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Outstanding graduates recognized at 2017 Commencement Reception

Awards and honors were presented by Dean Philippe Fauchet May 11, 2017, to seniors at the School of Engineering’s annual Commencement Reception.

Duncan Matthew Morgan, from Woodstock, Georgia, is Founder’s Medalist for the School of Engineering and is graduating with a bachelor of engineering in chemical engineering, chemistry and mathematics.

Duncan Matthew Morgan is the recipient of engineering’s Founder’s Medal. Claire Elizabeth Lafferty is the school’s Banner Bearer.

Morgan’s research at Vanderbilt has focused on the engineering of thin film coatings to improve the efficacy of vaccines. He plans to expand his research in graduate school, designing new medical technologies, therapies, and diagnostic techniques.

Morgan’s favorite Vanderbilt experiences include his leadership of the Vanderbilt Quiz Bowl, which organizes trivia tournaments for high school teams, and his two Alternative Spring Break service trips. Junior year he traveled to Saint Paul, Minnesota, to work on a project addressing the needs of the Tibetan-American community there, and senior year he worked in St. Louis with Lifebridge Partnership, an organization that helps people with physical and intellectual disabilities to actively participate in their communities.

Morgan has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and this fall he will begin work on a doctorate in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Founder’s Medal was endowed by Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt and signifies first honors for each graduating class from Vanderbilt’s schools. The gold medal has been awarded since 1877. The recipient is named by the dean after consideration of faculty recommendations as well as grade point averages of the year’s summa cum laude graduates.

Claire Elizabeth Lafferty, of Houston, Texas, is the engineering school’s 2017 Banner Bearer. She is graduating with a double major in chemical engineering and biomedical engineering with a minor in chemistry.

Lafferty has been a member of the Women’s Club soccer team and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She traveled to Guatemala as a part of an engineering service trip and has also put her engineering skills to use through internships with ExxonMobil and EOG Resources. In the fall, Lafferty will begin work as an upstream engineer with ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas.

The honor of Banner Bearer is awarded to a senior who has been judged by the faculty to have excelled in all aspects of the undergraduate career and is considered an outstanding example of a well-rounded engineering student. The Banner Bearer is selected from the summa cum laude graduates and leads engineering graduates to their seats at Commencement.

Paloma Anais Mendoza received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Service, which is given to the graduating senior who has shown remarkable leadership qualities and who has also made the greatest contributions in personal service to the School.

Paloma Mendoza

Mendoza, of South Houston, Texas, is graduating with a degree in civil engineering with a minor in engineering management. While at Vanderbilt, Mendoza served three terms as the president of the Hispanic Society of Civil Engineers.

During her senior year, she was treasurer for the Vanderbilt Water Professionals. For the past four years she worked in the School of Engineering’s Office of Academic Services. After graduation, Mendoza will work for Kimley-Horn & Associates as a land development analyst in Jacksonville, Florida.

Dean Fauchet recognized 23 students who achieved summa cum laude distinction:

Poorva Arora, London, United Kingdom
Ahmad Hisyamuddin Arshad, Pasir Mas, Malaysia
Pralhlad Arumugam, Butterworth, Malaysia
Tianyi Chen, Jinan, China
Sandra Khloe Shi Gordon, Waterman, Ill.
Dustin Cole Howser, Bristol, Tenn.
Trevor James Jones, Cincinnati, Ohio
Claire Elizabeth Lafferty, Houston, Texas
Kyle Todd Langford, Zionsville, Ind.
Taylor Stuart Harnden Larsen, Huntsville, Ala.
Grady Thomas Lynch, New Canaan, Conn.
Zoha Abdullah Malik, Wah Cantt, Pakistan
Maxwell William Matson, Quincy, Ill.
Duncan Matthew Morgan, Woodstock, Ga.
Muhammad Akmal Bin Nazarudin, Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Elizabeth Lauren Reynolds, Dallas, Texas
Alan Derek Reichert Samanta, Acton, Mass.
Thomas Christian Shott, Bethesda, Md.
Benjamin Richard Stadnick, Brentwood, Tenn.
Gabriel S. Stern, Evanston, Ill.
Adam Y. Wang, Hollywood, Fla.
Rebecca Emily Weires, Dubuque, Iowa
Megan Elizabeth Woodruff, Omaha, Neb.

Other awards and honors
Program awards go to seniors who, in the opinion of the program faculty, made the greatest progress in professional development during their undergraduate careers.

The recipients are:

Biomedical Engineering: Kyle Todd Langford, Zionsville, Ind.
Chemical Engineering: Claire Elizabeth Lafferty, Houston, Texas
Civil Engineering: Thomas Christian Shott, Bethesda, Md.
Computer Engineering: Megan Elizabeth Woodruff, Omaha, Neb.
Computer Science: Alan Derek Reichert Samanta, Acton, Mass.
Electrical Engineering: Muhammad Akmal Bin Nazarudin, Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Engineering Science: Christine Marie Smudde, Garden Grove, Calif.
Mechanical Engineering: Dustin Cole Howser, Bristol, Tenn.

