2018 A. James Clark School of Engineering Graduate Commencement Ceremony


>>For your convenience, Grad Images has professional
photographers on hand who will photograph each graduate.
Each graduate will be contacted directly by the photographer on how to order copies of
these pictures. We ask that those of you who wish to take
photos of your loved ones, please restrict your assembly to the designated areas in the
arena. These ceremonies are also being streamed live
and will be televised on UMTV. The link to the webcast is printed in your program for
future reference. Dr. Darryll J. Pines, Dean of the A. James
Clark School of Engineering and Nariman Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering, will preside
over the commencement exercises.Good morning! Good morning! Graduates, stand up! I want
to make sure you’re awake! So good morning!>>Good morning! Now you may be seated!
>>DEAN PINES: Members of the faculty and staff, honored guests, students, families
and friends: Welcome to the A. James Clark School of Engineering May 2018 Graduate Commencement.
The diploma that you are about to receive tells the world that you are not only an expert
engineer, it speaks to your determination, passion, and competitive drive.
Our graduate students are fearless innovators. Your experiences here also connect you with
a vast and powerful network of highly accomplished alumni.
Our graduates are CEOs at major companies, leaders at bold and energetic startups, social
entrepreneurs, accomplished university professors, and pioneering researchers at government labs.And
other facilities. Graduates, you have a bright future ahead!
So let me conclude my remarks to all graduating students by saying, You are ready.
Your diploma is proof. I applaud you, your family, and our faculty
and staff for making that possible. Graduates, well done!
I am now honored to introduce our guest speaker, Dr. Diana Yoon.Please stand.
Dr. Yoon received a B.S. in chemical engineering with a double major in biomedical engineering
from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003. Dr. Yoon attended University of Maryland,
College Park for her Ph.D. in chemical and biomolecular engineering and graduated in
2008 under the supervision of Dr. John Fisher. During her time at UMD, she was awarded the
Fischell Fellowship for her translational cartilage tissue engineering research and
was elected as secretary for two years in the Chemical and Bioengineering Graduate Society.
Dr. Yoon attended Rice University as a postdoctoral fellow and was awarded the Gulf Coast Consortia
Nanobiology Fellowship, as well as Honorable Mention for the Wake Forest Institute for
Regenerative Medicine Young Investigator Award. In 2011, Dr. Yoon was hired by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration as a commissioner’s fellow working on standard development for
medical products. During her tenure at the FDA she has reviewed
over 100 premarket medical products in both the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research
and the Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
Today, Dr. Yoon is a senior scientific reviewer in the Office of Combination Products evaluating
medical product classification and jurisdiction. Dr. Yoon is still actively involved at UMD
and is currently an advisory board member in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Diana Yoon!>>DR. YOON:Good morning, graduates. Faculty,
staff, family and friends. Thank you dean pines for the introduction and giving me the
honor of being the spring 282008 commencement speaker from the School of Engineering. To
the graduates, congratulations. You should all be proud and feel a sense of accomplishment
and gain Joy on this day. When I was approached to speak to you all today I started to think
about how to provide inoperation to you all as you head off to the next stages of your
life. I thought if I read an inspiring novel I could write an amazing speech to change
your life. That didn’t work, not as I expected anyway. The reading of the book took me back
to my graduation day from University of Maryland ten years ago. What did I really remember
from that entire day? That cold, never ending fear of falling down in my heels, yeah, that’s
it. I wore flats today, hopefully I won’t fall off the stage today. Seriously I do recall
the subdue sense of happiness and huge sense of relief I felt as I got back to my feet
with my diploma in hand. I made it to the finish line, I had done it, I was finally
a University of Maryland graduate. No, I didn’t trip and fall.
What I should have learned from that aspiring novel as inspiration is that inspiration is
cannot be forced, it is about living and working with others making an impact, small or large,
be present to fully take on the world, be present and remember to connect, be present
to how you even with small actions can make an impact. First point is be present. What
have you missed out on because you’re on your phone? How many of you graduates take photos
and videos in moments you want to remember. I used to think that taking pictures on my
phone was capturing the moment, I would always go back later, remember how great that time
was. However, how often do you look back? However, much do you actually remember? As
I thought about it, I realized not much. Oftentimes the phone pictures are stored in a Cloud some
where and we forget about it. When we come across it, we don’t feel the connection to
the moment we thought we were capturing. There are so many moments in time that have essentially
turned into empty ones because I truly wasn’t paying attention to what was happening in
front of me. Sorry, technology! It was a little slow today! It is interesting ‑‑ pardon
me ‑‑ it is an interesting experience I had in my post doc involved in a research
experiment, given the opportunity to go to the Netherlands, I had no phone, limited access
to one in a foreign country. I thought there is no way I’ll survive this. How will I get
around? How will I keep in touch with people? What I found during my time there, being disconnected
from devices, really allowed me to appreciate my experiences there more deeply. It was really
eye opening. There was fewer distractions pulling me away from the moment and it left
with a long lasting memory that I don’t require memories that don’t require a photo to trigger
the emotional connections I made to the people I met and the places I explored. To this day
I continue to make an effort to put the phone away when visiting a new place or when interacting
with other people so that I can engage with my environment, my friends, family, giving
them the attention they deserved to really be in the moment.
