With the fall semester underway, new students took part in the annual Stevens tradition of Convocation, held Sept. 5 in Canavan Arena and featuring speeches by Stevens President Nariman Farvardin, U.S. Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen from New Jersey's 11th district and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
Convocation is a ceremony to officially welcome the Class of 2016 to the Stevens community, mark the opening of the academic year, and distribute awards to select faculty and students for standout academic, research and extracurricular achievements.
The 142nd Convocation began with an academic procession led by Farvardin, Faculty Marshall Ron Besser and Provost George Korfiatis. After Michael Paulauski, Class of 2014, sang the National Anthem, Farvardin took the stage to outline an array of reasons the Stevens community should be excited about a bright future ahead, including: the addition of the most academically talented and diverse freshman class in Stevens history; a new graduate student cohort which also exceeds all prior records; official rankings which place Stevens among elite schools in return on investment and other categories; a highly-successful fundraising year to support important initiatives; and the completion of the 10-year Strategic Plan, which charts a bold and ambitious course for Stevens over the next decade.
“You are members of an elite group," Farvardin concluded. "You are the stars, the ‘movers and the shakers.’ You are the innovators who will change the world. You are members of the Stevens family.”
After Farvardin’s speech, Congressman Frelinghuysen, a longtime supporter of Stevens, delivered the keynote address. He spoke to students about how they might be vastly different from their history-making predecessors at Stevens – they watch their news on YouTube, think of Star Wars as a film and not a defense strategy, have never seen an airplane “ticket” and rarely carry cash – but they have the opportunity to play an equally important role in our society’s future.
“This institution’s academic success and modernization has spurred incredible transformation on this side of the Hudson River,” said Congressman Frelinghuysen.
“It’s clear to me that many outstanding men and women have a Stevens foundation for life,” he added. “The men and women who passed through these halls are highly intelligent. You’re no exception. Much is expected of you.”
Next, Mayor Zimmer – who is collaborating with Stevens to build Hoboken into a technology hub for new enterprise – officially welcomed the class to their new hometown. She praised Stevens students for their continuing involvement in bettering the community, emphasizing their volunteerism during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and contributions to improving infrastructure and transportation in the city.
“This is a really exciting time to be at Stevens and to be in Hoboken,” she said, encouraging students to get involved in the community however they can.
Two students then took the podium: Theodore Poppe, Class of 2013 and president of the Student Government Association; and Dana Lyons, Class of 2013 and chairperson of the Honor Board. Poppe urged students to make the most of their time at Stevens, saying, “This is your home; it will only be as good as you make it, and you will only get out what you put in.” Lyons inducted new students into the Stevens Honor System, one of the school’s oldest traditions.
The presentation of student and faculty awards by Korfiatis, Dean of Student Life Ken Nilsen and Assistant Vice President for Student Development Joe Stahley followed. Here is the full list of this year’s awardees:
- The Henry Morton Distinguished Professor Teaching Award: Professor E. Ted Stohr,
- The Alexander Crombie Humphrey’s Distinguished Associate Professor Teaching Award: Professor Donald Lombardi
- The Harvey N. Davis Distinguished Assistant Professor Teaching Award: Professor Joseph Glavy
- The 2012 Davis Memorial Award for Research Excellence: Professor Yong Shi
- The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Online Teaching: Professor Mark Ardis
- 2012 Award Meritorious Teaching in Recitation Section: Kara Pepe, Systems Engineering graduate student
- The Provost’s Award for Academic Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development: Professor Rajarathnam Chandramouli
- Honorary Master of Engineering Degree: Professor Svetlana Sukhishvili
- Stevens Alumni Association Faculty of the Year Award: Professor Harry Heffes
- The Harvey N. Davis Award: SGA Senate 2012
- The Martha L. Kattwinkel Award: Eric Noll
- The Colonel Basil M. Stevens Award: Michael Paulauski
- The Ada and Edwin "Doc" Farrell Memorial Award: Theodore Poppe
- Ondrick Scholarship: Melissa Wiegand
- The Gustav G. Freygang Award: Gary Aramini and Danielle M. DeFeo
- Gear and Triangle Award: Shane Arlington
- The Corey Graney Stute-Humanities Underclassman Award: Ashley Hiller
- Hans J. Lang Award for Excellence in Cost Engineering and Engineering Economics: John G. Donnelly
- The CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award: Jessica Bourque
- Virginia & Kevin Ruesterholz Award: Richard E. De los Reyes
- The Robert H. Seavy Award: Dana Lyons
- Tau Beta Pi’s Freshman Engineer Award: Tatyana Fedorenko
- The Charles L. Petchek Scholarship: Jackson Kelly
- Panhellenic Council Academic Excellence Award: Theta Phi Alpha
- Interfraternity Academic Excellence Award: Kappa Sigma
- The Stevens' Scholarship for Service Program: Marcelo Acevedo and Benjamin Nkrumah
- The President's Award for Community Involvement: Robert Truppner
- The President’s Cup: Stevens Men’s Soccer
The 142nd Convocation ceremony concluded with the presentation of the class banner to the Class of 2016 by Mark LaRosa ‘92, President of the Stevens Alumni Association, and a performance of the Alma Mater led by the Stevens Choir.