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Engineering Student Chosen for SAE Leadership Program

Mike Neal, a junior mechanical engineering major from Shreve, Ohio, was one of the 24 students chosen by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International to participate in its fifth-annual Leadership Development Program.

SAE International, a global association that consists of more than 121,000 engineers and related technical experts, conducted the leadership program Jan 21-23 in conjunction with its Section Officers Leadership Seminar in Orlando, Fla.

According to an SAE press release, "The Leadership Development Program recognizes some of the most promising SAE student leaders - individuals who have exhibited outstanding leadership skills through SAE activities on campus."

Neal has been involved with SAE since his freshman year at ONU. He joined initially, he said, because of his interest in the Baja SAE Collegiate Design Series, in which teams design and build a small, off-road car.

In order to be chosen for the Leadership Development Program, students had to be nominated by their advisors and fill out applications. Once selected, Neal and the other 23 participants attended workshops on developing network skills, understanding generational differences in the workplace, understanding differing leadership styles, and reflecting upon one's own leadership style.

The goal of the program, according to a press release, is to further develop students' skills, so they can be applied to future leadership roles in SAE International and in students' professional engineering careers.

Neal found the experience both beneficial and enjoyable.

"It provided me with the opportunity to meet engineering students from across the nation, as well as professionals that work in the automotive industry," he said. "All while enjoying Florida weather in January."