Honors Alumni Newsletter - Spring 2015 - Clarkson University


Clarkson University’s SPRING 2015 This Issue Scholarships Athletic Highlights Sophomore Project Special Projects Summer Research Co-ops, REUs, Internships Graduate Updates Alumni News Graduation Speaker

Clarkson University Honors Program Box 5755, 8 Clarkson Avenue Potsdam, NY 13699 315-268-2290/2320 [email protected] clarkson.edu/honors



dmissions season has come again, and we are busy reviewing 375 applications. This year,

we decided to hold interviews on three designated Fridays during the semester. We offer phone and Skype interviews, for those who cannot make it to campus, but we invite everyone to stay overnight with one of our students so they can have a complete Honors experience and we can get a sense of how well they will fit in the community. We held one “interview Friday” on January 30 and it went very well. Parents joined us for an informational session in the afternoon and returned for breakfast the next morning. We anticipate such overnight stays will help to sustain an increased yield of the most talented and accomplished applicants while also improving diversity among our majors. Competition to attract Honors caliber students is increasingly intense and we have found our best sales people are our current students! We have two international initiatives underway. The first is a spring semester course followed in May by a two-week, service-learning trip to the Dominican Republic. The project focuses on mitigation of indoor air pollution caused by wood-burning cook stoves, which is a serious problem in many developing countries. It is led by Al Rossner from the Institute for a Sustainable Jon Goss Environment and Jeanna Matthews from Computer Science. The second is summer research at Tsinghua University in Beijing for some of our students in material sciences. The trip is supported by a generous gift from Corning Inc. The students will stay for 10 weeks, and I will be traveling with them to help them settle in. Like our students, I am excited about my first trip to mainland China. New staff member Kathleen O’Leary has been hired as director of Student Life and Alumni Relations, a joint appointment in Honors and The Clarkson School. She started in July and has made an excellent transition, though we are still working to convert her from college football to hockey! And there is another new addition to our “family.” Jenny Townsend, Associate Director of Advising, gave birth to a baby girl, Maya, on August 26. In November, we plan to take students to the National Collegiate Honors Council in Chicago. Students will present their research and share innovative aspects of our program. It is a good chance for us to learn best practices in Honors education, to raise Clarkson’s profile and to meet up with Clarkson alumni in the area. Once again, we take this opportunity to showcase the achievements of our current students and let you know the latest about your fellow alumni. Please keep sending us regular updates of your whereabouts and activities. For all our alumni, families and friends, please also consider making a gift to the Honors Program to fund educational opportunities for our students. We are extremely grateful for your generosity, which helps us offer international opportunities and trips like the one to the NCHC meeting in Chicago. Thank you for everything you do for the Honors Program and Clarkson University.

Class of 2018

Goldwater Scholarships

Athletic Highlights


onors student Ruisheng “Rick” Wang ’15,

n 2013-2014, 15% of all Honors students participated in a

a mechanical engineering major from Potsdam, N.Y., was awarded a engineering major from Utica, N.Y., won an honorable mention. This is now the 15 consecutive year in a th

health and so predict risk of cardiovascular disease.

row that an Honors student has won

Rick is intending to continue his research in the Ph.D.

a Goldwater, the most prestigious

program in biomedical engineering at MIT next year.

scholarship given to undergraduates

Mason has minors in biomedical engineering,

studying in mathematics, science and

electrical engineering and mathematics, and he is

engineering in the United States. Rick began undergraduate

The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America

also participated in club teams, such as crew, rugby,

1st Team (National); Capital One/CoSIDA

racquetball, ice hockey, Frisbee and football.

Academic All-America District 3; NABC Division

Erika Chin ’14 had her fourth consecutive

III All-District (East) - 2nd Team; D3Hoops.com

appearance in the NCAA Division III Volleyball

All-East Region - 2nd Team and Liberty League

Tournament and she helped Clarkson women make

First-Team All-Star honors. In basketball he

it to the Elite Eight for the second year in a row.

earned Capital One/CoSIDA All-District honors.

She raked in including: AVCA

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in

health monitoring for aerospace

“Being a small, RESEARCH-

applications. He then switched to biomedical research under the

INTENSIVE school, Clarkson provided great OPPORTUNITIES

mentorship of Professor Charles Robinson where he examined the effects of diabetes and peripheral Rick Wang ’15 and Mason Sutorius ’15 electrical

neurological mechanisms underlying balance and the risk of falls


among the elderly

at Penn

population. Last summer, Rick worked at Massachusetts General Hospital through a fellowship granted by the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences in the field of photomedicine, specifically, investigating

State. Mason is currently working with

for research with faculty and my

HONORS THESIS PROJECT on prosthetic limb performance formed the basis of my Goldwater essay.” — Mason Sutorius ’15

Erika Chin ’14

Nordic Ski Team, which competed in the

John Coleman ’15

USCSA Nationals in Lake Placid last March.

