UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Fifteen graduating seniors from the College of Engineering have been selected to serve as student marshals for Penn State’s spring commencement ceremony, to be held at 6 p.m. on May 7 in Beaver Stadium for engineering majors and their two guests. A livestream virtual commencement option also will be available for those unable to attend.
The students, who represent their respective majors in the College of Engineering, were chosen for their outstanding academic achievements and contributions to engineering student life. Each student selected an in-major faculty marshal with whom they have developed rapport.
“We are proud to have these students represent each of our 15 engineering majors,” said Justin Schwartz, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean in the College Engineering. “They have each made significant contributions to the college and the University through their academic pursuits, research endeavors and commitment to Penn State and beyond. I congratulate them on this well-deserved honor.”
Listed alphabetically by major, this year’s engineering student marshals are:
Aerospace engineering: Luke Guyer
Bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, minor in mathematics, Schreyer Honors Scholar
Guyer received the Academic Excellence Scholarship, the George H. Deike Scholarship and the Leonhard Scholarship. Guyer interned with Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopter and Phoenix Sintered Metals and served as a teaching intern for the Penn State Sailplane Lab. He also participated in the Penn State Blue Band. After graduation, Guyer will join Lockheed Martin as a guidance, navigation and control engineer. He also plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology online for graduate studies in aerospace engineering. Guyer selected Robert Melton, professor of aerospace engineering, as his faculty marshal.
Architectural engineering: Katie Strohm
White Oak, Pennsylvania
Bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering
Strohm received the President's Freshman Award and also was named the collaborative design studio winner for her project on mission-driven integrated design in health care. She also received seven scholarships. Strohm interned with SmithGroup, HGA and LightStanza. After graduation, Strohm will join SmithGroup as an electrical engineer. Strohm selected David Stabler, assistant teaching professor of architectural engineering, as her faculty marshal.
Biological engineering: Jaime Burdette
Bachelor’s degree in biological engineering, minor in entrepreneurship and innovation
Burdette received the President's Freshman Award and the Pennsylvania Space Grant 2018 Undergraduate Research Program scholarship. She completed a semester abroad in Scandinavia, where she studied sustainable food production and consumption. She also interned with GHD Services Inc., Shared Roots LLC, the Walnut Hill Farm and Brenckle's Organic Farm and Greenhouse. After graduation, Burdette plans to join the workforce. Burdette selected Megan Marshall, associate teaching professor of agricultural and biological engineering, as her faculty marshal.
Biomedical engineering: Elizabeth Trautman
Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, Schreyer Honors Scholar
Trautman received the President’s Freshman Award, the President Sparks Award, the Evan Pugh Scholar Senior Award, the Women in Engineering Program Outstanding Academic Facilitator Award and two scholarships. She interned at Boston Scientific, Pentax Medical, GE Aviation and NSF International. After graduation, she will begin graduate school at Penn State to pursue a degree in engineering science and mechanics. Trautman selected Justin Brown, associate professor of biomedical engineering, as her faculty marshal.
Chemical engineering: David Kennedy
Bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry, Schreyer Honors Scholar
Kennedy received the President’s Freshman Award, the President Sparks Award, the Evan Pugh Scholar Award, the Chemical Engineering Sophomore Award and four scholarships. Along with completing undergraduate research at Penn State, Kennedy completed a co-op with Vertex Pharmaceuticals and a research internship with Utah State University. After graduation, Kennedy will attend graduate school at the University of Colorado to pursue a doctorate in chemical engineering. Kennedy selected Stephanie Butler Velegol, teaching professor of chemical engineering, as his faculty marshal.
Civil engineering: Eric Traupman
Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, minor in music performance
Traupman received the Gutterman Engineering Scholarship and participated in the Penn State Blue Band. Traupman interned with Stahl Sheaffer Engineering LLC and Alfred Benesch & Company. After graduation, Traupman will join Alfred Benesch & Company as a civil designer. Traupman selected Martin Pietrucha, professor of civil and environmental engineering, as his faculty marshal.