For those that cannot remember the last time you had an experience without the phone, I
encourage you to try it. I’m not saying throw away your phone. That would be crazy. Take
a couple of hours of your day where you don’t look at your scene and experience life without
the distraction. My second point is be present, stay connected.
I think the most important advice I have for you is to always be connected. Take advantage
of the resources around you, don’t live in a bubble, don’t be afraid to interact with
someone, even though it is terrifying and be kind to those you engage with. In your
lifetime you’ll meet thousands of people and you may never know how to may impact you or
them. A recent example that I can say with you is how I got my current position at the
Food and Drug Administration. I was a medical with device reviewer with
FDA in 2015 and I was not actually seeking to leave my role. As the direct of of my current
office contacted me to tell me to apply for a temporary position in an office. Truthfully,
I didn’t know who the director was, actually I didn’t even know what the office did on
a daily basis, he knew a lot about me. I was curious how he found out about me so I asked
him. He told me several colleagues he had interacted with mentioned my name and based
on their feedback he thought I would be a good fit and he decided to get in touch with
me. The temporary position was a permanent one and I have been there now for three years.
I’m so thank. For those that helped me in my career and I don’t think it would happen
without networking and connecting with those around me. I have seen firsthand how staying
connected and networks positive impact my life. I encourage you all to do the same and
hope that you can either be impacted or make an impact on your personal life, career, or
the world. My third point, it is be present. Small actions compound over time to be big
changes. My final advice to you, make an impact that’s small, most people feel they cannot
create change. I think that Albert Einstein said it best, the world as we have created
it is a process of our thinking, it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
So how did each of us think differently and then make an impact. I very much care about
the environment, I compost, I recycle, I find ways to limit waste. This is probably disgusting
but I have been known to pull out recycled materials out of the garbage ‑‑ of course,
I wash my hands thoroughly afterwards, they’re clean I promise. I know that one plastic bottle,
it can make a difference. It may not seem like much alone, think of how much waste is
reduced in a single year if everyone did their part for an entire year. For my understanding,
there is about 400 graduates today, now if every single graduate recycled one plastic
bottle a day, for an entire year that’s approximately 146,000 bottles. That’s huge. Think about
what happens if 400 of us swapped out one plastic bottle and used a refillable carrier,
we could conserve all of the resources needed to make those 146,000 bottles and transport
them around the country to where we can buy them. We can save the resources and trans
important, save and recycle the bottles too. This is a simple example. There are so many
scenarios that are seemingly small, so much more impactful when looking beyond individual
perspective. Be the change that you wish to see in the world. Everyone can make a difference,
whether it is donating to the University of Maryland, tutoring it children that are under
privileged or being a part of the activities available in the local community. There are
so much things that you can do to drive change. I wish you the best of luck on your future
endeavors and remember to be present, connect, make an impact, however, small it may be,
it will add up be be something amazing. Good luck and congratulations to our graduates.
>>DEAN PINES: Thank you, Diana. Thank you for that! To reiterate, three major
points, first put away your phones. Put aware your phones right now! Immediately! Or you
won’t be able to cross it’s stage! Put away the phones and live in the moment. Experience
the moment, don’t miss the moment! Don’t be caught uptaking a video when you could have
been in the moment to experience it like she did going to the Netherlands. Secondly, what
else did she say? She said stay connected to people, how she got the job at FDA, someone
was connected to her and said positive things about her to the director of that division.
Now she’s been there for three years. Finally she said small actions can lead to big changes.
Like being sustainable with how we use clean water and plastic disposables, don’t use plastic,
use recyclable things so that you can have less of an impacten o the environment. Remember
those simple ‑‑ that simple message that she is delivering to you and go out, have
positive impact.Ic present in the moment. Thank you, Dr. Yoon. Another round of applause.
