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UT’s High School Introduction to Engineering Systems (HITES) has been selected by the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA) as its 2013 Outstanding Pre-College/Community Organization Award recipient.

HITES offers a one week residential experience for rising eleventh and twelfth grade students. The program provides an introduction into engineering, college life preparation, and showcases the applications of math and science.

The award recognizes HITES for inspiring students through college preparatory, retention, and graduation. The program serves as a model for research institutions and minority-serving institutions to increase minority engineering enrollment. HITES will be recognized at the 34th Annual NAMEPA National Conference in West Lafayette, Indiana in February.

“It is an honor to work with HITES and see these students succeed,” said Travis Griffin, director of the Engineering Diversity Program Office, which coordinates the summer program. ” The students value the opportunity to work with outstanding faculty, engage with engineering students, and live UT experience.”

Since the beginning of 2001, HITES has provided the experience to over 200 high student juniors and seniors. Odds are if you are a student in attendance, you left loving engineering. In 2011, 86 percent of seniors decided to major in engineering once they enrolled in engineering.

“Many may describe the beginning as being the first day of the first semester but for me, the HITES program was the beginning of my college experience,” Brandon Hambrick, a freshmen studying material science. “Not only did it reveal to me what my true interests were, but it allowed me to engage with hands-on activities and meet diverse people who had the same goals in mind.

“Through HITES I decided not only what field I wanted to study, but to attend UT,” Kalese Howse, a freshmen in industrial engineering. “I was exposed to many different engineering majors and switched interests to industrial engineering. It also got me excited for UT by showing programs available, facilities, and campus life despite that walk up ‘the hill.'”

The NAMEPA Outstanding Pre-College/Community Organization Award was established to honor pre-college programs, community organizations, or individuals who have been active increasing the participation of minorities in engineering disciplines at the pre-college or community level.

NAMEPA is a national network of educators and representatives from industry, government, and nonprofit organizations who share a common commitment to improving the recruitment and retention of African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians earning degrees in engineering.

For more information about NAMEPA, visit