Noranda Scholarship Provides Seven Students with Valuable Experience



June 4, 2007 – Seven undergraduate students from the Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology at Southeast Missouri State University have received the Noranda Aluminum Scholarship, allowing them the opportunity to receive real-world experience in their future profession.

The recipients are Jason Dunker and Stephen Zschille, both of Jackson, Mo., Drew Ivie of East Prairie, Mo., Brooks Kelley of Essex, Mo., Bryan Lowell of Cape Girardeau, Westley Steele of St. Louis and Aaron Weibrecht of Perryville, Mo.

Noranda Aluminum annually provides four to six scholarships (renewable annually) for students attending Southeast Missouri State University in pursuit of a degree related to the field of maintenance (electronics and mechanics). The scholarship covers incidental fees, general fees, special course fees and books and can exceed $6,000 annually.   

Dr. Ragu Athinarayanan, chair of the Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology, said the students will intern with Noranda Aluminum every summer until they graduate from Southeast.

“This internship allows our students to experience first-hand a ‘real-world’ perspective of what they learn in the classroom,” he said.

In return for the scholarship, the students agree to work a minimum of four years at Noranda Aluminum upon graduation.

The students couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity. Drew Ivie, an engineering technology major with an emphasis on electrical and control, said the scholarship will aid him in his career aspirations.

“I’m glad I have the opportunity to get hands-on experience and training in the factory during the summer,” he said. “I hope to become a good electrician after getting my degree.”

Steve McPheeters, superintendent of communications, employee training and development at Noranda Aluminum, said there is a great need for skilled high tech maintenance workers.

“We see a point in time where many of our workers are getting older, and there are not as many young ones coming in,” McPheeters said. “To get good, skilled craftsmen is an investment to us. We think this is an excellent opportunity.”

Eligible students can be an admitted incoming first-year student at Southeast Missouri State University who intends to pursue one of the following degrees: B.S. Engineering Technology (electrical and control or manufacturing) or A.A.S. Computer Technology (automated manufacturing or microcomputer systems) or be a currently enrolled student pursuing a B.S. Engineering Technology (electrical and control or manufacturing) or A.A.S. Computer Technology (automated manufacturing or microcomputer systems).  Current student applicants must show evidence of successful completion of at least one semester of coursework (at least 12 credit hours) with a minimum 2.5 GPA and at least six credit hours of technical coursework completed in the major.

Students must have an interest in becoming an electrician or mechanic when they graduate and enjoy working with electronics or mechanical items and equipment. Students also must pass an apprenticeship aptitude battery of tests and participate in Noranda’s paid internship program every summer before they graduate.

Students interested in applying should submit a one-page letter of application explaining why they want the scholarship and why they want to work for Noranda upon graduation. The application must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the academic and technical background of the applicant. One of these letters must be from an instructor. Interested students should send their resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation and letter of application to: Steve McPheeters-Noranda Aluminum, Inc., P.O. Box 70, New Madrid, MO 63869.

The application deadline is Feb. 15 each year. A panel of Noranda employees will make the final selections.

Photo of the Noranda ScholarsFrom left to right: Aaron Weibrecht, Brooks Kelley, Jason Dunker, Bryan Lowell, Westley Steele, Drew Ivie and Stephen Zchille