December 18, 2012
The NC State Department of Computer Science conferred 188 degrees during the Fall Diploma Ceremony on December 14, 2012. Over 1,000 relatives and guests celebrated with our graduates, faculty and staff during our ceremony held at Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh.
This graduating class included 15 Ph.D., 102 M.S., and 71 B.S. degrees expanding the department’s alumni base to over 6,800.
The undergraduate class included four Valedictorians (perfect 4.0 GPA), Joel E. Anderson, Ravelle Dorthy Kelley, Lu Lan, and Alan Patrick Sheridan; five Computer Science Honors Program participants, Joel E. Anderson, William Lee Formyduval, Kathleen Diane Graves, Eric Walter Lang, and Alan Patrick Sheridan; and numerous members of a variety of scholastic honor societies.
Dr. Mladen Vouk, department head, professor, and Associate Vice Provost for Information Technology, congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments.
We were honored to have alumna LTC Tanya Markow (M.S. 2004), serve as our keynote speaker. A 17-year veteran of the military, Markow holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the U.S Military Academy at West Point. She also has a master’s degree in Computer Science from NC State University and a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She was in one of the earliest classes of women to qualify to fly the Apache helicopter and was the third woman in history to serve as an Apache helicopter instructor pilot. Currently, Markow is an assistant professor of Computer Science at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army where she is an Army Aviator and an Instructor Pilot.
She was commissioned an Army Aviator in 1995 and served as an AH-64A Apache pilot. She began her military career in South Korea as the Gun Platoon Leader in 1st Squadron, 6th Calvary.
While assigned to Fort Bragg, NC, she deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina as the Intelligence Officer for 3rd Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment (Attack). She later commanded HHC, 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where she also became one of the first women to serve as an AH-64A Apache instructor pilot. After her first tour as an assistant professor at USMA, Markow deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, directing all operations of Udairi Army Airfield, providing training and support to aviation units deploying to and redeploying from Iraq.
Markow is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College, AH-64A Instructor Pilot Course, Aviation Captain’s Career Course, AN-64A Aircraft Qualification Course, Initial Entry Rotary Wing (Honor Graduate), Master Fitness Trainer Course, Air Assault school and Airborne school. Her academic interests include Human-Computer Interaction, Assistive Technologies, Knowledge Dynamics, and Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation.
In her address to the graduates, Markow encouraged them to persevere through outward limitations. She shared that despite her small stature (just under 5’2”), she was able to not only fly Apache helicopters, she was one of the first women to become certified as an instructor pilot teaching others how to fly them. Since the age of seven, Markow has dreamed of becoming an astronaut. She shared that once again, because of her height, that dream may not become a reality. But she shared with the graduates that sometimes the journey is more rewarding than the final destination, urging the graduates to “shoot for the moon, and if you miss, at least you’ll be among the stars.”
Earlier this year Markow was featured with a profile on the Future Students portion of the department’s website. Please click here for that story.
Special entertainment for the diploma ceremony was provided by local musician, Nancy Tissiere.
Our special thanks go to the Computer Science Department ePartners Program, its participating corporate sponsors, and the NC State Engineering Foundation for their generous sponsorship of this event.