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Ritchie School Honors Student Awards Winners & Class of 2020

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Jacquelyn Villa

Marketing & Events Coordinator

Marketing & Events Coordinator"

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Graduation Celebration Zoom Meeting

The Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science was overjoyed to celebrate virtually with our graduating students on June 12. Faculty, staff, and family members gathered together to honor the achievements of the class of 2020.

In addition to honoring all of the graduating students, the Ritchie School also recognized several students with awards from the school and different departments for work that went above and beyond during their academic career.

The student award winners for the 2019-2020 academic year were announced during the Ritchie School’s graduation celebration and their families were able to congratulate them, along with faculty and staff.

Graduate Student Scholar Award | Saba Ravaghi (MS Mechanical Engineering)

Given to an active Ritchie School graduate student for excellence in both the quality and productivity of research with an emphasis on publications and breakthrough research. This may reflect years of research work culminating in one stellar year.

Ravaghi joined Associate Professor Ali Azadani's, PhD, laboratory in Fall 2018 to pursue a MS degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in cardiovascular mechanics. Ravaghi finished her BS degree in Mechanical Engineering at Amirkabir University of Technology where she was very involved in undergraduate research. At Ritchie, she was an outstanding student academically and very well-liked by faculty and students. Ravaghi has authored or co-authored five research publications and abstracts.

“I am certain that she will make amazing contributions to the field of medical device design and development.” 


Graduate Teaching Assistant Award | Dan Stoianovici (MS Mechatronics Systems Engineer)

Given to an active Ritchie School graduate teaching assistant for excellence in fostering a strong learning environment and going beyond the general job requirements to improve the classroom teaching environment.

“Dan has been by far the most active and helpful TA in my opinion. Senior Design, Integration, helping figure out online software for other classes, he does it all with the same dedication every single day. He is always looking to spread his knowledge to benefit the students and is always at hand to give his constructive suggestions in all the student projects.”


KEEN Entrepreneurial Mindset of the Year Award | Jacob Goldman (BS Computer Science)

Given to an ECS student demonstrating a passion for Innovation and the Entrepreneurial Mindset.

“Has started many companies in his time at DU with the focus of applying our knowledge base and tools.”

Goldman was also accepted into Project X-ITE’s XLR8 (formerly called Pioneering Summer) 2020 program with his company Ahead Wind. In the XLR8 program he will work to take his company to the next level with mentorship, coaching, and workshops.


Student Service of the Year Award | Christian Anton (BA Applied Computing)

Given to a graduating undergraduate or graduate student who has worked to impact the student experience at the Ritchie School.

“Christian is outspoken and outgoing and he’s truly been an ambassador in the department helping with games and CS student groups, especially being a leader in the DUCS club. But more than that, Christian has been involved at the highest level of student government at DU where he was the Ritchie School’s Senator and also the committee chair of the Student Organizations Committee, which really is an inordinate amount of service."


Citizen of the Year Award | Weldyn Allen (BS Mechanical Engineering)

Given to a faculty member, graduating student, staff member, or alumnus for going above and beyond to enhance the perception and image of the Ritchie School to DU and to the greater community through community service, university committee work, and/or volunteer work.

“Weldyn has done many things, but one of the biggest impacts she made was through the development and implementation of the Girls with Gadgets event. While the event was not able to be done in person this year, I know that the legacy will live on and it will be a continuous part of the RSECS culture.”

“Constantly working above and beyond to provide better opportunities for the university and for all students and the community”


Colorado Engineers Council 2020 Award | Molly Kuettel (BS Mechanical Engineering)

The three students nominated from the Ritchie School were also finalists for the CEC award. Jackson Harkness, Hayden Dean, and Kuettel were all honored for reaching the finalist stage.


Department Chair Awards

Given to a department's student who exceeds expectations in the classroom, is actively involved in the Ritchie School, and is an exceptional representative of DU engineering out in the industry.

     Computer Science Chair’s Award | Lombe Chileshe (MS Computer Science)

     Electrical & Computer Engineering Chair’s Award | Suzie Dong (BS Electrical Engineering)

     Mechanical & Materials Engineering Chair’s Award | Hayden Dean (BS Mechanical Engineering)


Department GPA Recognition

Given to the department’s student with the highest grade point average.

     Computer Science | Sedak Puri (BS Computer Science)

     Electrical & Computer Engineering | Jackson Harkness (BS Electrical Engineering)

     Mechanical & Materials Engineering | Brian Richardson (BD Mechanical Engineering)

The School also recognized Adrianna Ortega (BS Mechanical Engineering) for graduating from Phi Beta Kappa and the graduating class of Tau Beta Pi members.

Everyone in the class of 2020 was outstanding and they worked hard to earn their degrees. The Ritchie School celebrates and honors every one of them. Their achievements are impressive and as they move forward, faster into the future they will accomplish amazing feats.