Computer engineering: James Blaszkiewicz
Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, minors in physics and mathematics
Blaszkiewicz received the President's Freshman Award and won the best design communication award for his work in the EDSGN 100 Lockheed Martin design challenge group. Blaszkiewicz interned for IBM and SDLC Partners LLC. After graduation, he will join IBM’s Silicon Valley lab as a software developer. Blaszkiewicz selected Michael Pusateri, assistant teaching professor of electrical engineering and computer science, as his faculty marshal.
Computer science: Jacob Smith
Bachelor’s degree in computer science, minors in cybersecurity computational foundations and mathematics, Schreyer Honors Scholar
Smith received the President's Freshman Award, the President Sparks Award, the Evan Pugh Scholar Senior Award and two scholarships. After graduation, Smith plans to enter the workforce. Smith selected Rebecca Passonneau, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, as his faculty marshal.
Data sciences: Thomas Zhao
Bachelor’s degree in data sciences, minors in economics and mathematics
Zhao completed undergraduate research for projects in the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology and College of Health and Human Development. He also completed internships for Chubb Insurance, the College of Information Sciences and Technology and JPMorgan Chase. After graduation, Zhao will join JPMorgan Chase as a software engineer. Zhao selected Prasenjit Mitra, associate dean for research and professor of information sciences and technology, as his faculty marshal.
Electrical engineering: Yixin Xiong
Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, Schreyer Honors Scholar
Xiong received the President's Freshman Award, the President Sparks Award, the Evan Pugh Scholar Senior Award and the Clifford B. Holt Jr. Memorial Scholarship. Xiong completed undergraduate research with several labs at Penn State. After graduation, Xiong will attend graduate school at Penn State to pursue a doctorate in electrical engineering. Xiong selected Rongming Chu, Thomas and Sheila Roell Early Career Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, as his faculty marshal.
Engineering science: Olivia Cook
West Newton, Pennsylvania
Bachelor’s degree in engineering science, minor in engineering mechanics, Schreyer Honors Scholar
Cook received the President’s Freshman Award, the Evan Pugh Scholar Junior Award and the Millennium Scholarship. As an undergraduate, Cook participated in research studies for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Penn State. After graduation, Cook plans to attend graduate school at Penn State to pursue a doctorate in engineering science and mechanics. Cook selected Andrea P. Arguelles, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics, as her faculty marshal.
Industrial engineering: Terrence Saylor
State College, Pennsylvania
Bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, minor in engineering leadership development
Saylor received the Jackie Livella Award for Service to the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) and the Triangle Fraternity Academic Excellence Award, as well as six scholarships. He interned at Penn State’s Applied Research Lab, Steelcase Inc. and Enviva. After graduation, he will join Lincoln Electric as a technical sales engineer. Saylor selected Catherine Harmonosky, associate professor and associate department head of IME, as his faculty marshal.
Mechanical engineering: Alexander Myers
Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering
Myers received the President's Freshman Award, the John W. Oswald Award, the Boeing Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Junior Award and two scholarships. He completed undergraduate research on engineering bio-inspired coatings and materials as part of the Wong Lab for Nature-Inspired Engineering. He also interned at Pratt & Whitney Jet Engines. After graduation, Myers will attend graduate school to pursue a doctorate in engineering. He has chosen Tak Sing Wong, Wormley Early Career Associate Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, as his faculty marshal.
Nuclear engineering: Joshua May
Bachelor’s degrees in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering, Schreyer Honors Scholar
May received the President's Freshman Award, the President Sparks Award and five scholarships, and worked for Exelon as a strategic engineering intern. He also participated in the Penn State Blue Band. After graduation, May will join Radiant Industries Inc. as a nuclear engineer. May selected Arthur Motta, professor of nuclear engineering and materials science and engineering, as his faculty marshal.
Reserved Officer Training Corps: Austin Learn
Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering
Learn received the Herrick Trustee Scholarship, the Donna and James Kozuch Scholarship and the G & C Reeder Award in Mechanical Engineering. He is a member of the Penn State Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corprs (ROTC) and served as president of the Aerospace Studies Student Organization in 2020. He interned with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Penn State Learning Factory. Learn plans to join the United States Space Force, a branch of the U.S. military, after graduation. He has chosen Col. Lawrence Havird, U.S. Air Force, professor of aerospace studies and commanding officer, Penn State Air Force ROTC, as his faculty marshal.