Class of 2017 Inaugural Valedictorian

Rachel Lloyd, ValedictorianValedictorian, Rachel Lloyd, with Dean Roberts

The Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering proudly announces the school’s first ever valedictorian, Rachel Lloyd. An industrial and systems engineering (ISYE) major with a minor in mathematics, Lloyd graduated magna cum laude, boasting a 3.88 overall GPA — the highest in her school.

When asked about being the inaugural valedictorian, she responds with surprise, “Oh wow, I didn’t even think of that! It feels really amazing to get to see that all of the work you put in throughout college does pay off.”

While at USD, Lloyd was steeped in Greek life, including membership in the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society and Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering Honors Society. When she wasn’t studying or interning at Intel or Hewlett Packard, Lloyd was actively involved in seven student honor societies.

“Studying engineering has made me a problem solver," explains Lloyd. “I look at problems in my everyday life now from an engineering perspective. I realize I am using a Lean 6 Sigma framework to define a problem and solve it in a quantitative way."

As a female engineering student, Lloyd never felt that studying in a predominantly male major was anything out of the ordinary, as an astounding 60 percent of her fellow ISYE graduating students are female. “Now that I am out in the world interviewing, it makes me standout knowing that only 6.8 percent of STEM grads are women. I just realized I am unique and it’s amazing because women are capable of this. Engineering can be interesting or fun if you are willing to put in the work.”

Lloyd eloquently gave the valedictory address at her commencement ceremony on May 28, 2017. She reflected fondly on her four years at USD’s Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. “As an engineer, I feel lucky to have gone to a school that wants to foster my analytical and personal growth. A liberal arts education forces you to become more than a subject matter expert in a specified field. Especially for those of us in the STEM world, being able to write and speak eloquently will always help make us successful."

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