Posted: June 08, 2012
More than 1,100 students from the College of Engineering and the Knowlton School of Architecture will be among the 10,600 plus – the largest spring quarter graduating class ever – who will earn degrees during commencement exercises on June 10 in Ohio Stadium.
The ceremony celebrates the academic achievements and hard work students have put forth to earn their degrees. It is Ohio State's 400th commencement and the university’s final ceremony on the quarter system. Ohio State switches to a semester calendar on June 18.
A few of the outstanding engineering graduates who will use their degrees to lead engineering concerns of the future include:
Laurie Taragano will graduate with a BS in mechanical engineering and has accepted an offer to work at Procter & Gamble following graduation. She has managed to hold a 3.98 GPA while being involved in numerous organizations and activities, including serving as president of the Society of Women Engineers, research forum co-coordinator for Tau Beta Pi, and teaching assistant for the Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors program. Taragano has interned at Procter and Gamble for the past two summers in their beauty department. From 2010 to 2012, she served as a P&G Ohio State ambassador and organized professional development workshops and information sessions for Ohio State students to learn more about opportunities at the company.
Gwynne Briggs will graduate with a BS in electrical and computer engineering—the fourth member of her immediate family to do so. Following graduation, her next adventure will be to move to Stuttgart, Germany and work for M.C. Dean, Inc., where she will focus on control systems for U.S. Department of Defense facilities around Germany.
“I came into ECE at Ohio State following one older sister, Elyse Briggs Benner (’10, BSECE), and two parents, Joe Briggs (’81 BSEE) and Shirley Belknap Briggs (’81 BSEE). They each had their own impacts on the program and the university, but so did I,” says Briggs.
Briggs definitely made her own impact, both inside and outside the classroom. She has been an undergraduate teaching assistant with the Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors program for three years. As a teaching assistant, Briggs assisted freshmen honors engineering students with C/C++, MATLAB, Autodesk Inventor, engineering drawings, technical writing, and hands-on labs. She also worked on designing and building the course for the FEH Robot Design Project and mentored students taking part in the project. During the past year, Briggs has also been an active member of Eta Kappa Nu, the honorary for electrical engineering, and the IEEE @ OSU Student Chapter.
Daniel Mayer will graduate with a BS in city and regional planning, with a minor in economics. He plans to continue his career at WD Partners before pursuing a master’s degree. Mayer returned to Ohio State to finish a degree he began in 1998. During his time here he participated in two study abroad programs. During a trip to China in spring 2011, Mayer and classmates visited rural villages of the Miao culture in Guizhou province and conducted research and documented the conditions of the Jidao Village. The students later used the information to develop infrastructure for sustainable tourism. Mayer’s second study abroad experience to Benque Viejo del Carmen in Belize resulted in a 65-page masterplan for developing eco-tourism or sustainable tourism for the community.
“The curriculum at the Knowlton School of Architecture and the faculty here have been a major influence in attaining my life goals,” says Mayer. “I cannot thank those individuals and the KSA enough for providing me with opportunity for a better future.”
Tom Zajdel will earn a BS in electrical and computer engineering. Not one to sit on the sidelines, he has taken advantage of a wide variety of opportunities offered at Ohio State, including being a teaching assistant, tutoring students, researching radio wave scattering at the ElectroScience Lab, and conducting perceptual experiments with cochlear implant patients.
Zajdel earned the top award in the engineering category at the 2012 Denman Undergraduate Research Forum. His project, Asynchronous Stimulation for Cochlear Implants, attempts to improve the simulation pattern for individuals with a cochlear implant. He also received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
After graduation, Zajdel plans to pursue a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, researching implantable circuits and systems for brain-machine interfaces. His long-term goal is to become a university faculty member.
“I want to work on projects that help rehabilitate people who have lost some of their nervous system function. I have worked on cochlear implant research the past year, and would like to focus my engineering career on developing other neural prosthetics like retinal implants and advanced prosthetic limbs,” he says. “By studying the interface between the central nervous system and implanted electronics, we can learn many amazing things about how the brain actually works too.”