Incoming freshman get a taste of Auburn life at Summer Engineering Enrichment camp

Published: Jul 1, 2024 12:00 PM

By Cassie Montgomery

When it comes to preparing incoming students for the rigors of an Auburn Engineering education as well as life on campus, look no further than the Center for Inclusive Engineering Excellence (CI2E), a program designed to strengthen the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. The program recently wrapped up its 26 th Summer Engineering Enrichment experience, colloquially known as Summer Bridge, where incoming freshmen were given a taste of life on the Plains through a three-week on-campus experience. A staple of the CI2E experience, Summer Engineering Enrichment imparts numerous lessons that students can take with them as they embark on their Auburn Engineering career.

“There are quite a few things that we hope students can take away from this experience,” said Celeste Waugh, CI2E academic programs administrator. “We hope that they feel prepared to begin their engineering academic career on a positive note when they return in August. In order to accomplish this, we wanted to help students feel confident in their math, science and programming skills. In addition, we hope that the students will walk away with a network of support that consists of various Auburn University faculty, graduate teaching assistants, counselors and center administrators. 

“Last, but not least, we hope that they were able to build strong relationships and a support system with each other and feel that they are part of the community of students and administrators within the Center for Inclusive Engineering Excellence.”

For students, the effect that the experience can have on their overall confidence as they approach their first semester in Auburn is transformative.

“The impact that the Summer Engineering Enrichment Program has had on me is immense,” said Aoife Flynn, incoming Auburn Engineering freshman and 2024 program participant. “The program has improved my outlook on my freshman year at Auburn. Even though the classes are merely review, keeping myself engaged and fresh with the subjects that’s I will be taking in the fall has grown my confidence in the success I can have with becoming an engineer at Auburn University.”

In planning the year’s program, CI2E administrators outlined the skills that they hope students take away from the experience – hard engineering disciplines such as math, science and programming, but also soft skills, including time management, leadership, adaptability, critical thinking, teamwork and communication. Another goal was to introduce students to faculty, graduate assistants, staff and the network of support offices available to them throughout the academic year.

“We know that many students are intimidated to ask these people for help during the academic school year, so we want to do our part in breaking down those barriers for students as we know that all our university faculty, graduate assistants and staff are more than willing to help any student as long as they reach out,” Waugh said.

Intentional focus during this year’s experience was placed on mental health and overall student wellness. Students were introduced to campus partners from Auburn Cares, Campus Recreation and Counseling and Psychological Services, on-campus organizations that are available for students in their transition to college life.

“I wholeheartedly believe in the positive impact that Summer Engineering Enrichment has on its attendants,” said Tyler Young, a junior in software engineering who participated in the program as a camper in 2022 and served as a counselor this year. “From experience with real college classes and professors to knowledge about campus resources such as the Tutoring Center and Auburn Cares, the program has established a solid foundation for countless engineers pursuing a degree in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.”

Media Contact: Cassie Montgomery,, 334.844.3668
The Center for Inclusive Engineering Excellence wrapped up its Summer Engineering Enrichment program with a closing ceremony.

The Center for Inclusive Engineering Excellence wrapped up its Summer Engineering Enrichment program with a closing ceremony.

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