More than 1,300 people gathered on June 12, 2016, for the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering graduation ceremony. A total of 270 graduates were honored, comprised of 14 Ph.D. graduates, 131 master’s graduates and 125 bachelor’s graduates. Chair Greg Miller presided over the event, which featured keynote and student speakers, award presentations, recognition of graduates and a reception.
The department was honored to have alum Dr. Andrew Taylor (MSCE ’85) deliver the keynote speech. An Affiliate Professor in CEE, Taylor is an associate with KPFF Consulting Engineers in Seattle. During his keynote, Taylor stressed the trust the public places in civil and environmental engineers. The safety and lives of people depend on their judgement, he said.
“When people drink water, they trust us to make it safe and clean,” Taylor said. “When they enter buildings and drive on roads, they expect us to engineer the systems to be safe.”
In an ever-changing field, Taylor advised the students to maintain a spirit of generosity, never lose a sense of curiosity and wonder, to not be afraid to change directions when opportunities present themselves, and to take the time to mentor others.
Graduating senior Jenifer Ann Albright delivered the Student Reflections speech and shared some favorite memories, including a trip to Rome last year where she and classmates had an opportunity to bicycle down the oldest road in the world. She also spoke about her involvement in the Concrete Canoe Team.
“It is more than building a canoe. It is also about building a team,” Albright said.
A number of awards were presented during the ceremony, honoring students and faculty for excellence. The following awards were presented:
The Neil & Ann Hawkins Award was presented to two students: Marissa Karpack (first prize) and Colin Butler (second prize). The annual award, established by former department chair Neil Hawkins and his wife, recognizes two outstanding graduating seniors based on academic merit, leadership and service, and communication skills. Learn more about the student honorees.
The Faculty Teaching Award, determined by the vote of graduating students, was presented to Research Assistant Professor Heidi Gough. Student nominations highlighted how Gough welcomes student feedback, is an engaging lecturer and is extremely interested in the learning of her students. “She really tries to engage us and read our emotions to see if we are taking in the material presented,” wrote one student.
The Faculty Mentoring Award, also determined by the vote of graduating students, was presented to the Structural Engineering faculty group. The award was presented to the entire group as all structures faculty members were nominated for either the teaching or mentoring award, said Chair Greg Miller. Accepting the award on behalf of the group was Professor Laura Lowes.
The Chair’s Award was presented to Professor John Stanton. While most students say that Stanton’s class is the hardest class they’ve ever taken, his student evaluations are never low as a result, Chair Greg Miller said.
Class of 1966 Honorees
The 50th reunion class was also honored at the celebration. Alums from the class of 1966 were presented with commemorative “stoles of gratitude” and were invited to walk in the procession with faculty and graduates.
Congratulations to the graduating class of 2016!
View graduation photos on Facebook. Additional photos will soon be available from GRAD IMAGES.