All-America Honorable Mention

The men’s team finished third overall, led by Eric Mallery ’17 who had a

and AVCA NY All-Region 1st Team;

third-place finish in the sprint race. Katie Dunn ’17 and Kaitlin Tallman

Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-

’16 both helped the women to

American 2nd Team (National) and

a fifth-place finish overall.

Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-

First-year Men’s

District (District 3); Liberty League

Lacrosse player Nick

Second-Team All Star and NCAA DIII Regional All-Tournament Team.

Strandholm earned Liberty

School records fell in men’s varsity swimming as Kyle

League Defensive Performer

Hancock ’14 set a new Clarkson standard in the 100m Breaststroke. Kyle and Nick Short ’16 also contributed to new school records in the 200 and 400 Medley Relays.

Other Scholarships

First-year Honors students Brian Kroetz and Andrew Akiki (of the Men’s Varsity Soccer Team) earned service hours in December by ringing bells for the Salvation Army.

of the week in April.

Professor Kevin Fite on the design of a wireless instrumentation

Eleanor Vane ’14 (Biomolec Sci)

the Honors Program talked about REUs and

they would stay late at night in order to help

architecture for real-time gait assessment of lower limb

The NSF GRFP has been beneficial to my

encouraged its members to apply.

me make my application the best it could be.

amputees for clinical field use. He plans to obtain a Ph.D. in

graduate school experience. As a rotation

biomedical engineering and conduct research in bionics and

student, I learned that there is competition

my NSF proposal was a continuance of the

a professional question answered or a last

biomedical wearable devices for rehabilitative purposes.

to join more popular laboratories and my

research I began in the fall of my junior year in

minute print or fax sent. The Honors Program

fellowship gives me a competitive edge. I was

the Melman lab. Writing the literature review

also helped me create lasting connections.

also able to rotate in labs that have interesting

and thinking about the big picture of my project

Professor Gary Kelly taught my first Honors

projects, but less funding.

early on gave me the skills to succeed in the

Program course and he has been a great

NSF application.

friend ever since. He was kind enough to

Kyle Pollak ’16 (ME)

write a letter of recommendation to go with

the feasibility of using UV fluorescence spectroscopy to

My research at Clarkson and involvement

noninvasively assess the biomechanical properties of collagenous

in the Honors Program were very important to

tissues. He is now completing his Honors thesis on the potential use

my successful application. I was almost certain

of accelerometers to measure pulse wave velocity and infer cardiac

I wanted to be a researcher and joined Artem Melman’s lab during the spring semester of my sophomore year. During my summers, I did research at Carnegie Mellon and UC Berkeley which gave me a broader background and strengthened my NSF application. Before college, I had no idea what an “REU” was, but


Several Honors students were on the

the honors,

NiCoForm Inc. and last summer he completed a

freshman year, performing structural

track record of Goldwater recipients is testament to the fact that students who take full advantage of the RESOURCES offered by Clarkson are able to COMPETE on a national level.” — Ruisheng Wang ’15

team. A remarkable number of Honors students

his freshman year, he began an internship at

Professor Ratneshwar Jha in his

“Clarkson’s CONSISTENT

points for Clarkson basketball and earned ESPN

mathematics and mechanical engineering. After

research under the mentorship of

on the baseball diamond, as well as in school. He reached 1,000 career

sport, including four who were on the men’s soccer

a teaching assistant for various classes in both

times with the goal to further understanding of the physical and

John Coleman ’15 continues to excel on the basketball court and

varsity athletic sport while over 20% of first-year students played a varsity

Goldwater Scholarship and Mason Sutorius ’15, a mechanical

neuropathy on whole-body reaction


by Jenny Townsend

Clarkson University

The Honors thesis was important too as

I am proud of receiving the SMART Scholarship, but I was fortunate to have the support of Clarkson University and the Honors Program. One of the biggest factors was the weekly scholarship preparation meetings held by Dr. Jon Goss and Jennifer Townsend, members of the Honors staff. Each Monday


Honors Program

Marcy Wilcox also helped anytime I needed

my scholarship. I am very thankful for his help and guidance and I am sure his letter of recommendation was a vital part of my final application. I couldn’t have received this scholarship without the help of the Clarkson Honors Program faculty and staff.