. I would like to acknowledge an individual
in our audience that was here last year. Doctor, if you could please stand! Doctor irma had
n was chair and now is the dean of engineering at San Jose state! Give her a round of applause
for coming back! Thank you! Thank you! I would now like to introduce our second honored
guest, graduate student speaker Dr. Elizabeth M. Tennyson.
Dr. Elizabeth Tennyson was ‑‑ give her a round of I applause ‑‑
initially interested in the field of mathematics and science during her high school physics
course because she found the topic challenging yet fundamentally fascinating.
She earned her B.S. in physics from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in 2012.
Upon finishing her B.S., Dr. Tennyson’s interests became more focused on the improvement
and advancement of solar cell technologies. Thus, she applied to and was accepted into
the University of Maryland to pursue her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering.
As a graduate assistant, Dr. Tennyson has developed cutting‑edge research in photovoltaics
under the advising of Prof. Marina Leite.
Dr. Tennyson’s Ph.D. focuses on realizing novel microscopic methods to quantify the
performance of emerging materials for solar cells with unprecedented spatial resolution.
Her research has resulted in four first‑author peer‑reviewed publications.
Her academic accomplishments have been recognized both inside and outside the University of
Maryland. Dr. Tennyson has received 20+ awards and honors
throughout graduate school. Moving forward, she has accepted a post‑doctorate
position at the University of Cambridge in England and will continue researching the
advancement of high‑efficiency and low‑cost solar cell materials.
>>DR. TENNYSON:good morning, everyone! Congratulations fellow graduates! We did it! I’m very honored
to be speaking with all of you. We have all persevered through our research and academic
challenges and have now earned our degrees. Each of us has a story for why we’re here
today and what persisted with the challenges in science technology and engineering. My
story starts as a scientist with dissatisfaction and a desire to prove myself. A kind of story
I think that many of us share. A while back in my Midwestern suburban high school I was
not chosen for the advanced mathematics track. I was quite upset about this, that meant I
didn’t get to take calculus and I really wanted to take calculus just to see if I could handle
it. I chased the challenge and took two required math courses in the same year, leaving room
in my final year to take calculus. I will admit, I did not do great in that course,
but I did learn a lot. When I got to college and I took it again, I nailed it. The following
year I enrolled in the University of Wisconsin, it is a small teaching‑focused University
with only a few graduate programs. At orientation a recruiter asked what I wanted to study inand
I remember asking myself, what’s the hardest subject for you, and for me, the answer was
physics. So back in mier in senior year of high school I took my first physics course
where I looked at optics, orbitals and I felt challenged and engaged, astrolling and physics
intrigued me, they answered questions like what is beyond the stars, who are we, what
is life? I chase that challenge and pursued physics, it was not easy. Yet, I was determined
to prove to myself that I could understand the subject that I initially found challenging.
This expanded my knowledge and taught me how to think about problems differently and I
was hooked. In college I also realized that scientists and engineers like our mentors
and they want to help people by chasing solutions to challenging problems. With our training,
our ideas, our passion, we can now make life for everyone more efficient, faster, maybe
just a little easier. I relies I wanted to focus my academic training on helping people
‑‑ helping the world by addressing climate change and increasing access to electricity.
I was determined to study and research solar cell technologies because to me utilizing
the sun’s energy is such a simple, beautiful solution. Solar panels can be extremely localized
source of energy and be built into or on top of homes without all of the ugly mass of cages.
As a low carbon emission, clean energy resource, solar can support expanding communities, cities,
countries without contributing to climate change. In order to investigate the cells
further, I decided to pursue my PHD in material science and engineering and also because PHD
sounded like the hardest thing I could do at this time, it sounds like a theme to me.
I chased that. I arrived here pretending to be a turtle and it is so big! So different
compared to where I have been to before. In my undergraduate University I knew no graduate
students. I had no idea what my time at Maryland would be like. Yet, the challenge and the
new experiences drove me. I don’t have to tell you all graduates what it is like. We
dealt with classes, research, other responsibilities while we prove ourselves at the scientist
and engineer. Every week like an experiment failing, every month preparing for a conference,
every year like the results of paper, from graduate, it is very difficult and a challenge.
