May 7 saw the 100th commencement ceremony for SPSU and, as become customary, we again graduated our largest spring commencement class. Some 350 students graduated overall, with almost 70 students graduating from the various programs in CSE. The commencement address was given by Shan Cooper, the new CEO of Lockheed Martin's Marietta facility.
There were a number of highlights: DeWayne Alcorn, who graduated with a BS in Information Technology, was recognized as the outstanding student of the graduating class; Billy Olden became the first graduate from our Computer Game Design and Development programs; and Lalitha Kowdeed became the fourth in her family to earn an MSCS, following her brother-in-law and her two older sisters.
The graduation reception that CSE hosted on the Friday before commencement was extremely well-attended and gave facility and graduating students and their families and friends the opportunity to socialize before the official ceremony. The event was sponsored by McKesson, and I want to express my deep appreciation for their contribution.
The increased enrollments in our programs has led to the need to hire additional faculty, and I am very pleased to report that we will be joined by three new faculty members in the fall. Dr Ming Yang and Dr Jack Zheng will join the Department of Information Technology, while Mr Rick Gesick, who is an alum from our MSCS program, will join the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. I am very pleased that they have accepted the positions and I am sure that you will want to join me in welcoming them to the School.
Two Master's students presented their thesis work this month. On May 2, Sarika Niphadkar, an MSCS student, defended her thesis entitled "Database Optimization for Relational Version of Medline", while on May 4, Rajib Joshi-Acharya, an MSIT student, defended his thesis entitled "Brokerage for Quality Cloud Services". Both were successful and I want to congratulate both students, as well as their thesis supervisor, namely Dr Orlando Karam, who worked with Sarika, and Dr Andy Wang, who supervised Rajib's work.
Shortly after sending out last month's news letter, we received the sad news that Raitis Headrick, an undergraduate Computer Science student, had passed away on April 25th. Please join me in extending heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Raitis Headrick.
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Dean, School of Computing and Software Engineering