Sophomore Project

Special Projects


by Dana Chapman ’17

or the 2015 academic year, the

Sophomores are doing something that is

Jacob Misch ’16 (ME), another peer mentor,

Honors sophomore class is collaborating with

really special — they are working with new

sums up the opportunities presented by

start-ups at the Shipley Center for Innovation to

technology that could change an entire

the 2015 project: “I love this year’s project

explore transfer of cutting-edge technologies

industry. One of this year’s projects could

because it generates interest in technology

to North Country farms. The four companies

be the new face of agriculture. Honors

that would be overlooked by the majority

involve robotic farming, aeroponics, steam

students have an opportunity that many

of students. Agriculture is so far removed

powered production of ethanol, and an

people don’t see even after working in a

from the modern campus life that we don’t

online food co-op. Students gain real-world

field for years, and sophomores get to do

ever get to fully understand the obstacles

knowledge in a practical application and fine

this right now. I look forward to seeing what

the industry faces. As the population grows,

tune their soft skills. As Samer Akiki ’17 (EE)

comes out of this HP200 class and how it

the demand for food production soars,

says, “It is exciting to get to work with real

impacts the agricultural industry.”

and very few advances have been made

by Gabrielle Pawlowski ’15 Conference in 2014. Chem-E-Cars are shoebox-sized cars that are powered and stopped using chemical reactions. Clarkson’s car was powered using aluminum-air fuel cells and stopped using an iodine clock reaction. An hour before competition, the teams were challenged to travel 25 meters while carrying a load of 250 grams. Each team was allowed two 2-minute runs to calibrate their car and attempt to stop at the designated line. Clarkson landed 2.15 meters from the designated line on their second run,

At the same time, one of the most

to adequately address this issue in recent

important goals is to improve practical

years. Distribution of the harvest can also

The Clarkson Chem-E-Car team

reasoning and problem-solving abilities.

be difficult for smaller North Country farms,

was one of 13 teams that travelled to the

project manager and there are five consulting

“Working on the Honors project has helped

which is something that is overshadowed by

University of Connecticut to compete at the

faculty in diverse fields. The student teams

to improve my analytical and critical-

the ease and availability of buying produce

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

within are guided by Honors upperclassmen

thinking skills,” notes Aiden Coutin ’17

at supermarkets. The HP200 class gets to

(AIChE) Northeast Student Regional

who have worked on similar projects in

(MAE), “and it has helped me to develop my

work with this ‘hidden’ industry. They get to

previous years. “For me, seeing how the

leadership skills.” Ultimately, sophomores

see the future of food production take form,

project changes year to year has been very

hope that the hands-on experiences over

and may even get a chance to give their

interesting,” says peer mentor Skyler Canute

the next two semesters will better prepare

own input on the outcome. It’s opportunities

’16 (ME). He continues, “After working on the

them for working and collaborating in and

like this, presented to the Honors Program

Massena Weir project, it is fun to shift to

between their respective fields.

exclusively, that makes me hopeful for the

companies, presenting them with ideas that they could potentially implement.” Professor Marshall Issen (E&M) is the

future of engineering.”

improve upcoming technology for farmers.


placing them fourth and earning them a spot at the national competition in November 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to qualifying

and Maureen Hoen were part of the team as well as Gabrielle Pawlowski, who was also the captain.

for the National Chem-E-Car competition, Clarkson placed third in Chem-E Jeopardy. Honors Program members Peter Faulkner

by Spencer Griswold ’17

or my Summer Research project ,

I worked with Dr. Michael Ramsdell to improve the Team Design lab taken by first-year physics majors and Honors students. This alternative to the introductory physics lab challenges students to model the motion of a toy car down an arbitrarily shaped track and a toy train with a programmed electric profile. I programmed both challenges in Python, Matlab

Kathleen O’Leary

undergraduate and law degrees are from the University of Notre

and Microsoft Excel, and I learned how to program data

joined the staff of the

Dame, and she is an avid college football fan, but is learning

acquisition systems using Labview. I identified potential

Honors Program and

to love hockey.  She is enjoying getting to know our students

sources of error such as insulating dust on the track,

The Clarkson School

and has been impressed from the start by their intellectual

the quality of the toy train or car used, and the operating

as associate director

curiosity, their drive to succeed and their social consciousness.

efficiency of the motors.

of Student and Alumni

Kathleen says, “Our students also have wonderful opportunities

Relations in July. For the

for leadership and input within the structure of the Honors

and professionally with a group of similarly driven

past nine years, Kathleen

Program. The student-initiated service requirement definitely

students and Department of Physics faculty. Team

has been working in higher

caught my eye as a unique component to the Honors

Design was without a doubt one of the major highlights

education student affairs,

experience.” Kathleen is looking forward to connecting with

of my freshman year, and one of the most enriching

including stints in housing,

alumni, hearing about their experiences in the Honors Program

experiences I’ve had so far at Clarkson. I look forward to

student conduct and academic advising. Most recently, she

and working together to continue to provide transformative

returning to the Team Design lab as a mentor, to aid the

worked at Arizona State University. She was excited to leave

experiences for our students. She welcomes any and all

next class of physics students.

