Robert Williams Named Valedictorian of Stevens Institute of Technology’s Class of 2012

5/16/2012

Hoboken, N.J. – Senior Robert Williams has been announced as the valedictorian of the Class of 2012 at Stevens Institute of Technology. He will graduate with both a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science at Stevens’ 140th Commencement on May 24, 2012.

A native of Woodbury Heights, N.J., Williams finished Stevens’ four-year accelerated program with a near-perfect GPA overall and within his major. But he said his proudest accomplishment during his time at Stevens wasn’t acing a bunch of tests or even finishing first-in-class – it was learning to prioritize what really matters in life. The importance of staying grounded, focusing on fulfilling personal relationships, and giving back to others will be the message he shares with his classmates when he gives the final address at the University’s undergraduate commencement ceremony.

“When I was younger I wanted to get the big career, move up the ladder, make lots of money and get lots of power,” said Williams, who has nurtured a lifelong love to computers and technology. “But at Stevens I realized that there are so many better things to focus on. I saw the importance of getting your priorities straight early on so you don’t waste your life on something that isn’t fulfilling in the long-term.”

As an undergraduate, Williams didn’t just talk the talk; he walked the walk. As a member of the Stevens Christian Fellowship and the Hoboken Grace Community Church, he was active in volunteer work on campus and in the community.

But that’s not to say Williams didn’t set himself up for future professional success. An academic all-star, Williams was also a member of Stevens’ chapter of Phi Beta Lambda, a national post-secondary business education and leadership association, through which he won two 1st place medals at the association’s 2010 New Jersey convention.

He also acquired substantial work experience as an undergraduate. He worked as a software development intern at Skarven Enterprises, a Boeing company, as a web consultant for Adam Leitman Bailey real estate law firm and as a technology analyst at Goldman Sachs, where he did computer programming in the company’s mortgage loans division. Another internship was with Amazon.com, where he worked with analysts on software engineering projects. 

“One of the major reasons I chose Stevens was its job placement abilities, and sure enough every time I stepped into an interview I felt like I was already a step ahead because of the Stevens name,” Williams said. “That’s something that will follow me for the rest of my career and something I’m so grateful for.” 

After graduation, Williams has secured full-time employment as a software engineer for Netsoft USA, a technology and design consulting firm in Manhattan. But first, Williams will spend a month volunteering as a computer teacher in Cambodia, on what he calls a “vision trip.”

“I’ve always considered that I might enjoy teaching,” said Williams, whose trip is being organized by the social venture UBELONG. “Seeing people learn is a really rewarding experience. This trip will give me a chance to branch out and get a new perspective on things.”

For more information on Stevens’ 140th Commencement, click here.  

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Founded in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University™, lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research.  The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management.

Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers baccalaureate, master’s, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts.  Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,400 undergraduate and 3,700 graduate students with more than 450 faculty. Stevens’ graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world.  Additional information may be obtained at www.stevens.edu and www.stevens.edu/news.