Pratt School Celebrates Graduation of Class of 2006

June 1, 2006

Duke University awarded degrees to 346 undergraduate and graduate engineering students on May 14 in ceremonies beginning with a university-wide commencement celebration in Wallace Wade Stadium and ending with a Pratt School of Engineering ceremony in Duke Chapel.

Pratt Dean Kristina M. Johnson presented Bachelor of Science in Engineering diplomas to 244 students, including 12 who completed their work in December and six last September, before a crowd of parents, relatives and friends in the Chapel.

Pratt also awarded 60 Master of Engineering Management degrees during a noon ceremony in the auditorium of the Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Science. The university’s Graduate School presented Doctor of Philosophy degrees to 23 engineers at a noon ceremony in the Allen Building. The Graduate School also awarded 19 Master of Science degrees to Pratt engineers.

In all, Duke awarded more than 4,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees at the morning ceremony in Wallace Wade Stadium. Under sunny skies and dressed in traditional caps and gowns, the graduates were seated on the football field according to their degree programs.

Duke President Richard H. Brodhead presided at the 10 a.m. exercise. John Hope Franklin, the distinguished scholar and James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke, delivered the commencement address. Honorary degrees were granted to physics professor and Nobel Prize co-winner Steven Chu, founder and CEO of Self-Help Martin Eakes, broadcast journalist Nina Totenberg and former director of the National Institutes of Health James Wyngaarden.

Franklin told the graduates to take time to improve society and, in particular, to assist the nation’s schools and fight against racism.

“The community and the nation need you to use your energies and talents to assist our government and the people as they work for the good of society,” Franklin said. He urged Duke students to direct their energies to improving the nation’s schools, which he described as “a disaster area.”

Franklin also noted a resurgence of racism in this country and urged graduates to fight against it.

“What better way for you to take on your role as responsible, mature citizens than to insist that the American ideal of equality of race, sex, religion and ethnic groups be adhered to because that idea was bought and paid for by all Americans, regardless of race,” he said, prompting applause from the audience.

Here is a list of Pratt’s winners of special prizes and awards:

The Walter J. Seeley Scholastic Award -- William Liang Hwang. (Presented to the student who has achieved the highest scholastic average in all subjects, and who has shown diligence in pursuit of an engineering education.)

The da Vinci Award -- William Liang Hwang (Presented to the biomedical engineering student with the most outstanding academic record as determined by a faculty committee.)

The Helmholtz Award -- Yupeng Qiu, double major, biomedical engineering and electrical engineering, from Kowloon, Hong Kong. (Presented to graduating senior who presents the best research project as judged by the departmental faculty.)

The Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science Faculty Award -- Joshua Melamed Dubnow. (Presented to the graduating mechanical engineering senior who has attained the highest level of scholastic achievement in all subjects.)

The Raymond C. Gaugler Award in Materials Science and Engineering -- Roger Mitchell Diebold, mechanical engineering major from Barrington, R. I. (Presented to the senior who has made the most progress at Duke in developing competence in materials science or materials engineering.)

Student Service Award -- Ian Kazi Shakil, bomedical egineering mjor from Coral Spring, Fla. (Given to the graduating senior who, by his or her contributions of time, effort and spirit, has significantly benefited the community of the Pratt School of Engineering.)

The Otto Meier, Jr. Tau Beta Pi Award -- Emily Song Wren, civil engineering major from Arlington, Va. (Given to the graduating Tau Beta Pi member who symbolized best the distinguished scholarship and exemplary character required for membership.)

The William Brewster Snow Environmental Engineering Award -- Jean Mosteller Foster, double major civil engineering and Asian and African languages and literature, with a political science minor, and International Honors Program certificate, from Port Huron, Mich. (Presented to a senior who has demonstrated academic excellence, interest and enthusiasm in the study of environmental engineering.)

The American Society of Civil Engineers Prize -- James Thomas Garnevicus, civil engineering major with an architectural engineering certificate from Bronx, N.Y.; and William Benjamin Senner, civil engineering major, economics minor, with an architectural engineering certificate, from Williamsburg, Va. (Awarded to outstanding seniors in civil engineering on the recommendation of the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.)

The Aubrey E. Palmer Award -- Robert Jon Tipton, double major in civil engineering and music with an architectural engineering certificate from Veron, Wisc.; and Siu Chung Yau, double major in civil engineering and economics with an architectural engineering certificate from Hong Kong. (Presented to a civil engineering senior in recognition of outstanding academic achievement.)

The Eric I. Pas Award -- Christopher Alan Einmo and Siu Chung Yau. (Presented to graduating civil engineering seniors judged by the faculty to have conducted the most outstanding independent study project.)

The George Sherrerd III Memorial Award in Electrical Engineering -- Peter Ian Golden, double major in electrical and computer engineering and computer science from Bloomfield, NJ.; and Kathryn Diane Ness, electrical engineering major with a math minor from Worthington, Ohio. (Awarded to seniors in electrical engineering who, in the opinion of the faculty, have attained the highest level of scholastic achievement in all subjects and who have rendered significant service to the School of Engineering and the university.)

