Engineering Banquet Is a Feast of Accomplishment


Mayuko Stauffeneger’s dream is in sight.

With her husband in the Navy, she had attended colleges in Hawaii, Florida and Texas but hadn’t been able to complete her degree in mechanical engineering.

When Stauffeneger arrived in San Diego in last spring, she knew she’d only be here for one and half years. But her academic advisors helped her craft a plan to make sure she could graduate in May of 2019 before she and her husband transfer to the Naval Air Station in Lemoore.

That was only one of many success stories celebrated Dec. 6 at the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering’s banquet for graduating seniors.

“I’m really excited,” said Stauffeneger who hopes to work in the biomechanical field.

There were some 258 attendees at the banquet including many proud professors and parents celebrating the accomplishments of 108 new graduates who will complete their degrees at the end of the fall semester, after intersession in January, or in May 2019.

The graduates include the school’s first class of four from its new Integrated Engineering program emphasizing a strong technical foundation across multiple areas of science and engineering. Students have taken classes such as engineering and social justice and the role of engineers in the world, and have interests ranging from environmental issues and ocean sciences to software and the Internet of things, said Professor Susan Lord, the department chair. 

The hope is that students will help solve “real-world” problems that range across various disciplines, she said. “They really are pioneers.”

Will Carhart represents another first. He will become the school’s first graduate with a bachelor’s of science in computer science since the department joined the school in 2016.

“This is one of my favorite events,” said Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering Dean Chell Roberts, explaining to parents that the school was made possible by a generous gift from Darlene Marcos Shiley, in honor of her late husband Donald, inventor of a revolutionary heart valve.

During the banquet, graduates in computer science and engineering participated in the Order of the Ring ceremony and took a pledge of professional responsibility and ethics as they began their careers.

The school’s valedictorian from last May, Anthony Shao, who has already co-founded a company, Darroch Medical Solutions, told the new graduates that the work world is not the same as the academic one where students in a class are all trying to find the same right answer to a test.

“Remember that a company hires you for (the) incredible, individual talent you bring,” he said.  “Don’t be afraid to defy expectations and create something beautiful for yourself.”


Michelle Sztupkay

Connect with Us

Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering

Belanich Engineering Center
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110