NPRE boasts two undergrads as 2017 Knights of St. Pat
Aristidis (Aries) Loumis and Katie Mummah, current and most recent past presidents of the American Nuclear Society student chapter at Illinois, have both been chosen as members of the college-wide Knights of St. Patrick.
Knighthood is among the most esteemed honors an Illinois engineering undergraduate can achieve, and is annually awarded to only a handful of juniors and seniors among the more than 10,000 students studying engineering at the university.
This year, the student-led Engineering Council named 13 Knights across the College of Engineering, recognizing their leadership, excellence in character, and exceptional contributions to the College and its students. It is the first year in University of Illinois history that two NPRE students were named at once.
Loumis and Mummah demonstrated identifiable leadership and organizational skills in Spring 2016. Their combined promotional efforts led 54 NPRE students to attend the national ANS Student Conference; the most of any university besides the host school, the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition, the Illinois chapter took home more conference awards and prizes than any other university in attendance.
Loumis and Mummah posted social media messages, talked with their fellow students one-on-one, and pitched the conference during classes to boost participation. Loumis also worked with the NPRE department to ensure that senior project design abstract deadlines aligned with the conference summary deadlines, so more students would have their work ready to compete in conference presentations.
Among other achievements, the exceptional conference showing led to ANS at Illinois being chosen for the ANS Samuel Glasstone Award, recognizing the Illinois chapter as the most outstanding student section across the country.
Mummah’s leadership contributions also have been extended to reviving the Women in Nuclear group, and to establishing in NPRE the Undergraduate Round Table/Freshmen Round Table group to provide underclassmen a greater role in the Department.
“I believe that enthusiasm is one of the most important traits as a leader, because you can’t expect anyone else to be interested in your activity if they see a bored or disinterested leader,” Mummah said. “I also like to be approachable.”
Loumis believes his leadership skills stem from his ability to reach out to and be relatable to other students. “I think that my style of leadership could be easily described as personable,” he said. “One thing that defines me as a leader is my ability to communicate with people, and do so in the simplest of ways.”