STARKVILLE, Miss.--Two Mississippi State master's-degree students and two university graduates are newly certified as American Society for Quality Six Sigma Black Belts.
The students, who majored in industrial and systems engineering, include (by hometown):
CALHOUN CITY--Keith Stegall, a 2004 graduate now pursuing a master's in business administration;
GREENWOOD--December graduate Christina L. Smith; and
STARKVILLE--Chandrashekar K. Nagashekar, who received a master's degree in December, and current graduate student Prasad Vemuri.
All four previously earned certificates in the Bagley College of Engineering's Six Sigma program, which is designed to provide students with industry's latest methods of ensuring customer satisfaction through quality control.
"When top-notch instruction intersects with the talented students in the department of industrial and systems engineering, you get outstanding results," said department head Royce Bowden.
More recently, the four passed a comprehensive four-hour examination and completed individual projects to receive ASQ's certification, which is a widely recognized highest standard of competence and experience.
Based in Milwaukee, Wisc., ASQ is a 100,000-member international professional organization devoted to "making quality a global priority." As an example, it has administered since 1991 the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, the premiere U.S. business performance recognition.
"For these students to have accomplished certification at such an early stage in their careers is a testimony to their hard work and diligence that should be noticed by potential employers as they prepare to enter the business world," said Larry Dalton, director of the MSU engineering college's Six Sigma program.
Stegall worked with the West Point-based Babcock and Wilcox Co. for his required individual project. Titled, "Membrane Bar Fabrication Analysis," his project focused on improvements and cost savings in both material and fabrication labor associated with the production of a key structural component in the assembled company product.
"The hands-on project allowed me the opportunity to apply the Six Sigma skills in a manufacturing setting to produce bottom-line cost savings," Stegall said.
The engineering college and its department of industrial and systems engineering established the Six Sigma Certificate Program for students in 2005 with funding provided by 3M Corp. and the 3M Foundation.
Smith is the daughter of Harold and Maxima Smith.
Stegall the son of Danny and Brenda Stegall.
Parent information on Nagashekar and Vemuri, both international students from India, is not available.
For more information in the MSU Six Sigma program, contact Julie Lemons at (662) 325-3442 or firstname.lastname@example.org.