Benjamin Richard Stadnick, Brentwood, Tenn., received the Wilson and Nellie Pyle Miser Award, which is given to the senior who has excelled in all aspects of mathematics during the student’s undergraduate career.

Luke Francis Kornet, Lantana, Texas, received the Stein Stone Memorial Award, which is given to a senior who has earned a letter in sports and who is judged to have made the most satisfactory scholastic and extra-mural progress as an undergraduate.

The Arthur J. Dyer Jr. Memorial Prize is awarded to a senior who has done the best work in the study and/or design in use of structural steel, and who is a member of the American Society for Civil Engineers. The recipient is Don Curtis Whyte, St. Andrew, Jamaica.

The Greg A. Andrews Civil Engineering Memorial Award goes to an exemplary senior who plans to do graduate work in environmental and water resources engineering. The recipient is Jacob David Van Geffen, Birmingham, Ala.

The Walter Gill Kirkpatrick Prize in Civil Engineering is given to the most deserving third-year student majoring in civil engineering. The recipient is Jonathan Charles McDowell, San Carlos, Calf.

The Thomas G. Arnold Prizes for Biomedical Engineering Systems Design and Research is shared by Bronson Clay Wessinger, Mobile, Ala., for research, and the following students for design: Alexander Gene Boyer, Huntsville. Ala.; Paul Robert Hart, Nashville, Tenn.; Matthew Robert Rogers, Talbott, Tenn.; Vivek Kamlesh Shah, Arlington Heights, Ill.; Kathryn Marie Snyder, Austin, Texas; Zachary Taylor St. Clair, Chatham, Ill.; and Nicole Elizabeth Steiner, Olney, Md.

Cody Ramoan Dykes, Leola, Ark., and William Charles Bo Kaplan, Wellesley, Mass., are recipients of the American Institute of Chemists Award, given on the basis of leadership, ability, character, scholastic achievement and potential for advancement in the chemical professions.

The W. Dennis Threadgill Award is given for outstanding achievement in chemical engineering in honor of a former faculty member and department chair. The award is shared by Sandra Khloe Gordon, Waterman, Ill., Maxwell William Matson, Quincy, Ill., and Gabriel S. Stern, Evanston, Ill.

The Robert D. Tanner Undergraduate Research Award is given to a senior who has conducted the best undergraduate research project in chemical engineering. The recipient is Cody Ramoan Dykes, Leola, Ark.

The Walter Criley Prize is awarded for the best paper written on an advanced senior project in electrical engineering. The award is shared by Michael E. Gannon, Weston, Mass., Naresh Nandakumar, Glen Head, N.Y., Matthew Ryan Richardson, Brentwood, Tenn., and Tiffany Lynn Silverstein, Newport Beach, Calif.

The William A. Ma Award is given to an outstanding senior majoring in chemical engineering on the basis of a demonstrated record of leadership and scholastic achievement. The recipient is Anna Mei Caldwell, Gulf Breeze, Fla.

Class of 2017 members of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society are:

Aiman Aisamuddin Ab Ghapar, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
Ahmad Hisyamuddin Arshad, Pasir Mas, Malaysia
Pralhlad Arumugam., Butterworth, Malaysia
Azfar Hadee Azman, Sungai Buloh, Malaysia
Fuyao Chen, Shanghai, China
Nikolaos Gkotsis, Nashville, Tenn.
Sandra Khloe Shi Gordon, Waterman, Ill.
William Charles Bo Kaplan, Wellesley, Mass.
Jae Han Lee, Fort Lee, N.J.
Grady Lynch, New Canaan, Conn.
Mollie Margaret Maples, Lucedale, Miss.
Maxwell William Matson, Quincy, Ill.
Lydia Joy Mckeithan, Arden, N.C.
Duncan Matthew Morgan, Woodstock, Ga.
Muhammad Akmal Bin Nazarudin., Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Jessica Louise Powers, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Paul Joseph Register, West Chester, Ohio
Elizabeth Lauren Reynolds, Dallas, Texas
Matthew Ryan Richardson, Brentwood, Tenn.
Shiekh Muhammad Hanif Shiekh Annuar, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Thomas Christian Shott, Bethesda, Md.
Benjamin Richard Stadnick, Brentwood, Tenn.
Nicole Elizabeth Steiner, Olney, Md.
Gabriel S. Stern, Evanston, Ill.
David Luke Van de Vate, Kennesaw, Ga.
Jacob David Van Geffen, Birmingham, Ala.
Don Curtis Whyte, St. Andrew, Jamaica
Saiyidatul Shafiqah Zulkifli, Kajang, Malaysia

Contact:
Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Brenda.Ellis@Vanderbilt.edu
Twitter @VUEngineering


Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2017 in Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Home Features, Mechanical Engineering, News.

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