the desert and begin to explore the North Country. Kathleen’s

feedback and can be reached at [email protected]


Clarkson University

Through this project, I connected both personally

Team Design instructor Michael Ramsdell


Honors Program

Summer Research

Co-ops, REUs and Internships


rian Nardone ’17 (ME)

Rebecca Baumel ’18 (Pol Sci)

In the 2014 Summer Research program, I worked on the design of a

I did political science research during my pre-frosh summer. I collected

low-cost prosthetic foot with my faculty mentor, Dr. Kevin Fite, and my

demographic information on all past and present members of European

“pre-frosh” mentee, Amy Yang. I taught her the software program

Parliament in order to create a profile of the average party-switching

and methods used in our lab.

politician. Designing and executing my own research was a privilege

Mentoring helped me to be more

that none of my friends from home got to experience. Here I was,

aware of what I am doing and

not even a real college student yet, and suddenly I was working

improved my communication skills. Having another student


olin Lennon ’15 (ME)

Katelynn Hackett ’15 (ME)

I worked as a design engineer intern at GE Transportation in Erie, Pa.,

The Honors Program has been my “go-to” for support since

during fall 2013 semester. I was responsible for review and redesign

freshman year. Each time I wanted to pursue a new adventure, I

of several drivetrain components for Off-Highway Vehicles. My

brainstormed with advisors to make it happen. My path has been

typical day consisted of updating drawings for the manufacturing

unique, but then no-one has the same Honors experience! It’s all

floor, testing alternators and whatever new item I found in my inbox

tailored to your goals: summer research, co-ops and internships;

throughout the day. In the summer 2014, I worked for GE

study abroad and on to graduate

hands-on with data and running analytical tests to draw real-world

Power & Water in Schenectady, N.Y., as a manufacturing

school or a job. Thanks to my two

conclusions. It was amazing!

engineer intern. My biggest project was designing and

co-op experiences with Moog

working together on a project

implementing new 3-D printed tooling to improve quality

Inc., I will begin as a full-time

brings a fresh perspective. Amy

but the Honors Program did an amazing job making sure that we

control for several operations on the manufacturing floor.

employee in spring of 2015 while

has a different background and

were given guidance so that the transition was smooth. The support

I was the bridge between the engineer making design

finishing my Honors thesis. In my

major, and she caught some

system they provided me was incredible! My mentor Karleene was

changes and the union employees implementing them in the

last semester, I studied abroad

potential errors and helped

knowledgeable, supportive and caring. She eased me along the

tools. While I gained engineering experience, the biggest

at the Technical University of

improve the design. Mentoring

path of my research, helping me overcome stumbling blocks that

takeaways were skills in office small talk (critical to getting

Denmark and had a blast!

also increased my motivation to

I encountered. Her guidance extended far beyond her prescribed

any favors from colleagues!) and learning to navigate the

work diligently and produce results

duties — she really cared about me and wanted to see me succeed.

rules of a union shop. While design work and engineering

of which I could be proud.

Such a task might have been disorienting and overwhelming

Amy Yang ’18, and Brian Nardone ’17

I also gained a friend and a connection to the Class of 2018 as a

Summer research was more than just a fantastic academic

skills can easily be taught in a classroom, it takes a realKatelynn Hackett ’15

opportunity: It was the perfect transition to college life. From becoming

world experience such as an internship or co-op (or both!)

whole. Amy and I presented a poster at the Summer SURE Conference,

familiar with campus and making friends, to learning time-management

to learn how to be a good employee. The eight months I interned are

and talking shop with her over the summer was a great benefit.

skills, summer research provided me with an incomparable experience

worth several years of school. I feel I am now a better candidate for a

that I wouldn’t trade for the world!

full-time position and has a better understanding of what type of job I

memorable experience I have had in my college career. I always wanted

would like to pursue after I graduate.

to travel, but this opportunity gave

Matt McGuffey ’18 (Eng Studies)

Megan Borland ’16 (Biomol Sci) My semester abroad in Australia was by far the most rewarding and

I had a grand time doing summer research. It began after I graduated

Xulan Deng ’18 (Biomol Sci, Chem)

high school, driving three and a half hours up to Clarkson with a car

I was so excited to know that I could begin doing research before I

Khrystyna Dilai ’15 (ChemE)

went half way around the world, and

full of things I thought I might need. Most of it went home unused

would start college! During my pre-frosh summer research, I worked

I spent the summer at the University of Washington in the Amgen

was tossed onto a new continent

since the apartments are well-furnished, clean and quite homey. I

with my peer mentor Jessica Burl on a project “Enhancing adsorption

Scholars Program. My project was with Dr. Bloom at the Fred Hutchinson

and into a culture I had only ever

settled in and immediately began making friends with everyone. The

properties of metal-organic frameworks through post-synthetic

Cancer Research Center where

upper-class students were helpful and friendly, and each evening

modification” under the guidance of Prof. Mario Wriedt. It was so nice

I worked to determine a method

I quickly learned the true

Matt McGuffey ’18

me so much more than a vacation. I

read about.

