As part of the Southeast Conference’s 50th Anniversary Title IX, the conference will feature alumni-athletes who have had successful careers outside of athletics.
Courtney Cunningham is a builder. While playing volleyball for Ole Miss from 2009-11, Cunningham helped build the Rebels into an NCAA Tournament team while also earning a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree in 2013 from the University of Mississippi.
During his college athletic career as the team’s Center Forward, Cunningham earned three letters while playing for Coach Joe Getzin. Cunningham saw action in 48 games during her three years with the Rebels before ACL tearfully ended her sophomore and middle school seasons early.
During her time at the University of Mississippi, Courtney also interned with Elliott and Britt Engineering (2012-2013) in Oxford, and the Mississippi Department of Transportation in their Planning Division (2012). Both opportunities are offered through the strong alumni community and athletic academic advisors at Ole Miss.
“The biggest benefit from playing sports that I have received so far has been my first engineering job,” explains Cunningham. “Besides being qualified for the job, volleyball was the connection that made me stand out. My boss’s daughter at the time also played and made my interview go more smoothly because of that. That’s all I can say.In the tech world there aren’t a lot of athletes, not a lot of socialites, and very few minorities so to have a volleyball that helps me stand out is a bonus and a thing. Surprisingly, I didn’t see it.”
Cunningham is also helping to build the dream. She spent two weeks in August 2013 in Togo with Engineers Without Borders, where she helped in the first phase of a five- to 10-year project to build a school for one of the communities in West African country. While the team faced many obstacles, they were able to pour two slabs for each classroom, erect all the columns to the correct height, and erect an L-shaped concrete beam for one of the classrooms.
After receiving an engineering degree from the University of Mississippi, Cunningham became a Licensed Professional Engineer. She currently works in transportation at Freese and Nichols in Pearland, Texas, spent nine years as a Road Design Engineer and managed projects as a mission team leader under her authority. Customer Manager.
Cunningham was recognized by the National Association of Black Engineers (NSBE) Houston Professionals as the Young Engineer of the Year 2020-21 and honored in the 2022 Young Engineer of the Year party. She is a member of the Week Committee. Engineer Houston, bridges the gap between each Houston-based STEM organization and has established itself as a key member of NSBE Houston Professionals.
“I can’t say that I directly noticed Title IX while competing,” Cunningham said. “I know because of it I was able to play the sport I love and get a degree in a career I don’t know what it would cost me if it weren’t for my scholarship. Title IX gave me an opportunity that every day I am grateful I know I discussed how it sets me apart by giving in the interview process but being a college athlete helps you prepare for the real world. My case was learning new programs), and always give your best. Connection and communication are key in volleyball. You read the floor and pass on the signs to Your teammates. You bond off the field and perform together on the floor with your teammates. I’m glad parts of my sports career have turned into my engineering career.”