The Mechanical Engineering Student Squad (MESS) is a student organization that seeks to positively impact young mechanical engineers through recruitment, retention, and advancement in the University of Delaware (UD) and the surrounding community. Together, MESS is a group of current undergraduate students, faculty, and alumni who want to make an impact while having fun too.
Recruitment activities are focused on growing the mechanical engineering program. MESS members conduct tours for prospective students & parents to learn more about Spencer Lab, makerspace capabilities, and student life. MESS students and faculty also travel to regional and national science and engineering fairs, where they promote careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to a broad audience of K12 students and parents. Lastly, MESS members are the student liaisons for the University of Delaware Department of Mechanical Engineering, conducting prospective student tours, classroom visits from local schools, and college admission days with the admissions office.
Retention activities are focused on helping the student body in the UD Department of Mechanical Engineering. MESS members help integrate hands-on experiences into the undergraduate classroom, and serve as teacher’s assistants in design and laboratory courses to assist their peers. Course scheduling help office hours are held once per semester, and MESS also runs a peer mentoring program that matches underclassmen mechanical engineering students with more senior students in the major. Lastly, alumni outreach and networking are also a key part as The MESS works closely with Career Services and the ME Alumni Committee to connect current students with alumni who are looking to hire UD graduates.
Advancement activities are also focused on showing the fun side of engineering. MESS stimulates interest in STEAM though outreach to local area middle schools & high schools. Each class visit by a MESS representative comes with a brief powerpoint to teach about a engineering concept, and then a hands-on module to reinforce the concept in small groups. These lessons are all made by MESS members, with the help of faculty advisors. In addition, MESS hosts a variety of fun events aimed at undergraduate students to lift their spirits and encourage them to aim higher with their coursework.