we had activities such as swimming,

to have the taste of working in the lab, knowing what the routine was

for modeling protein secondary

meaning of independence and

soccer or Frisbee that created a sense

like and what skills and effort were expected. I built up my network by

structure using mutational

responsibility, with no family to

of community. My peer mentor Taylor

getting to know a lot of people, including freshmen who would spend

scan data for the flu virus using

fall back on, or friends to help me

Lenney took me into the lab and we

the next four years with me in the Honors Program, upperclassmen in

computational tools. In July, I had

out. I had to learn on the spot and,

went to work right away. She made

the Honors Program who would be able to give me advice, and even

the opportunity to tour the Amgen

as my Australian friends would

sure I was a part of the research team.

graduate students who worked with me in the lab. My peer mentor

facility in Los Angeles, as well as

always say, “just go with the flow.”

Megan Borland ’16

I assumed Australian culture was similar to the USA, but it was

My background in the sciences

played an important role in introducing

network and share my research

was helpful, though I was also

lab procedures that were totally new

with other Amgen Scholars

in fact different in many key ways. It opened my eyes to how easily

given some reading to do. Everyone

for me and provided personal guidance

from around the country. At the

my perceptions of the world are molded by movies and media. I had to

helped me prepare a sharp-looking

regarding my class schedule and

end of the summer, the program

throw out all of my stereotypes.

poster that I presented at the SURE

outside opportunities to get connected

members presented their work

conference. Most other students

with faculty members. I was asked

in poster and oral form at the

Opera House and the “Outback,” and petted kangaroos and koalas,

have to wait four years to have a

to work in the same lab again in the

UW Undergraduate Research

but these things aren’t what I will remember most about my visit.

fall semester. While living on campus

Symposium. In between lab work,

What will stay with me are the lessons that the people taught me

during summer research, I also

chance to do graduate-level research, but I did it as a “pre-frosh”

Xulan Deng ’18

Of course I visited all of the tourist attractions like the Sydney

I spent time exploring Seattle and

and the problem-solving skills I developed. I am lucky to have had

benefit of summer research is being prepared, well-connected and

became familiar with the school settings and its surroundings, which

Victoria, BC, as well as hiking the

the opportunity to visit such a beautiful place and get to know such

comfortable at Clarkson even before the opening day of the semester.

definitely made me feel less lost when school officially started.


just four days after graduating high school. Still, I think the greatest


Clarkson University

amazing people.

Khrystyna Dilai ’15


Honors Program

Graduate Updates

Alumni News


inguang (Dawson) Yang ’14 (Biomol Sci) began medical

school training at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and it has been an incredible experience. He is about to become a certified New York EMT and is working shifts on North Shore-LIJ Health System ambulances, evaluating and treating patients under the supervision of paramedics. Dawson realizes now how much medicine and health care is team-based and he is grateful to the Honors Program for providing invaluable teamwork skills. The group projects in Honors taught him how to collaborate and communicate in a team. Those skills are transferable and have prepared him for his next adventure in medicine.

Brad Beechler ’00

Samuel St. John ’03

Danielle (Petko) Frisch ’06

Last October, I took a

I am doing a post-doc at the University of

I just moved to Easton, Pa., with my husband,

position as a research

Tennessee, Knoxville. I’m working on investigating

Greg, who started a new job as an industrial

scientist at Vaisala in

membranes for anion-exchange membrane fuel

engineering manager at Mars Chocolate, but

Boulder.  I do all kinds

cells, as well as hydrogen oxidation catalysts in

I was able to stay with my company VWR

of work in data science

alkaline environments. Hopefully, I’ll soon have a

International as a production chemical specialist.

involving things like

faculty position.

We bought our first home after we moved and

Luke Dosiek ’04

celebrated our first wedding anniversary. It has

data assimilation, road weather, airport decision support, numerical weather prediction and defense. I also launched

Pinguang (Dawson) Yang ’14

a weather balloon to gather data for radiosonde research.

