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ISE and Radiance cohort partnership has first graduate

By Carla Nelson

Published: Apr 1, 2022 1:30:00 PM

Stephen Schnelle said the cohort program provided him with an excellent opportunity to develop his confidence, communication skills and leadership skills, which strongly complement his technical background.  Stephen Schnelle said the cohort program provided him with an excellent opportunity to develop his confidence, communication skills and leadership skills, which strongly complement his technical background.

The Auburn University cohort partnership between the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering's Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Radiance Technologies in Huntsville, Ala., has seen its first successful graduate.

Stephen Schnelle, an electrical engineer at Radiance, graduated with a Master of Engineering Management degree through the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in December.

Auburn and Radiance signed the cohort partnership agreement in January of 2020. The original agreement offered the Master of Engineering Management degree but has recently been updated to also offer the Master of Industrial and Systems Engineering degree. Cohort participants who successfully complete all course requirements are fully reimbursed for their tuition by Radiance.

Schnelle graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology with Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical and computer engineering and mathematics. He earned a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Rice University in 2011. He has been employed with Radiance for five years.

Schnelle said the cohort program provided him with an excellent opportunity to develop his confidence, communication skills and leadership skills, which strongly complement his technical background. 

“I enjoyed the Master of Engineering Management program and learned quite a bit,” he said. “The classes varied significantly with regards to focus on softer or technical skills. As such, while I learned things in all of them, I found the ones such as Project Management, Organization Leadership, Human Factors and Marketing/Consumer Theory offered the most benefit to me. On the other hand, the quality of all of the courses was excellent, allowing for all students to have personalized benefits from the program.”

Schnelle didn’t have many expectations with the new cohort program but was satisfied with the experience.

“Given that I already had a research-based technical master’s, I primarily saw it as an opportunity to develop some of the softer skills I realized I was lacking,” he said. “Overall, given the convenience of the degree and the experience I gained, I think it was a great experience.”

The cohort program has also benefited Schnelle’s career by increasing his confidence and improving his professional and personal relationships. He has already taken on more leadership responsibilities at work.

“Medium-term it will help me in a more structured team leader position and long-term could open up upper management roles if I choose to go that route,” he said. “I would definitely suggest doing the MEM or MBA program with Auburn, as it seems to have the full support of both partners and the quality of education was quite good. I definitely already see benefits from my experience.”

 

Media Contact: Carla Nelson, cmn0023@auburn.edu, 334-844-1404

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