On Saturday, May 13, a crowd of nearly 700 packed the Student Union Ballroom to celebrate 19 graduate students and 77 undergraduates completing doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degree programs in chemical and environmental engineering. Family and friends cheered as each graduate was recognized on stage with a background slide of their own creation, and presented with a graduation plaque and alumni t-shirt.

Students in the Spotlight

Two CHEE graduates were in the spotlight at the UA commencement, May 12. Jude Udeozor, 2017 Master of Science in chemical engineering and outgoing president of the Graduate Student Professional Council, delivered the graduate student response to a crowd of thousands. Graduating senior Abdullah Bader Aleidan was, along with Ashley Lynn, one of the first two students to receive concurrent degrees in chemical and environmental engineering. Aleidan was also awarded the prestigious Robert Logan Nugent Award, one of the university’s highest achievements for undergraduates.

Extraordinary Accomplishments

While the convocation celebrated every graduating student’s extraordinary accomplishment, several students received special recognition at the CHEE Department Convocation:

  • College of Engineering Ambassadors: Jaime Goytia and Kyle Tippit
  • Don H. White Award: Kyle Everly
  • Dr. William Scott Bousman Memorial Award: Nicholas Ashley, John Lee, Morgan Skillman, Amanda Tenorio
  • Outstanding Transfer Student: Jonathan Hancock
  • Outstanding TA: Long Cheng
  • Best Senior Design Team: GATR: Zero-Emissions Solar Plant - Nicholas Ashley, Sebastian Golawski, Michael Rabbani, Kyle Tippit
  • Best Senior Design Team (Second Place): Design of an Early Crude Oil Production Facility - Kyle Everl, Jarrod Kujawski, Megan McGuckin, Derek Peterson

Resiliency and Success

The relationship of resiliency and success was the theme expressed by Dr. Anthony Muscat, CHEE’s department chair, in his tribute to the class of 2017.

“When, not if, you experience failure or difficulties, think back to the process that you were trained to use in engineering design,” Muscat said. “Design, build, test and likely failure the first time through with a new idea. Generate possible causes. Redesign. Rebuild. And go back out there and try again. You may reach a dead end, but each attempt, if seen in the right light, will inform your next step and improve the likelihood of a positive result or generate a new idea.”

Bittersweet Reflection

Ivana Vasic, 2017 Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering touched the audience with her bittersweet reflection on the determination, hard work and kindness of her classmates. “How do I feel standing up here in front of all of you?” Vasic asked during her speech. “I feel proud to call you classmates; relieved that we are finally finished; sad that I won’t see you every day; but mostly, I feel happy to get to call you friends and see what you do next.”

University of Arizona College of Engineering