Karen Dawson ’14 (ChemE, Env Eng, Pol Sci)

Laura Zielewicz ’13 (Biomol Sci)

I’m currently in my first year of graduate school at MIT in the

When I graduated from Clarkson, I took a full-time job at Procter

Nuclear Science and Engineering Department. I’m working

& Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am working in Research &

with Dr. Golay on uncertainty propagation in thermal hydraulic

Development on product design for Febreze. I love my job!

behavior of nuclear power plants following an accident, such

My wife, Stephanie, and I moved from Wyoming

been a very busy but good year!

back to New York where I took a job with a

Lindsay (Hoffman) Reichlein ’07

government contractor in Rome. In September

I married John Reichlein, an electrical engineer

2013, we welcomed a baby girl, Evelyn Rose,

and Lehigh alumnus, on September 13, 2014. 

into the world. Since Steph is a St. Lawrence alum, it has been difficult trying to decide if SLU

Lindsay (Wood) Smith ’01

or Clarkson PJs are the correct choice ;-). It’s

My daughter, Lucinda Talley, was born on April 4 in

probably no coincidence then that she often wears

Burlington, Vermont. My husband, Sam, and I are

her UWyo outfits; compromise is an important

over the moon with love for her.

ingredient in a healthy marriage!

I first met P&G recruiters at the annual Clarkson Career

Trent Lalonde ’01

Melinda Au ’06

I recently celebrated my

I am pursuing my Ph.D. in Mathematics at the

There were four Honors alumni at the wedding:

as a loss of coolant water. We are considering the effect of

Fair where I got a co-op and internship with the company. In

first wedding anniversary

University of Texas at Arlington. I am happy to

this uncertainty on human operator actions if automatic safety

September, I returned to campus as a recruiter representing

with my wife, Mandi. During

report I have passed all my qualifying exams

systems fail. Our research will be used by EDF Energy. This

the company at the

spring 2014, I was promoted

and I am beginning research in numerical linear

Career Fair!

to associate professor of

algebra with applications to nonnegative matrix

Clarkson alumni in all!

work will culminate in my master’s thesis and could

I am very grateful

Ricci ’06 and Bethann Parmelee ’12 — and 20

Applied Statistics at the

factorization and compressive sensing. I expect

Mathew Wolcott ’07

potentially turn into my

to the Honors Program

University of Northern

to graduate in 2016. On Nov. 8, I competed in

In May 2014, I completed my M.S. in Mechanical

Ph.D. thesis.

for providing me


the 2014-2015 TEXAS Regional Yoga Asana

Engineering concentrating in design optimization

Amarda Shehu ’02

Championship in Dallas, Texas.

from University at Buffalo. I am currently working

I just became an associate professor in the

Timothy Deschenes ’06

as an application engineering supervisor

Department of Computer Science at George

My wife, Emily, and I welcomed our first child,

Mason University in Virginia. I am married to

Michaela Katharine Deschenes, on July 5,

Erion Plaku ’02 who also received an M.Sc. in

2012. We were able to watch the Boston

Computer Science. We have a three-year-old-

fireworks display from our delivery room! I keep

daughter, Olivia, and are expecting a second

busy between chasing a toddler and work.  I was

baby. We miss Clarkson.

awarded Spectral Sciences, Inc. Scientist of the

My husband, Todd Deshane ’03, ’04 (SE, MS CS)

Year award for 2012 and elected the same year

I live in Cambridge,

Karen Dawson ’14

Kate Bellor ’07, Nelson Greening ’07, Justin

with the tools and

Mass., with other

resources to obtain

Clarkson alumni from my

these opportunities

sorority Phi Sigma Sigma.

through one-on-one

Clarkson’s network really

advising on resume

is everywhere! I work for

building, workshops on

a private tutoring company

interview skills and just

Cambridge Coaching,

always being there to

and have had the chance

help in every way.

to tutor high school to

What I love most

college-level students.

about the Honors

and I, Patricia DeShane ’02, ’03, ’04, ’10 (Ma, Laura Zielewicz ’13

Through this organization, I dedicated some of my time to helping

Program is the

at-risk high school students graduate through an organization

close-knit community. Faculty, staff and students are always

called BUILD.

there for inspiration and guidance along your journey through

When I’m not doing research, tutoring or schoolwork, I’m either

college to career.

running along the Charles River or hiking and enjoying the beautiful

MBA, MS IT, PhD ES) would like to announce the birth of our son, Toby Jay Deshane, on October 23, 2014. He was born at 6 pounds,

New England environment. I recently ran the Mt. Washington Road

15 ounces and 20 1/2

Race and in November completed my first marathon with my sister.

Clarkson University

engineering group responsible for design and testing of support mat in emission control devices in North America. I live on the Erie Canal with my wife, Jessica; cat Scrambles; 13 laying hens all named Pikachu; and a hive of bees too numerous to name here. Rest assured that one is named

to serve on SSI’s board of directors. I work on the

Dr. Craig and one is named Dr. Shen.

development of rarefied gas flow and radiation

Bradley Buchheit ’08

models for various government and commercial

I received my MD from the University at Buffalo

customers. The Deschenes Family spent the

in May 2014 and I am currently in the Family

past Father’s Day taking in a Red Sox game and

Medicine residency program at Boston Medical

running the bases at Fenway Park. Dad and

Center in Boston, Mass.