Equally attractive, it is the unfounded opportunity to learn and to grow and to make contributions
that we can call our very own. In the end, the graduate student experience
and the struggles make us even prouder. We prove that we can do it. At the Clark school
we have learned to assign help with times of temporary failures, whether from students
or the excellent staff and faculty. Today I’m so glad to see so many of my cohorts here
knowing we’re celebrating achievements together after working so hard brings everything full
circle and we have come a long way! Graduates, my journey, my story, it has taught me truth
takes challenge, what can you do? There is no longer an academic course, subject, degree
pointing us to our next accomplishment. Our career tracks may not be as clear anymore,
however, with our vigorously tested intellect and the labors and methodologies we’re now
ready to face many things.>>DEAN PINES: Thank you very much, Dr. Tennyson,
for your remarks.Come back a second. Sorry. (please refer to program).
>>DR. SRIVASTAVA: Dean Pines, in accordance with the recommendations of the faculty of
the graduate school, I request that you recognize those graduates who have successfully completed
all requirements for the degree of Master of Professional Studies.
>>DEAN PINES: I am pleased to accept the faculty’s recommendation and am honored to
recognize those graduates who have completed all requirements for the bachelor of science
degrees. (Please refer to program).
>>DR. SRIVASTAVA: Dean Pines, in accordance with the recommendations of the faculty of
the graduate school, I request that you recognize those graduates who have successfully completed
all requirements for the degree of Master of Engineering.
>>DEAN PINES: I am pleased to accept the faculty’s recommendation and am honored to
recognize those graduates who have completed all requirements for the Master of Engineering
degree.>>DR. BRUBAKER: Will the Master of Engineering
graduates please come forward?>>DR. SRIVASTAVA: Dean Pines, in accordance
with the recommendations of the faculty of the graduate school, I request that you recognize
those graduates who have successfully completed all requirements for the degree of Master
of Professional Studies.>>DEAN PINES: I am pleased to accept the
faculty’s recommendation and am honored to recognize those graduates who have completed
all requirements for the Master of Professional Studies.
>>DR. BRUBAKER: Will the Master of Professional Studies graduates please come forward?please
give them a round of applause. Thank you. Thank you. You make our leaves much smoother.
A round of applause! Thank you very much!>>DEAN PINES: Our graduates are not the only
ones moving to the next chapter of their lives today.
I’d like our Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Rama Chellappa, to stand.
Dr. Chellappa will be stepping down at the end of this semester after serving as Chair
of the Department for seven years. During those years, he upgraded undergraduate
laboratories, and hired more than 20% of his faculty.
This faculty has expanded the department’s impact on research involving artificial intelligence
and machine learning, robotics, cybersecurity and quantum technology.
It has been an absolute pleasure to work with him.
Please join me in recognizing him for his service as he returns to his exciting research
activities. Now, I’d like our Give him a round of applause.
Thank you. Now, I’d like our Associate Dean for Undergraduate
Student Affairs, Dr. Bill Fourney to please stand.
Dr. Fourney will be stepping down as Associate Dean in September.
Dr. Fourney has served this college and university for over 50 years.
During this time period, he has taken numerous leadership roles including stints as chair
of the Mechanical Engineering Department and chair of the Aerospace Engineering Department.
He has also served the college as Director of Facilities.
In fact, the only position Bill has not served is Dean of the Clark School.Bill has not served
is Dean of the Clark School. Bill has been a source of wisdom and advisor
to me and the Deans before me, and I’d like to personally thank him for everything he
has done for the Clark School. Please stand and join me in recognizing Dr. Fourney for his
service and incredible commitment to our students for all of these years.
Graduates, the time has come to start the next phase of your life.
As you do, remember that you will always be welcome here, and we hope you will be back
often. We’ll be right here when you need us, always
in the future. Keep in touch with us, and share all of your
success and achievements. Remember you can always come back home to
the Clark School! Next, graduates, I’d like you all to please
join me in thanking your family and friends, and Clark School faculty and staff.
Family, friends, faculty and staff—thank you for your support and all you have done
to make this day possible. You all deserve a round of applause.
I’d also like to recognize those among our graduates and those among the family and friends
who have served our country. If you are a veteran, please rise so that we may thank
you for your service.
Thank you. In closing, I would like to ask you all to remember one last thing — only those who are willing to dream, work hard, and take
risks can ever truly achieve greatness. Go out there, make your mark, and “Mpact”
the world! This ends our ceremony.
Go Terps!>>DR. BRUBAKER: Please stand for the recessional.
Please remain standing until the faculty and platform party have left.
Congratulations to the graduates.
Thank you for coming.

5 Replies to “2018 A. James Clark School of Engineering Graduate Commencement Ceremony”

  1. Our Hearty congratulations to all the Graduates, particularly to the great student from Bangalore -Abhijith Prasanna Kumar…well Done!

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