The 51st Commencement exercises at Rensselaer’s Hartford campus were held on June 8 for 286 graduates, their families and friends, and members of Rensselaer’s faculty and staff. President Shirley Ann Jackson presided over the ceremony. “You are here today, receiving your master’s degrees, because you chose to stretch your limits,” she said to the graduates.
Three students were honored for their work during the presentation of the Outstanding Student Awards. The Hartford Chapter of the Rensselaer Alumni Association sponsors these annual awards. Faculty members submit nominations for the awards based on graduating students who had distinguished themselves from their peers through superior academic achievement, demonstrated leadership skills, works published, and contributions to Rensselaer.
The Outstanding Student Award in Management was presented to David Jean-Louis, who earned an M.S. in management completing his studies with a 3.63 GPA. Jean-Louis is a senior information technology analyst with Carrier Corporation, a division of United Technologies Corporation (UTC). He plans to develop an infrastructure as well as educational and economic opportunities in his native Haiti through the founding of a not-for-profit organization called “Spread the Love Inc.”
The Outstanding Student Award winner in Engineering was Jessica Albernaz, who earned an M.S. in mechanical engineering with a 3.75 GPA. She is a performance analysis engineer working in the commercial engine service program at Pratt & Whitney, a division of UTC. Her thesis work has potential to improve the strength of materials used in the aerospace industry.
The Outstanding Student Award in Computer Science was presented to Roland DePratti, who earned an M.S. in computer science completing his studies with a 3.97 GPA. DePratti is a database analyst manager with Cigna Healthcare. Throughout his career at Cigna, he has successfully integrated technical initiatives into the business environment. His thesis work advances a new area of database theory.
The Commencement speaker was David Hess ’79, M.S. ’86, president of Hamilton Sundstrand. He is a Rensselaer alumnus who earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical engineering at the Troy and Hartford campuses, respectively. Hess told the graduates to “keep learning. To some degree, life and your career should be a continuation of your academic experience at Rensselaer and prior academic institutions.”
A reception was held on the grounds of the Hartford campus following the ceremony.
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