Michaela were equally excited to bang on the Green Monster.

inches long.


for Unifrax in Tonawanda, N.Y. I oversee the


Honors Program

Alumni Updates

Graduation Speaker

Matthew Lanahan ’08

Melissa (Van Kleeck) Rose ’09

Angela (Dapolite) Lyons ’10

Last August after my sixth anniversary with

I married Craig Rose ’07 on August 16, 2014,

I am still residing in New Hampshire with my

IBM, I resigned from my position to take a new

in Concord, N.H., at a planetarium and it was

husband Stephen Lyons ’10. We were married in

job at a startup company. The local branch of

awesome! I successfully defended my thesis

December 2013. My husband accepted a position

my new employer, Global Silicon Studios, Inc.

on Oct. 31 and

as a Physical Therapist in Nashua and we moved

(GSSI), comprises previous coworkers from

graduated with my

to Concord last summer. I continue teaching

IBM. My role is basically the same (developing

Ph.D. in December!

chemistry and math at Winnisquam Regional High

embedded memories for use in ASIC and

I am continuing at

School in Tilton. Also, we are very excited about

foundry chip designs), but the atmosphere is

Argonne National

the birth of our first child in mid-April.

one of growth and optimism.

Laboratory as

In February, I was awarded my first U.S.

a post-doctoral

patent. This was a group invention, filed jointly

researcher. I also

with three other members of my team, pertaining

went to Idaho

to embedded dynamic random access memory

Falls last fall to

(eDRAM) architecture. http://www.uspto.gov/

present at the


2014 International Pyroprocessing Research


Conference. Craig became the Chicago Clarkson

Last year my girlfriend Brittany and I adopted two Siberian Husky pups, Ragnar (black male) and Zarya (grey female). As one would expect, they love the snow and their favorite word is “mush.”

Alumni Chapter President and that makes me “first lady” so that is keeping us busy too. 


by Kaitlyn Dunn

r. Kathryn Johnson ’00 was our speaker at

particularly values her Honors thesis experience — to create a robotic

Honors graduation last May and she told the Class of 2014 about climate

arm to assist in rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries — as it helped her

change and the importance of standing up for what you believe in. At

decide her area of specialization in graduate school.

Clarkson, Katie was a standout cross-country skier and runner and

Katie lives in Boulder, Colo., with her husband, Curt Stevens ’01.

she was inducted into Clarkson’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010 for her

She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University

accomplishments on the Women’s Nordic Ski Team, which includes three

of Colorado – Boulder and she is now associate professor of Electrical

consecutive USCSA national

Engineering and Computer Science at Colorado School of Mines with a

titles. Katie cites her own

joint appointment at the National Wind Technology Center of the National

experience as evidence that

Renewable Energy Lab.

Brendan Leach ’10 (Dec.)

athletics is invaluable to the

Every year I try to go on one big adventure. On my

personal growth of students.

last trip to Peru, some friends and I met people

Katie was in the first

who had gone on an Everest Base Camp trip. My

Honors class at Clarkson

buddies and I decided after hearing about their

and also excelled in the

experience we would do the same. We picked the

classroom, receiving the

dates, bought our tickets and then it became real.

prestigious Levinus Clarkson

After 30 hours of traveling, we spent our first full

Award. She “fondly” recalls

day sitting in the airport waiting to fly to Lukla, the

the challenges of her sophomore project, which involved designing a

most dangerous airport in the world. After weather

computer game related to the environment in the Adirondacks. She

Ryan Watkins ’09

delays, we chartered a private helicopter which

After graduating from Clarkson, I moved to

was incredible and we began our trek. The first

Jessica (Rocheleau) Fadden ’08

Ann Arbor to attend graduate school at the

few days the weather was miserable, cloudy and

It’s been a busy year for me! This past December,

University of Michigan. I am in the Ph.D. program

rainy but it worked out because as we got closer

I started a new job as a structural engineer with

in Aerospace Engineering and will be graduating

to the Base Camp everything started clearing up

Jennifer Sidletsky ’11

smart growth forms, and designed trackers in

Yarong Lin ’14

and we had spectacular views. The people we

Ben Ritz ’13 and I became engaged at midnight

Excel to keep track of the work we do in Region 1

I have started the Materials Science and

C&S Engineers

within the year and moving to wherever the job

in Syracuse, N.Y.,

market takes me (hopefully somewhere

on November 7,

Planning. I’ve also been working on the region’s

Engineering M.S./Ph.D. program at Columbia

working in the

warm). I’ve continued to travel over the past

2014, our five-year

portion of the local highway inventory.

