NASA Scholar Erin Mullinax is Southwest's 2012 Student Speaker

To be successful, it is said that one needs to have stability, determination, and a goal. For most, stability means attending similar schools, meeting friends at a favorite hangout, and developing bonds that last a lifetime. This was not the path of student speaker Erin Mullinax who will address Southwest Tennessee Community College's Class of 2012 during the commencement ceremony on May 5, at 10:30 a.m. at the Landers Center in Southaven, MS.

Life began in Saratoga Springs, New York. Around age nine, the military family moved to California, to Georgia, and eventually overseas to Belgium where Mullinax graduated from SHAPE American High School. Moving to be near her parents, she met her husband in Virginia and later moved to Memphis. Finally some stability, until she was laid off due to the recession.

This year's student speaker will graduate with an Associate of Science, University Parallel Engineering degree. Mullinax has served Southwest as President of the Honors Academy, Vice President of Service for Phi Theta Kappa, and a member of the Service Learning Club. Because of her involvement, Mullinax has received numerous awards and accolades including, a Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise scholarship, a member of the All-TN USA Academic Team, Tennessee Regional Honors Conference presenter, St. Jude Marathon first place in College fundraising (Southwest) team member, and a National Community College Aerospace Scholar for NASA.

After graduation, Mullinax will pursue a dual bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and mathematics and has applied to several universities including the Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale. Her ultimate goal is to earn a doctorate degree in electrical engineering and open her own engineering firm. Mullinax says it took a couple of years to find her way to college and her journey has been rewarding. She hopes to continue on her chosen path with the same level of achievement that she experienced at Southwest.


Photo caption: Erin Mullinax