April 19, 2018

11-11:50 AM

Clement Hall 212

How to Prepare Yourself for the Next Chapter—Linda Lesperance

Opportunities are all around you, and there will be many options to choose from. However, what sets one organization apart from another so that you can choose the “right” one? If you think it’s the salary or the title that you’ll get, that may be true—but, that’s not all. Come and hear what other characteristics make a difference in your career choices, and find out what gets overlooked all too often. 

What Does On-The-Job Training Look Like?—Sage Frye

Experience comes in various forms, and, at times, it’s neither comfortable nor expected. Sometimes the “box” that we keep ourselves in limits our potential. I have learned, in a very short period of time, that any experience that you gain, especially through on-the-job training, can lead to unexpected opportunities. “The forest from the trees” syndrome is alive and well—don’t limit yourself. 

Linda Lesperance holds the position of Human Resources Manager at the Nemak Tennessee site. Linda started in Operations with Nemak 16 years ago and filled various roles in Human Resources such as Training & Development, Salaried Personnel – Benefits and Compensation, and Employee Relations.   In her current role, her focus is in strategic planning in order to advance in the market of recruiting talent for the automotive industry specific to lightweight solutions.  In addition to recruiting talent, advancements in technology provide opportunities in developing employees with skill sets that will be progressive and continue to keep the organization competitive in the industry.

Sage Frye is the Industrial Engineer at Nemak Tennessee.  Sage graduated from TTU and was recruited by Nemak in 2016.  From there he was placed on a “Rotation Schedule” that offered the opportunity to see all aspects of Operations with hands-on experience.  His one year “Rotation” was interrupted when he accepted the position that he currently holds.  His main area of responsibility as the Subject Matter Expert of NORIS is to provide data to support “Smart Factory/Industry 4.0” features.