University. This program is interdisciplinary with

Industrial and

couple of years going to Munich, Prague

anniversary. We

Devon Jedamski ’13

a strong emphasis on solid state physics and

Airport Facilities

and Aruba to name a few. While in Ann

celebrated by

group. In the

Arbor, my girlfriend, Corinne, and I take in all

playing with LEGOs.

same month, I

that the greater Detroit area has to offer.

Pietro Giovenco ’12

married on August 9

James Callahan ’10

Last August, I graduated from Clemson University

to Christiana Farrell in

In March 2014, I moved in with my

with my master’s in Automotive Engineering. I am

Richmond, Virginia!

girlfriend, Kerry, in Pittsburgh, Pa. Since

now working as a powertrain planning manager

2011, I’ve been working as a mechanical

for Chrysler in Detroit, Mich. 

engineer for Bechtel Marine Propulsion

Anthony Sinopoli ’12

I am working with

I married Anne Hawn ’08 in New York. I graduated

Burn Manufacturing

from the OMLP program at GE and have started

in Nairobi, Kenya.

a full-time job as the quality lead for locomotive

We research, design and manufacture

Panel, Device and Unit Exchange area.

clean-burning cookstoves for East Africa.

Valerie Deane ’13

Cooking is currently one of the most deadly

earned my P.E. license in New York state! On August 22, 2014, I married my best friend and fellow Clarkson alum Andrew Fadden ’07 in my home church in Saint Albans, Vermont. We spent 10 days in Riviera Maya, Mexico, for our honeymoon.

Corporation (originally in Schenectady, N.Y., and now outside Pittsburgh.) BMPC is

Kristina Dupre ’08 (Dec.)

a government-owned, contractor-operated

After graduating, I worked for IBM for a year and

organization dedicated to the support of

a half, Electric Boat for three and a half and now

the United States Naval Nuclear Propulsion

I work for a small IT firm CapTech Consulting in

Program. In my position, I perform mechanical

Charlotte, N.C. I married my college sweetheart

and structural analyses of core components and

in 2012 and have two large dogs. I’m still trying to

reactor heavy equipment for SEAWOLF class

figure out what I want to do when I grow up, but in

submarines and NIMITZ class aircraft carriers.

met were absolutely amazing and from all over the world (Utah, Florida, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, UK, Dubai). I definitely made some lifelong friends that I hope to visit in the future.

the meantime IT consulting is interesting!


Clarkson University

In May 2014, I moved to Latham, N.Y., and started a job as a transportation analyst at the New York State Department of Transportation. I’ve been managing the traffic count program, filling out

crystallography. I have been taking five courses and

The biggest update

working as a teaching assistant for Linear Algebra.

for me is getting

Meanwhile, I am considering my Ph.D. research field and advisor. The Honors Program at Clarkson has definitely trained me to take challenges and become confident to prepare a research project.


Nicole Traphagen ’14

McKinney ’13

I am living in Pensacola, Fla. Since there is not much biochemistry going on around here, I got a part-time job teaching toddlers how to swim.  It’s

and environmentally harmful activities in the developing world, due to inefficient and unsustainable use of firewood and charcoal as cooking fuel.

not what I thought I would be doing, but working with the little kids is a lot of fun. I’m also tutoring high school and college students in chemistry, biology and math. Living in Florida is great. Pensacola has some of the best beaches in the country, and bringing a book and a picnic lunch to the gorgeous beach is one of my favorite ways to spend a weekend!


Honors Program


The Honors Program Box 5755 8 Clarkson Avenue Potsdam, NY 13699



Give to the Honors Program The Honors Program is raising funds to support educational enhancement opportunities for our talented students, particularly study abroad, travel to conferences and our signature summer research experience. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift. To make a gift online, go to www.clarkson.edu/giveback. Choose “Other” for a gift designation, noting it is a commitment to Honors. By mail, make your check payable to “Clarkson University” and designated to Honors and send to the Honors Program at the return address above. To donate shares, which might have tax advantages, please see transfer instructions at www.clarkson.edu/e2e/make_gift.html or call Clarkson toll-free at 877-9CU-GIFT or 877-928-4438. Thank you for your support!

The Honors Program at Clarkson University Clarkson University Honors Program Box 5755 8 Clarkson Avenue Potsdam, NY 13699 315-268-2290/2320 [email protected] www.clarkson.edu/honors

Social Media Facebook: www.facebook.com/clarksonhonors Twitter: www.twitter.com/clarksonhonors Linkedin: Search for the group “Clarkson University Honors Program”

Clarkson University does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status in provision of educational opportunity or employment opportunities and benefits.

RC 2/15 750 CP


Honors Alumni Newsletter - Spring 2015 - Clarkson University

Clarkson University’s SPRING 2015 This Issue Scholarships Athletic Highlights Sophomore Project Special Projects Summer Research Co-ops, REUs, Interns...

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