In The Face of Petroleum Engineering, [summer 2013], Ramona Graves’ comments about the Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies struck a deep chord of disappointment. As a proud alumnus of the Petroleum Engineering Department who took full advantage of the educational, artistic and enrichment opportunities provided by LAIS, I felt her answer didn’t do justice to the important contribution the division makes to the Mines campus. I can say without hesitation that the skills I acquired from LAIS courses make me a more complete engineer. My technical petroleum engineering courses taught me to draw the dots; the courses I took through LAIS help me connect them.

Engineering decisions are not always strictly technical; there is an ‘art’ to drilling a well, a ‘finesse’ to interpreting logs, a ‘knack’ to solving mathematical problems. I’m proud of my degree and grateful for all that Dr. Graves and others have done to strengthen the Petroleum Engineering Department. I’m also deeply grateful to LAIS faculty for helping me develop skills essential to applying my technical knowledge, and for providing opportunities for artistic, intellectual and cultural enrichment.

Abdullah ‘Sami’ Yahya ’11