Engineering, Computer Science's 2017-18 Senior Banquet Celebrates Graduating Students

Graduation season is nearing for Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering seniors. Some are in the midst of capstone projects and will present them and finish in May, while some seniors are in their final weeks before mid-year graduation. Still others will conclude their studies in Summer 2018.

EngineeringCS F17 Banquet

Last Thursday, the school hosted a formal banquet luncheon to celebrate and recognize its entire engineering and Computer Science senior class. Joined by parents, faculty, staff and special guests, the event honored students, thanked parents and faculty and held such activities as an oath and a ring ceremony during the processional recognition.

“We’re very excited about our graduates in the class of 2017-18,” said Dr. Chell Roberts, dean of the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering.

Approximately 270 people filled the tables in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice's A, B, C, and D conference room spaces, making the top USD engineering official indicate that next year's event venue will need to be bigger, perhaps in the Hahn University Center’s Forums.

"It's a good problem to have," quipped Roberts, in what is another sign of the tremendous growth since it became the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering in 2013.

Roberts, the school’s inaugural dean since 2013, took the opportunity to highlight the No. 12-ranked engineering program (U.S. News and World Report), academic additions such as cyber security, general engineering and computer science’s arrival, having more than 600 students in the fold and 30 faculty. He praised USD’s first engineering graduate class of five in 1991 and noting the foundational beginnings of the programs, which were housed first in College of Arts and Sciences and then the School of Business before its current status.

Roberts thanked his leadership predecessors — the late Dr. Thomas Kanneman, the first engineering director (1986-95), the late Dr. Robert Mertz (1995-97), and current professors and former directors Dr. Thomas Schubert (1997-2004) and the first female engineering professor and director Kathleen Kramer (2004-13). Barbara Kanneman, Thomas’ wife, attended and Roberts acknowledged her.

Following Roberts’ remarks, Engineering Director of Development and Alumni Relations Elisa Lurkis introduced Kim Woodbury, a 2015 Industrial and Systems Engineering alumna who is a Strategic Sourcing Specialist with Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Woodbury provided some insights for the soon-to-be new Torero alumni to ponder. Believing in the dual-degree to gain “soft skills,” building relationships, taking full advantage of resources on campus such as career development, professors’ office hours and to not forget those who’ve helped you along the way. In terms of the post-graduation short-term, Woodbury’s advice was that “the only constant is change so embrace whatever is in front of you after college. It doesn’t mean you have to do that for the rest of your life. Be open to opportunities and don’t close off things if they’re not ideal at first. All changes are opportunities that can get you where you want to go.”

The program was then turned over to Electrical Engineering Chair and Professor Mikaya Lumori and John Glick, chair and professor for Computer Science and General Engineering, to administer the respective Order of the Engineer Oath and the Pledge of the Computing Professional Oath. A processional followed with senior engineering students and computer science seniors receiving congratulations, a ring and a ceremony overseen by Associate Dean and Professor Dr. Rick Olson.

— Ryan T. Blystone

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