May 11, 2015
Nearly 250 undergraduates and graduates celebrated their graduation during the Computer Science Department’s Spring Diploma Ceremony held Friday, May 8 at Hope Community Church in Cary.
More than 1,400 relatives, friends, and guests were able to celebrate with the graduates. This spring’s graduating class included 5 Ph.D., 125 M.S., and 116 B.S. degrees expanding the department’s alumni base to well over 7,400. The top employers for this semester’s graduates are SAS, IBM, Cisco, NetApp and Fidelity Investments.
The undergraduate class included 16 Valedictorians (perfect 4.0 GPA): David Ball, Ajita Banerjea, Timothy Burr, Jeremy Cline, Zachary Coleman, Matthew Frazier, David Hamilton, Galen Keene, Samuel Magura, Eric Minges, Nolan Piland, Vinaya Polamreddi, Miles Richardson, Joseph Sankar, Nathan Schnoor and Kathleen Wassell; six Computer Science Honors Program participants: David Ball, Ajita Banerjea, Vinaya Polamreddi, Nischal Shrestha, Christopher Stroud, and Alexandria Vail; seven University Honors Program participants: Ajita Banerjea, Matthew Frazier, Sean Lang, Samuel Magura, Monica Poletti, Alexandria Vail, and Kyle Vanderpoel; six University Scholars Program participants: Logan Adams, Benjamin Lane, Dylan Perry, Nathan Schnoor, Jason Suttles and Kathleen Wassell; and numerous members of a variety of scholastic honor societies.
This year’s Computer Science Outstanding Senior Award recipients are: Alexandria Vail, Computer Science Senior Award to Scholarly Achievement; Xavier Primus, Computer Science Senior Award for Citizenship; and Kathleen Wassell, Computer Science Senior Award for Humanities. Kathleen Wassell also won the College of Engineering Senior Award for Humanities.
Dr. Laurie Williams, Acting Head of the Computer Science Department, congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments. This semester's undergraduate class had many remarkable students - a US military veteran: David Zager is a veteran of the United States Marine Corp who was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2009. He is currently employed at Oracle, but will be returning to NC State in the fall to pursue graduate study in computer science. And another graduate, Zachary Coleman, will be immediately commissioned as an Ensign in the United State Navy as a member of the Submarine Force.
This year's graduating class also included an Eagle Scout (Bejamin Lane); an Ironman Race participant (Wiliam Jamar); and a student (Ronald Miller, II) whose graduation represents his fulfillment of his late father's last wish that he complete his college education. Two other graduates are pursuing entrepreneurial ventures that started out as Senior Design projects: Bryce Pilcher's venture is called "yomnom!", a website and mobile app to assist with meal planning and shopping; and Cory Scheviak plans a venture involving "Pan-oplay", a website aimed at promoting independent music artists.
We were honored to have Jeff Crume, IBM Distinguished Engineer and IT Security Architect with over 30 years' experience in the IT industry, deliver the keynote address. In his remarks, he encouraged the graduates to be lifelong learners, and he advised them to learn from the success and failures of others. He also encouraged the graduates to turn work into play citing a quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes: “We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing.” He went on to offer them advice on how to avoid burnout. According to Crume, the cause of burnout is not fatigue, it’s loss of purpose - you begin to feel burned out when your work no longer has meaning and purpose. He left the graduates with one final quote from William Barclay: “There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born, and the day we discover why.”
Hope Community Church provided a wonderful setting for the department’s diploma ceremony, with comfortable accommodations and professional AV capabilities. DVDs of the ceremony are available for a nominal $25 processing fee (click here for order form). Additionally, a professional photographer took photos of each graduate as he/she received his/her diploma. For more information, please contact the photographer.
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.