Students in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, along with their family and friends, commemorated their graduation during the school’s graduation celebration on June 10, 2022.
“Our last in-person celebration was in 2019, so it was great to see how happy everyone was to watch the students walk across the stage and be recognized for their achievements,” said Gaulke Professor and School Head Tom Weller.
Oregon State University alumna Nadia Payet, who earned a Ph.D. in computer science in 2011 and is the Senior Engineering Manager for Navigation on Google Maps, shared words of wisdom for the graduates.
After losing her younger sister to cancer in 2017, Payet changed her outlook on life and offered three lessons:
Figure out what you want. It’s not what your parents or society wants for you. After her sister died, Payet shifted her focus from solely building a career to building more meaningful relationships. “I still love the successful career,” she said. “Because I listen more carefully now, I’m just a more human leader; someone who truly cares and puts her people first.”
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. She urged the graduates to pretend they don’t have all the time in the world to get things done. “I remind myself that we don’t have forever, so let’s make today count,” Payet said.
Lead with empathy and kindness. “Leadership is taking care of yourself, and empowering others to do the same,” she said, and advised the audience to practice gratitude as a path toward leading with empathy and kindness.
The graduation celebration also recognized faculty, staff, and students with awards.
Outstanding Staff Member of the Year
Awarded to Calvin Hughes, assistant director for graduate programs, this honor is given to an individual who goes above and beyond their duties to help students. They always have an open door for questions, even with work sprawled across their desk.
Innovative Teaching Award
This award is presented to a faculty member who brings a new edge to the classroom. These individuals make learning fun and help enhance students’ understanding of the material through new techniques. Instructor Rob Hess received the award for computer science. Professor David Allstot and Senior Instructor Roger Traylor both received the award for electrical and computer engineering.
Faculty of the Year
Computer science professor Mike Bailey received this award which is given to a faculty member who inspires students both inside the classroom and out. The passion and pride they take in their teaching and their subject matter is evident in everything they do.
Sophomore of the Year
Julian Henry was the recipient of this award from Eta Kappa Nu, the honor society for electrical and computer engineering students.
Undergraduate Learning Assistants of the Year
Computer science students James Taylor and Andrew Kamand took home these honors. Taylor, who was among the 2022 graduates, was a learning assistant for multiple classes. Kamand, an online postbaccalaureate student in computer science, served as a learning assistant for an Introduction to Databases course.
EECS Outstanding Dissertation Award
Shashini De Silva, a doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering, received this award for her thesis, “Secure Data Analytics under Data Integrity Attacks.” De Silva was advised by Assistant Professor Jinsub Kim.
Robert Short Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year
This award, established in honor of Robert Short, was a professor of electrical engineering and the founding chairman of the computer science department, to encourage students to consider a career in academia. Shane Allen, a master’s degree student in electrical and computer engineering, was the recipient of the award.