Campus & Community

Convocation Marks Start of Stevens Journey for Class of 2017, the Largest in University History

Stevens Institute of Technology officially welcomed the Class of 2017 to the university community with its 143rd Convocation on Sept. 4, 2013 in Canavan Arena. Keynote speaker Rochelle Hendricks, secretary of higher education for New Jersey, urged the university community to “outdo and outshine your own accomplishments to date – as an institution and as individuals.”

Convocation is an annual Stevens tradition held at the beginning of each fall semester to introduce the incoming class to the university and induct new students into the Stevens Honor System.

The profile of this year’s class demonstrates how Stevens is making progress on the growth, selectivity and diversity goals outlined in the university’s ten-year strategic plan.

With 719 new freshmen and undergraduate transfer students, the Class of 2017 is both the largest and the most selective group of new undergraduates in university history.

The class hails from 29 U.S. states and includes 42 international students from 13 countries, including the first-ever Stevens students from Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Poland, South Africa and Thailand.


The class makeup includes 30 percent women and 13 percent underrepresented minorities, and the average SAT score of 1210-1390 is ten points higher than last year’s class.

While engineering remains the most popular major for first-year students, academic distribution is expanding, with 30 percent of the class planning to studying business, science or humanities.

And the new students bring a range of interests and talents to Stevens, including in sports. Approximately 190 new student-athletes will compete on varsity teams for the Ducks.

Approximately 900 graduate students, including more than 600 full-time students representing 31 countries, also enrolled at Stevens for fall 2013.

The Convocation ceremony began with an address from Stevens President Nariman Farvardin focused on Stevens’ rising national stature as a premiere technological institution.

He spoke about the excellent career and salary outcomes of last year’s graduating class, and told new students they can look forward to full university support as they progress toward their successes in their personal and professional lives.

“We work hard to attract diverse and talented students, and then ensure that all in our care are given every opportunity and support to be successful and enjoy their experience,” said Farvardin. “Consider these next four years as our investment in your future.”  

Secretary Hendricks, who has more than 20 years of experience working on key education initiatives in the Garden State, said she was moved by the intellectual vigor and entrepreneurial spirit of the Stevens community. Praising Stevens as “an ever-rising star on an ever-rising stage” and a “place for ideas and ideals,” she set high expectations for the Stevens community as change agents within the state and nation.

“In today’s challenging times, those of us fortunate enough to be educated and trained as problem-solvers must harness our gifts and talents for the greater good,” Hendricks said. “Stevens: We are counting on you to be the difference we all want to see in the world. Our shared future pins on places like Stevens and people like you.”

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer also welcomed Stevens’ newest students to their new hometown, encouraging them to follow in the footsteps of Stevens students and alumni throughout history by getting involved in the local community.

From local development and design projects to flooding and water main issues to transportation concerns, the city faces countless science and engineering challenges, she said, and the innovative and brilliant minds of Stevens students are always welcome to lend a hand.

“I’m constantly so impressed by the volunteerism spirit of Stevens students,” Zimmer said.

Other Convocation speakers included Student Government Association President Ashley Montufar ‘14, who said called for new students to fully embrace every Stevens experience; Chairperson of the Stevens Honor Board Shane Arlington ‘14, who inducted the new students in the Stevens Honor System; and Stevens Alumni Association President Thomas Moschello '63, who presented the class banner to the Class of 2017.

Convocation is also a time to recognize outstanding students and faculty for accomplishments in academics, research and extracurricular activities.

Dozens of awards were presented to student and faculty honorees, including an honorary Master of Engineering degree to Dr. Alexei Miasnikov, Stevens professor of mathematical sciences and an international expert in cryptography, computational complexity and group theory.

See the full list of awardees below:

·         Master of Engineering Honoris Causa: Dr. Alexei Miasnikov, Professor, Mathematical Sciences

·         2012 Jess Davis Memorial Award for Research Excellence: Dr. Yingying Chen, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

·         2013 Henry Morton Distinguished Teaching Professor: Dr. Bruce McNair, Distinguished Service Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering                                                                                

·         2013 Alexander Crombie Humphreys Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor: Dr. Peter Dominick, Industry Associate Professor, Howe School of Technology Management

·         2013 Harvey N. Davis Distinguished Teaching Assistant Professor: Dr. William L. Kazmierczak, Teaching Assistant Professor, Mathematical Sciences

·         2013 The Provost's Award for Excellence in On-Line Teaching: Dr. Roberta Cohen, Industry Professor, School of Systems and Enterprises

·         2013 Exemplary Teaching in Recitation Section: Guoquan (Neo) Xu, Ph.D. candidate, Engineering Management

·         2013 Meritorious Teaching in Laboratory Section: Patrick Houlihan, Ph. D. candidate, Engineering Management

·         2013 Provost’s Award for Academic Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development: Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili, Professor, Chemistry, Chemical Biology & Biomedical Engineering

·         Best Teacher Award from the Stevens Alumni Association: Dr. Sophia Hassiotis 

·         The Harvey N. Davis Award: Alpha Phi Omega

·         The Martha L. Kattwinkel Award: Julian Colon

·         The Colonel Basil M. Stevens Award: Evan Nelson

·         The Ada and Edwin "Doc" Farrell Memorial Award: Ashley Montufar

·         Ondrick Scholarship: Howard Allen, Declan Candela, Catherine Ricculli

·         The Gustav G. Freygang Award: Michael-Robert Lewis

·         Gear and Triangle Award: Matthew Hunt

·         The Corey Graney Stute-Humanities Underclassman Award: Joseph Brosnan

·         Hans J. Lang Award for Excellence in Cost Engineering and Engineering Economics: Matthew Chang

·         Virginia & Kevin Ruesterholz Award: Christina Gamon

·         The Robert H. Seavy Award: Ana Toledo 

·         Tau Beta Pi’s Freshman Engineer Award: Aleksandra Petelski 

·         The Charles L. Petschek Scholarship: Jennifer Birstler

·         Panhellenic Council Academic Excellence Award: Delta Phi Epsilon

·         Interfraternity Academic Excellence Award: Kappa Sigma

·         The Stevens' Scholarship for Service Program: Rushi Purohit and John Scire

·         The President's Award for Community Involvement: Alison Outwater  

·         President’s Cup: Stevens Men’s Tennis