Hundreds Celebrate Engineering Graduates at College Recognition Ceremony

On Saturday, May 16, hundreds of graduates and proud family members and friends gathered on the Campus Green for Villanova University’s College of Engineering Class of 2015 Recognition Ceremony. Held the morning after University Commencement, the Recognition Ceremony provides graduates with an opportunity to receive individual recognition, and celebrate their accomplishments with their engineering classmates.

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Shawn Gross, PhD, received the College of Engineering Teaching Award
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Shawn Gross, PhD, received the College of Engineering Teaching Award

The morning began with a brief welcome from Drosdick Endowed Dean of Engineering, Gary A. Gabriele, PhD, followed by the invocation by Alexis Parillo ChE. Dean Gabriele then congratulated Kathleen Ayuk ChE who delivered the student address at University Commencement, and acknowledged a number of retiring faculty members with combined 150-plus years of service. They include Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty Ronald Chadderton, PhD, professor, and Edward Glynn, PhD, assistant professor; Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty Anthony Zygmont, PhD, professor, and Frank DiMeo, PhD, associate professor; and Young Chun, PhD, associate professor, Mechanical Engineering.

The first two awards announced by the Dean also recognized outstanding faculty or staff members. Gayle Doyle, Student Support Programs, received the Reverend William F. Farrell Award, chosen by a vote of undergraduates for demonstrating exemplary personal concern for students. The College of Engineering Teaching Award, established last year, was presented to Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Shawn Gross, PhD, for demonstrating innovation in the classroom, excellent student learning outcomes, and advancement in the field of engineering education. 

Engineering PhD graduates. Ronald Warzoha (second from right) and Ali Jalali (far right) won the College’s Outstanding Doctoral Student Awards.
Engineering PhD graduates. Ronald Warzoha (second from right) and Ali Jalali (far right) won the College’s Outstanding Doctoral Student Awards.

Gerard “Jerry” Jones, PhD, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, took the stage to present the College’s doctoral degrees. This year, six PhDs were awarded and as a result of “extraordinary performance” two exceptional students were honored with the Outstanding Doctoral Student Award: Ali Jalali and Ronald Warzoha. Dr. Jalali conducted research on “Medical Patient Management and Monitoring Using Machine Learning and Modeling Techniques” and is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He was advised by Mechanical Engineering Professor and Department Chair C. Nataraj, PhD. Dr. Warzoha ’08 ME is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at United States Naval Academy. Advised by Mechanical Engineering Professor Amy Fleischer, PhD, his research involved nanoscale thermophysics and thermal energy storage materials.

In addition to the PhDs, Dr. Jones also recognized the College’s 91 Master of Science degree graduates. Winners of the Outstanding Graduate Student Award for each department were announced as follows: 

Russell P. Rioux ’15 MSME won the Outstanding Graduate Student Medallion
Russell P. Rioux ’15 MSME won the Outstanding Graduate Student Medallion

Nicole Hammer – Chemical Engineering

Gerald Zaremba – Civil and Environmental Engineering

Khodour AlKadry – Electrical Engineering

Christopher A. Mansour – Computer Engineering

Russell P. Rioux – Mechanical Engineering

Iain Joseph Hunt – Sustainable Engineerin

Russell P. Rioux won the Outstanding Graduate Student Medallion, which is presented to a master’s degree candidate who has achieved distinction through academics, research, leadership and service.

The largest portion of the ceremony was dedicated to the College’s 228 graduating seniors. In addition to recognizing all of the students and naming their honors distinctions, each department chair awarded a medallion to an outstanding undergraduate selected by the faculty of that department. Criteria included academic achievement and the quality and consistency of the students’ co-curricular contributions to the College and the department. Medallions were presented to:

Dana T. Flood, Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Award
Dana T. Flood, Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Award
Andrew  W. Rinaldi, Computer Engineering Outstanding Student Award
Andrew W. Rinaldi, Computer Engineering Outstanding Student Award
Lily A. Quiroz, Electrical Engineering Outstanding Student Award
Lily A. Quiroz, Electrical Engineering Outstanding Student Award
Edward L. Zhu, Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Student Award
Edward L. Zhu, Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Student Award

The College’s most prestigious undergraduate prize, the Robert D. Lynch Award, was presented to Joseph R. Brady. Sponsored by the Engineering Alumni Society, this award acknowledges a senior’s outstanding academic achievements and exemplary dedication to serving the community. 

Joseph R. Brady, Robert E. White Chemical Engineering Award and recipient of the Robert D. Lynch Award
Joseph R. Brady, Robert E. White Chemical Engineering Award and recipient of the Robert D. Lynch Award

The 2015 Recognition Ceremony concluded with the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department’s Frank Falcone, assistant professor, and Frank Hampton, PhD, associate professor, leading students in the alma mater, followed by  Kristen Douglas ChE, president of the Engineering Student Council, leading her fellow graduates in reciting the Engineers Creed. Joanna Schaff ME closed with the Benediction.

See which prestigious employers and graduate schools the Class of 2015 is headed for!