Campus & Community

Meet Stevens’ First in Class Cohort of the Class of 2024

Spanning nine majors from three schools and hailing from three states, these 14 graduating students share something extraordinary: They will each graduate First in the Stevens Institute of Technology Class of 2024 with a 4.0 GPA earned through their commitment to academic excellence.

Meet and hear from this year’s First in Class students who will receive their degrees at the 152nd Commencement ceremonies on May 22.

Jacob Ashkenas

Jacob Ashkenas

Bachelor of Science in computer science

Extras: Ashkenas was a Pinnacle Scholar and a member of the Dramatic Society where he served as master electrician on the production board and publicity manager for SITTV Campus Television.

What’s next? Ashkenas will be working in fintech.

MY FONDEST MEMORY AT STEVENS is watching the sunrise from Castle Point Lookout.

THE CLASSES THAT MADE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON ME were Web Programming and Database Management Systems; they provided me with real-world skills that I have regularly drawn on during internships.

Miles Bird

Miles Bird

Bachelor of Engineering in mechanical engineering

Extras: Bird was a student athlete on the men’s volleyball team, member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and served on the Mechanical Engineering Student Advisory Board.

What’s next? Bird is working full-time at Enica Engineering as a consulting engineer specializing in building automation and controls. He will also pursue his Professional Engineer license in the coming months.

PARTICIPATE IN THE WIDE RANGE OF ACTIVITIES ACROSS CAMPUS. Looking back, I’d tell my freshman self to dedicate even more time working in the MakerSpace.

IT’S OK TO ASK FOR HELP when you aren’t yet sure how to do something. Asking for help is one of the most challenging yet rewarding things to do in professional settings because the lessons are worthwhile.

Robert Brandl

Robert BrandlBachelor of Science in computer science and a minor in cybersecurity

Extras: Brandl completed a virtual study abroad program at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus.

What’s next? Brandl is pursuing a master’s degree in computer science at the University of Texas at Austin.

I’LL MISS THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY. I remember sitting in class and everyone stressing out over a test and studying together — even people you may not have spoken to before. Everyone was always very supportive of one another, and I was glad to be a part of this community.

REMEMBER TO TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF! It's easy to get caught up with homework, career preparation and social events but remember to take some time to relax and take care of your physical and mental health, too.

Kevin Patrick Castner Jr.

Kevin Patrick Castner Jr. Bachelor of Engineering in mechanical engineering

Extras: Castner served as Leadership Chair for the Gear & Triangle Honor Society, archivist for The Stute and was a member of Tau Beta Pi.

What’s next? Castner is participating in Stevens’ Advanced Master’s Program to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. This summer, he’ll intern in the medical device industry.

MY BIOETHICS COURSE CHANGED MY PERSPECTIVE on how to approach not only engineering disciplines but life decisions. It gave me an appreciation for the dignity of being human as well as the rights and burdens that come with it. Those lessons remain highly applicable to any line of work where you must engage with others.

BE YOUR KINDEST SELF. Distinguish yourself not only by titles and achievements but by the selfless and loving acts you do for others. That's what will stick around long after you're gone and will make the world a better place.

Julie Garry

Julie GarryBachelor of Engineering in civil engineering

Extras: Garry was a member of engineering societies Chi Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi and the American Society of Civil Engineers. She was also a research assistant in the i-SMART Lab and the Ultra-High Performance Concrete Lab.

What’s next? Garry is pursuing a master’s degree in civil engineering with a concentration in water resources at Stevens. She will continue to conduct research in the i-SMART Lab.

DON’T HESITATE TO TAKE RISKS or do things that will make you happier. We have all our lives ahead of us.

I LEARNED HOWTO LEARN AT STEVENS and the commitment of my professors to support student success makes Stevens distinct. Within the Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering, for example, professors are committed to addressing questions and providing clear explanations on course content.

Arianna Carmela Gehan

Arianna GehanBachelor of Engineering in biomedical engineering

Extras: Gehan co-founded the Daia Diabetes application with support from Launchpad@Stevens. She was also a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and Alpha Eta Mu Beta Biomedical Engineering Honor Society; treasurer of Theta Phi Alpha women’s fraternity; leadership chair of Order of Omega Greek Honor Society; and vice president of the Poetry Club.

What’s next? Gehan is pursuing a master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Columbia University and continuing to advance the Daia Diabetes platform.

GET INVOLVED ON CAMPUS! My first step was joining a sorority, Theta Phi Alpha, which led to learning more about what my peers were doing on campus and allowed me to get more involved in many other organizations.

I AM EXCITED TO CONTINUE MAKING CONNECTIONS within and beyond the Stevens community, meeting new people and using my career to have a positive impact. From advocacy work to volunteering to research to building new technology, I look forward to being involved in all aspects of the diabetes landscape and to continue working with people who are similarly motivated to improving health care.

Matthew Kellerman

Matthew Kellerman Bachelor of Science in computer science

Extras: Member of the Computer Science Club

What’s next? Kellerman is working as a software engineer with Amazon.

