SOCORRO, N.M., March 19, 2003 -- Shannon Gaddy Ferrell, a Gallup native who is now a senior majoring in materials engineering at New Mexico Tech, recently was named the research university's "Engineering Student of the Year Runnerup."

Ferrell was selected for the distinguished award by the university's engineering faculty on the basis of her exhibited academic excellence at New Mexico Tech.

Ferrell, a graduate of Gallup High School, is the daughter of Leroy and Margaret Gaddy of Gallup.

A member of the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society, Ferrell has been a New Mexico Tech Scholar since 2001, and has made the university's honor roll the past four semesters.

In addition to her studies, Ferrell currently is working as an undergraduate research assistant on a materials engineering research project that involves characterizing the rheological behavior of nano-scale silica suspensions, particularly gelation.

Ferrell also is an active member of The Materials Society.

"I have met some great and supportive professors here at New Mexico Tech," Ferrell relates, "like Dr. Deidre Hirschfeld, my faculty advisor in the materials engineering department."