Interim Dean Dennis Groth hosted the celebration.
For the latest graduates of the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, the spring semester of the 2020-21 school year ended the same way it began.
The Luddy School celebrated its Class of 2021 during the Spring Virtual Student Recognition Celebration held via Facebook Live and Zoom May 6. Names of nearly 1,100 graduates earning their Ph.D., master’s, and bachelor’s degrees in Informatics, Computer Science, Information Science, Library Science, Data Science, and Intelligent Systems Engineering were read during the ceremony, and the Luddy School celebrated its first-ever graduate of the new Cybersecurity and Global Policy program, Kath Kennelly.
“You should be incredibly proud of all you’ve accomplished during one of the most challenging times any of us have faced in our lives,” Interim Dean Dennis Groth told the graduates. “Adapting to change is the nature of what we do at the Luddy School. Technology is about rapid change and learning to innovate to overcome obstacles. Those are the skills you’ve learned during your time here, and even as we move toward a brighter world, one that is starting to emerge from the pandemic in meaningful ways, you find yourself uniquely prepared to handle the challenges to come.”
Groth also honored the work done by graduating students who helped with research to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, thanking both the undergraduate and graduate researchers who played a critical role in the Luddy School’s effort against the disease. Aidan Whelan, who just last year was part of the first class of students to earn their bachelor’s degree in intelligent systems engineering, spoke on behalf of the students at the graduate level after earning his master’s in ISE as part of Luddy’s Accelerated Master’s program.
“The Luddy School's unwavering drive to embrace change and develop groundbreaking solutions to future problems is the embodiment of the school's mantra: ‘We See Tomorrow,’ ” Whelan said. “The students graduating today have wholeheartedly assumed that declaration and have consequently grown into the capable minds of today and the sustainable problem-solvers of the future.”
Daniel Mishler, who earned his bachelor’s in ISE as well as a degree in physics, spoke on behalf of the undergraduates.
“I was finishing up a final where a computer was running a modeling and simulation problem, millions of calculations over just a few seconds,” Mishler said. “I thought to myself that that was a lifetime of work just a couple centuries ago, and I remembered that computers are really capable of doing some incredible things. That's what I spent the past four years trying to figure out, and now, thanks to your work, graduates, you're that way, too.”
Groth closed the ceremony by thanking the Luddy faculty and staff for a successful school year, and he introduced a short video from past Luddy graduates, who provided words of wisdom. He also encouraged students to continue their education outside of the classroom.
“Today is graduation, a milestone to be sure, but just one more step,” Groth said. “To reach the goals you’ve set for yourself, you still have some work to do. It’s critical that you engage in learning every day. Technology doesn’t sit still. It’s never finished. It’s ever evolving, and it’s up to you to read and learn and research to stay at the forefront of tomorrow. We recruited you for your potential. We’ve taught you how to be resilient and respond quickly to challenges. You’ve answered those challenges, and you’ve earned your degrees. Now, we at the Luddy School are your biggest fans.
“We’ll be cheering for you every step of the way.”