Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

2011 Commencement

Congratulations, graduates!

On May 14, 13 doctoral, 14 masters and 87 bachelors degrees were conferred at the Department of Biological Sciences diploma ceremony. Department Head Nathan Urban, Assistant Head for Undergraduate Affairs Maggie Braun and Assistant Head for Departmental Affairs Emily Stark presided over the ceremony.

The diversity of the degrees awarded to the 87 graduating seniors included:

  • 56 B.S. in Biological Sciences,
  • 20 B.S. in Biological Sciences and Psychology,
  • six B.A. in Biological Sciences,
  • three B.S. in Computational Biology,
  • one B.S.A. in Biological Sciences and Art,
  • and one B.S.A. in Biological Sciences and Drama.

There were also ten Science and Humanities Scholars. The interdisciplinary nature of Carnegie Mellon University was highlighted in the additional majors and minors of the students. Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Health Care Policy and Management, Business Administration, French and Francophone Studies, German Studies, Chinese Studies, Communication Design, Technical Writing, Creative Writing, Anthropology and History, Hispanic Studies, Decision Sciences, English, and Japanese Studies were just a few of the additional majors and minors.

“Outstanding Academic Achievement,” “Outstanding Undergraduate Research,” and “Student Advisory Council Service Awards” honors were bestowed upon 49 undergraduate students. Eda Akyar, Trisha Dant, Lynley Doonan, Molly Evans, Claire Koechlein, Kellie Kravarik, Derek Lee and Sandy Roh were recognized for honors in research biology.

Futhermore, Claire Koechlein received the Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research.

Future plans for the students are just as varied as their bachelors’ degrees. Many of the students are pursuing graduate degrees at institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Pittsburgh, within fields such as biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology and immunology. Students are also entering medical and law schools, or research positions at places such as the National Institutes of Mental Health, L’Oreal, Columbia University and the Ohio State University.

Additionally, the doctoral and masters students have varying post graduation plans.

  • Dr. Corey Flynn has accepted a position as a bioinformatics scientist at the Broad Institute in Boston.
  • Dr. Ken Hovis, the recipient of both the Departmental Graduate Student Services and Teaching Awards, will be traveling to Carnegie Mellon Qatar campus as teaching faculty in biological sciences.
  • Dr. Deepak Kumar Kana Kadayakkara has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Immunology and Hermatology at The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Parker Mills is planning to pursue postdoctoral research.
  • Dr. Connor Murphy is working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health with patricia Opresko studying telomere maintenance.
  • Dr. Tara Sharma is interviewing for postdoctoral positions in the Northeast.
  • Dr. Smita Yadav will be working with Dr. Adam Linstedt as a postdoctoral researcher.
  • Jeya Balasubramanian is continuing research in bioinformatics support in the Rule lab and plans to eventually continue Ph.D. work.
  • Xian Feng will continue his research in molecular simulation in the Schwartz Lab and later pursue further education.
  • Mark Ko is currently employed at Bloomberg as a software developer.
  • Soumya Luthra works as a Bioinformatics Analyst at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Congratulations to all of the graduates!

View photos from the Diploma Ceremony on Flickr.
View the 2010 Diploma Ceremony Video.