Interim Dean Dennis Groth served as host for the event.
During a semester that was held mostly in the virtual realm, why would the graduation ceremony be any different?
The Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering hosted its Fall 2020 Virtual Student Recognition Celebration on Facebook Live Dec. 17, honoring 176 students who have earned their bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. in computer science, data science, informatics, intelligent systems engineering, information and library science, or bioinformatics.
“Your dedication and hard work during an incredibly trying time is a testament to your willingness to adapt and adjust to an evolving reality, one for which there is no blueprint to follow,” said Dennis Groth, interim dean of the Luddy School and the host of the event. “It’s a skill that will serve you well as you pursue your career in technology. Over the course of the past several years, you’ve planted the seeds that will grow into the innovations that will drive the future.”
Groth highlighted the critical role technology has played during the COVID-19 pandemic and how the world needs technology experts now more than ever.
“Technology allowed us to overcome distances to work together on projects inside the classroom or conduct meetings in a professional setting,” Groth said. “It has allowed researchers to quickly attack COVID-19 and produce quality results, whether it be tracking a localized outbreak or developing a dashboard to coordinate resources. Businesses need your expertise, and by first learning the fundamentals of computing then building upon that knowledge to pursue an area you’re passionate about, you’ve undoubtedly discovered that you can see unique pathways to solutions.”
The event also featured inspiring remarks from Luddy alumna Jenny Ye, who earned her B.S. in informatics last spring. Ye is currently a project manager at Microsoft working in Azure IoT.
“I’m sure you’ve heard countless times by now that we’ve been living in unprecedented times facing unprecedented challenges,” Ye said. “But from these difficult times has come strength and people coming together from different places and backgrounds to find creative and innovative ways to solve problems. The inner strength and perseverance of people has really been tested, and there’s no greater inner strength than that which can be found inside the hearts of this graduating class. You have been empowered with the education and tools necessary to make a real and lasting impact.”
Associate Dean for Graduate Education Selma Šabanović then read the names of the students receiving their graduate degrees, while Chair of Informatics Katie Siek had the honor of reading the names of those receiving their bachelor’s degrees.
Groth closed the ceremony with some final words of encouragement.
“You have overcome so many obstacles to get to where you are today, but you are not at an ending,” Groth said. “You have simply arrived at an important milestone, one that will serve as the beginning of a future that will allow you to make your presence felt.”
Finally, a short video was presented featuring words of congratulations from Luddy alumni, and students were invited to a virtual reception.