Duke graduates 523 engineers in May 2009

May 10, 2009

Duke University awarded degrees to 523 undergraduate and graduate engineering students on May 10 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 Tom Katsouleas Bachelor of Science in Engineering diplomas to 279 students, including 12 who completed their work in December and one last September, before a crowd of parents, relatives and friends in the Chapel.

Pratt also awarded 126 Master of Engineering Management degrees during a later ceremony. The university's Graduate School presented Doctor of Philosophy degrees to 50 engineers and an additional 68 Master of Science degrees to Pratt engineers.

In all, Duke awarded more than 4,400 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. Media entrepreneur and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey delivered the commencement address. Honorary degrees were granted to Winfrey, economist-educator Susan Athey, Nobel geneticists Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein (a team who will receive one degree), higher education leader James Moeser, Nobel chemist Mario Molina, business executive Indra Nooyi and pianist Murray Perahia.

In her address, Winfrey encouraged students to make a difference. “You really haven’t completed the circle of success unless you can help somebody else move forward. That’s the truth. Move to higher ground. That’s the real goal. How do you get someone else to move to higher ground,” she said.

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

  • The Walter J. Seeley Scholastic Award – Nigel Shiijie Chou from Signapore, Kathleen Marie Murphy from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and Daniel Adam Roberts from Melville, N.Y. (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 – Nigel Shijie Chou from Signapore, and Kathleen Marie Murphy from Bloomfield, Mich. (Presented to the biomedical engineering student with the most outstanding academic record as determined by a faculty committee.)
  • The Helmholtz Award – Stephen Jacob DeVience from Chicago, Ill. (Presented to graduating senior who presents the best research project as judged by the departmental faculty.)
  • The Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science Faculty Award – Ivan Wang from Vernon Hills, Ill. (Presented to the graduating mechanical engineering senior who has attained the highest level of scholastic achievement in all subjects.)
  • Student Service Award – Yuanlong Du from Orlando, Fla., and Alexander Huntington Gorham from Orchard Park, N.Y. (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 – Irem Mertol from Cupertino, Calif. (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 – Samantha Elise Beardsley from Columbia, S.C. (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 – Jessica Leigh Barlow, from Mountain Lakes, N.J., and Lauren Beth Lewis from Winston-Salem, N.C. (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 – Samantha Elise Beardsley from Columbia, S.C. (Presented to a civil engineering senior in recognition of outstanding academic achievement.)
  • The Eric I. Pas Award – Aaron Lee from Brentwood, Tenn., Chloe Maria Mawer from Houston, TX, and Lindsay Ann Rawot from Bentleyville, OH (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 – Daniel Adam Roberts from Melville, N.Y. (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 – Daniel Adam Roberts from Melville N.Y. (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 – Aneesh Ramesh Butani from Deira, Dubai, and Matthew Vincent Harte from Wyckoff, N.J. (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 – James Colin Montupet from St. Louis, Mo. (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 – Whitney Louise Stewart from Virginia Beach, V.a. (Given in recognition of outstanding perseverance and accomplishment in the study of biomedical engineering.)
  • The Charles Rowe Vail Memorial Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award – Kevin James Brown from Dallas, TX (Recognizes the most outstanding teaching assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.)

Students graduating with departmental distinction:

Biomedical Engineering

Brian Nicholas Arnold, * Nigel Shijie Chou, * Stephen Jacob DeVience, Adam Joseph Dixon, Alexander Huntington Gorham, Benjamin David Grant, Antonia Rose Helbling, *Enping Hong, Hyun-Joong Kim, Daniel Hunter Klein, Mary Ellen Irene Koran, Yang Li, Kun Liang, David Dayu Liu, Syrone Liu, Irem Mertol, Jessica Adele Munn, Amy Elizabeth Munnelly, Sahil Pankaj Patel, * Ian Daniel Peikon, Feini Qu, Albert Joseph Rogers, Christopher Ryan Rowland, Junren Sia, Di Sun, Andrew T. Tutt, David Allen Wang, Andrew Warren Winslow, Duo Xu, Lin Yang, Tianhe Zhang. Students with an * received the Howard G. Clark Award as well.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Samantha Elise Beardsley, Alexander Thomas Brehm, Philip Scott Harvey, Jr., Aaron Lee, Chloé Maria Mawer, Nicholas Michael Millar, Lindsay Ann Rawot, Jessica Ann Toy, Lauren Elisabeth Wessel

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Douglas William Bycoff, Tawanda Caesars Chaunzwa, Shi Gu, Joseph Toshiro Meyerowitz, Jonathan Lawrence Odom, Daniel Adam Roberts, Pantana Tor-ngern

Mechanical Engineering

Kathryn Marie Dankovich, Matthew Aaron Kligerman, Adam Lee Nelson, Ivan Wang