Stephen Smith, Mr. Engineer 2011, celebrates his pageant victory by scooping up last year's winner, Trey Warren.

All Hail the King

January 28, 2011

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If you thought NC State’s College of Engineering was filled solely with advanced thinkers who study a lot, think again. On Jan. 21, the Society of Women Engineers hosted the 2nd Annual “Mr. Engineer” pageant, highlighting the talents (and smarts) of the college’s students in benefit of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

A contestant graded on professional attire, talent, and an interview represented each discipline within the college. There was definitely no shortage of talent on hand: there was spoken-word performance art – some of which was original while other efforts centered around lyrics to Ke$ha’s “We Are Who We Are” and Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” – as well as singing, “Dougie” dance instruction, and a display of one participant’s acoustic guitar skills.

Stephen Smith's unicycle/Rubik's Cube combo helped him claim the coveted title of Mr. Engineer 2011.

The pageant’s eventual winner, “Mr. Mechanical Engineer” Stephen Smith (’12), wheeled his unicycle skills to center stage, pedaling in circles around a friend while simultaneously solving a Rubik’s Cube.

“It just looked like a lot of fun to be honest,” said Smith, an avid cyclist. “I’ve done talent contests before and I thought it would be really cool to support Relay for Life by embarrassing myself on stage.

“My favorite part of NC State is the Cycling Club – I love riding my bike – and to be able to find similar people who enjoy the same things I do is phenomenal.”

Learning alongside like-minded classmates in the College of Engineering ranks high on Smith’s list as well.

“I chose NC State for a couple of reasons,” he said. “You can’t find a better engineering school in the state, and coming here just made the most sense to me as a kid who always wanted to do engineering. “

More than 300 folks filled Stewart Theatre on an evening that proved wildly entertaining as well as philanthropic. Through the efforts of the Society of Women Engineers, and donations from corporate partners like Burt’s Bees and Cisco Systems, the pageant raised more than $1,200 for Relay for Life.

“Raising cancer awareness and money for the cause is something I hold near and dear to my heart,” said Jasmine Jarvis, one of four students who created and coordinated the event.

Smith and his fellow contestants were judged by last year’s winner, Trey Warren, as well as Women in Science & Engineering director Katherine Titus-Becker, NC State mechanical & aerospace engineering professor Larry Silverberg and student body president Kelly Hook.

“This was a great event that was a lot of fun for everyone involved – judges, contestants and audience members alike,” Hook said. “Being able to raise money for Relay for Life in this way is a testament to the creativity of NC State students in finding unique ways to give back to the community around us.”

Runner-ups for the title of “Mr. Engineer” included “Mr. Industrial Engineering” Brandyn Moss (’12) and “Mr. Computer Engineering Jeremy Currence (’12).