I WILL MISS THE SIMPLE MOMENTS AT STEVENS, like receiving updates from the Entertainment Committee about new events or even the relief of closing my computer tabs after finishing an assignment.

KEEP PERSEVERING through the challenges you face and don’t hesitate to ask for help. A problem can become much simpler when you have another pair of eyes on it.

Haley Kirmaier

Haley KirmaierBachelor of Engineering in chemical engineering

Extras: Kirmaier served as secretary for the Society of Women Engineers and was a member of the Stevens Choir. She also studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain.

What’s next? Kirmaier is working full-time at Estée Lauder as an associate engineer specializing in makeup formulation.

MY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WAS GREATLY IMPROVED by attending events hosted by the Society of Women Engineers. Specifically, the SWE conference allowed me to meet female students and professionals pursuing science across the country and showed me a range of possibilities for my future.

FIND A CAREER YOU ENJOY BUT REMEMBER THAT THERE IS MORE TO LIFE than your professional goals. The people you surround yourself with, your hobbies and what makes you laugh are all important as well.

Aashutosh Kulakarni

Aashutosh Kulakarni Prachet Bachelor of Engineering in mechanical engineering

Extras: Kulakarni was a student athlete who competed on the tennis team; he also participated in the 2023 Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

What’s next? Kulakarni is pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Brown university.

EXPLORE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES ON CAMPUS. I completed a research project with Professor Johannes Weickenmeier in mechanical engineering that dealt with computational biomechanics. This work exposed me to novel research ideas and the application of mechanics in biological settings such as the human brain.

MY FONDEST MEMORIES on campus are getting meals at Pierce with friends and traveling and competing with my teammates.

Alexander Leather

Alexander LeatherBachelor of Science in pure and applied mathematics

Extras: Leather was a Pinnacle Scholar research assistant and a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the National Mathematics Honor Society.

What’s next? Leather is participating in the Actuarial Leadership Development Program (ALDP) at Travelers Insurance.

DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Instead, compare yourself to you one week ago. If you have not improved as a human being in the last seven days, then you need to reevaluate everything you’re doing. Don’t worry about anyone else; focus on improving yourself one day and one week at a time.

I WILL MISS THE OUTSTANDING STEVENS COMMUNITY and all the amazing people I was lucky to meet. I entered Stevens not knowing a single person and I leave having met so many people I now consider close friends. Although I'm upset that I won't be able to see everyone as often, I am grateful for the relationships that I have built.

Grace Lee

Grace LeeBachelor of Science in business and technology

Extras: Lee studied abroad at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, and Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy.

What’s next? Lee is pursuing a master’s degree in business analytics at Columbia University.

MY FUTURE PLANS INCLUDE embarking on a new chapter of growth, exploration and opportunity.

STEVENS PREPARED ME FOR THE NEXT PHASE OF MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE by providing me with a unique blend of business and technical knowledge.

Winston Lee

Winston LeeBachelor of Science in pure and applied mathematics

Extras: Lee served as treasurer of the Castle Point Anime Convention and Stevens Cyber Defense Team. He was a member of the Anime Club, the Chinese Student Association and the Computer and Console Gaming Society as well.

What’s next? Lee is pursuing a master’s degree in mathematics at Stevens.

BE OPEN TO TRYING NEW THINGS ON CAMPUS. Don't be afraid to get involved — and I don’t mean simply attending and watching things happening. Don't be afraid to actively participate in opportunities.

WHAT MAKES STEVENS UNIQUE is the focus on individual growth. You are empowered to take command of your journey here to advance yourself as a professional, as a social being and as a person.

Philip Vincent Mascaro

Philip MascaroBachelor of Engineering in computer engineering and a minor in mathematics

Extras: Mascaro was a Pinnacle Scholar and served on the Electrical and Computer Engineering Student Advisory Council.

What’s next? Mascaro is continuing his academic career at Stevens as he pursues a Ph.D. in computer engineering.

SUMMER RESEARCH PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN MY GROWTH. It taught me what to expect from doing research in general and has made me grow to love doing research.

COLLABORATION AT STEVENS has given me a better handle on working in groups and has prepared me to effectively communicate complex topics to a range of audiences.

Sidharth Peri

Sidharth PeriBachelor of Science in quantitative finance and a minor in computer science

Extras: Peri was the former head of quantitative investment solutions on the Student Managed Investment Fund; treasurer of the Indian Undergraduate Association; and participated in intramural basketball.

What’s next? Peri is working as a quantitative trading and analytics associate with SumRidge Partners. He also plans to pursue graduate-level education in financial engineering.

THE PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE EXCITES ME. My parents instilled in me the value of seeking knowledge over chasing excellence because excellence will follow naturally. I want to learn as much as I can by surrounding myself with experienced professionals.

OUR HARD WORK BROUGHT US TO THIS POINT and now that we've made it, we shouldn't stop. This is just the beginning and there’s so much room for us to grow as individuals. We should all continue to work hard and have a good time while doing it.