The Charles Seager Memorial Award -- Derek Robert Hower, double major electrical and computer engineering and computer science from Sandusky, Ohio; and Anna Leigh Rack-Gomer, double major in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering from Scottsdale, Ariz. (Recognizes outstanding achievement in the annual Student Prize Paper Contest of the Duke branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or significant contributions to electrical engineering.)

The David Randall Fuller Prize -- Ashley Johnson Burns, double major in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering with a minor in math from North Eastham, Mass. (Presented to the graduating electrical engineering senior who has shown the most improvement in academic performance over the first three years.)

The Pi Tau Sigma Scholarship Award -- Marc James Palmeri, mechanical engineering major with a minor in philosophy from Mahwah, N.J. (Presented to an outstanding senior in mechanical engineering on the basis of academic excellence, engineering ability and leadership as judged by a faculty committee.)

The Theo Pilkington Memorial Award -- Rahul Kak, major in biomedical engineering and electrical engineering from Rockville, Md. (Given in recognition of outstanding perseverance and accomplishment in the study of biomedical engineering.)

The Charles Rowe Vail Memorial Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award -- Jerry Zhiyi Wu, double major in electrical and computer engineering and economics from Zionsville, Ind. (Recognizes the most outstanding teaching assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.)

Students graduating with departmental distinction:

Biomedical Engineering: Vineet Agrawal, Omaha. Neb.; Ling Yu Bei, Rockville Md.; *Nasir Husain Bhanpuri, Lincolnwood, Ill.; Jeffrey Daniel Boyer, Newark, Del.; John Christopher Champion, Fort Worth, Texas; Edward Sholto Douglas, Baltimore, Md.; James Todd Elkin, Lexington, Ky.; Peter Dimitrov Filev, Novi, Mich.; *Matthew William Hawk, Houston; *William Liang Hwang, Potomac, Md.; Farokh Rustom Irani, Longwood, Fla.; Daniel Morgan Kaplan, Lincolnshire, Ill.; Daniel Kim, Cincinnati, Ohio; Jonathan Shing-Jih Lee, Saratoga, Calif.; Richard Lee, Smyrna,Ga.; Jason Hongting Leung, Los Angeles; Dorothy Anne Lowell, Raleigh; Michael Robert Mathis, Wyomissing, Pa.; *Matthew Kamal Mian Concord, N.C.; Devin Christopher Odom, Lexington, N.C.; Sidhartha Andrew Palani, Riverside, Ill.; *Jialing Kim Png, Singapore; Yupeng Qiu Kowloon, Hong Kong; Steven E. Reich, Wilmette, Ill.; Andrew Robert Schmidt, Glen Ellyn, Ill.; Christopher Lloyd Schumann, Christiansburg, Va.; Jessica Shih, Plano, Texas; Kathryn Farrell Sullivan, Woodside, Calif.; Tina Dinesh Tailor, Raleigh; *Junhao Shawn Tan, Singapore; Matthew Laurence Topel, Southlake, Texas; Dean Wang ,Ellicott City, Md.; Ying Min Wang, Singapore; *Seth Howard Weinberg, Tampa, Fla.; Ryan Werstuik, Wexford, Pa.; Yao Quan Xie, Singapore ; Lingyun Xiong, Memphis, Tenn.; Cen Zhang, Doylestown, Pa.; and Yun Michael Zhao, Bethel Park, Pa.
(Those with an asterisk received the Howard G. Clark Award.)

Civil Engineering: Jean Mosteller Foster, Port Huron, Mich.; Sara Katherine Oliver, San Antonio, Texas; Serdar Selamet, Istanbul; Robert Jon Tipton, Verona, Wisc.; and Siu Chung Yau, Hong Kong.

Electrical Engineering: Derek Robert Hower, Sandusky, Ohio; William Liang Hwang, Potomac, Md.; Kathryn Diane Ness, Worthington, Ohio; Vinh Ngoc Nguyen, Mansfield, Mass.; Anna Leigh Rack-Gomer, Scottsdale, Ariz.; and David Joseph Rodriguez, Maywood, N.J.

Mechanical Engineering: Joseph Michael Bruni, Petroleum, W. Va.; Roger Mitchell Diebold, Barrington, R.I.; Brian David Dieckmann, Madison, N.J.; Clifford Chenghwa Hou, Chesterfield, Mo.; R. Carleton Hulit, Rye, N.J. and Mahir Haroon Rabbi, Cary, N.C

The International Honors Program: Jean Mosteller Foster, from Port Huron, Mich.; Sara Elizabeth Johnston, biomedical engineering major with a chemistry minor from St. Simons Island, Ga.; and Serdar Selamet, civil engineering major with minors in German and economics and an architectural engineering certificate from Istanbul, Turkey.