University of California, Riverside

Bourns College of Engineering

BCOE Confers Nearly 400 Degrees, Honors Fellows at Commencement 2012

BCOE Confers Nearly 400 Degrees, Honors Fellows at Commencement 2012

July 13, 2012

For More Information

Office of Communications and Marketing
Bourns Hall, Suite 445
Work(951) 827-2988

Commencement 2012The Bourns College of Engineering conferred nearly 400 bachelor of science, master of science, and Ph.D. degrees and recognized two long-time supporters with Fellow of the College honors at UC Riverside's 58th annual commencement ceremony Monday, June 18, 2012.

View the video and slide show of this year's ceremony.

The college awarded 79 Ph.D. degrees this year, a ratio of nearly one for every faculty member. "It has been a long-time goal for us to achieve one Ph.D. for every faculty member," said Reza Abbaschian, dean of the college. "This achievement would not be possible without the individual and collective efforts of our faculty, staff and students."

Dean Reza AbbaschianAbbaschian (photo, left), who presided over the ceremony, told the graduates, "You have completed a rigorous program that provides you with the knowledge and skills to solve the world's most pressing problems. It is now your responsibility to use those talents to shape the future of our world. Whether your career path takes you to private industry, government, or academia, as a Bourns graduate, you are among a select group of highly skilled engineers who are able to make a real difference in improving the quality of life for people around the world. "

Fellows Marlan Bourns and Jack YeagerPrior to the awarding of the degrees, Abbaschian and UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White recognized the support of the college of Marlan Bourns (with Chancellor White in left photo) and Jacques S. "Jack" Yeager, Sr. (with Chancellor White in right photo), by naming them Fellows of the Bourns College of Engineering. The college may grant the title of Fellow of the College to deserving recipients whose work, achievement, or philanthropy has distinctly advanced the mission and values of the college and whose conduct or reputation has brought great distinction to the college or the field of engineering. Read more about Bourns and Yeager and their legacy of support... 

Roche familyChancellor White also recognized the posthumous awarding of the B.S. degree in materials science and engineering to Colin Roche, who died in late March: "On a very somber note, I would like to acknowledge the Roche family who are here today on behalf of their son Colin. This family has been through more than any family should bear. We are honored that his mother Diane will accept Colin's baccalaureate degree in materials science and engineering being awarded posthumously. Our hearts go out to the Roche family." (The Roche family is pictured here with Dean Abbaschian and Chancellor White.)

Chancellor Timothy P. WhiteWhite (photo, right) also offered what he referred to as "the obligatory words of wisdom" by quoting UCR professor Juan Felipe Herrera, poet laureate of California: "Juan Felipe believes that living our promise as we do here at the university brings with it certain responsibilities. To quote him, I say, 'To live the promise, we must be the promise: first to ourselves, then to our family, and finally to the world.'

"Juan Felipe continues by saying, 'the promise rises from the center of our hearts, made of small things: of kindness, of curiosity, of conversation, and always a steady listening and learning.'

"I hope that you will continue to live your promise, not only for yourselves, but for everyone whose life you touch. And as you journey forward I wish you sufficient humility and confidence to ask for help and advice, sufficient wisdom to select what is needed, and sufficient generosity to use that knowledge to serve others with kindness, especially for those individuals who have been pushed to the margins of society, and whose rights and opportunities have been ignored, or worse yet, stepped upon.

"Use your knowledge to inform your actions in service to others. This is an obligation and an expectation of being an alumnus of the University of California. You will find no deeper satisfaction for having done so."

Daniel KimDaniel Kim '89 (photo, left), secretary-treasurer of the UCR alumni association, welcomed the graduates to the ranks of the 90,000 UCR alumni throughout the world in saying, "Just as your predecessors have invested in you, so too must you work to preserve the excellence, access and affordability of a world-class research university experience. We encourage you to maintain strong ties to UCR, return often, and play an active role in your University of California."

Tony HeyThe ceremony's keynote speaker was Tony Hey (photo, right), corporate vice president for Microsoft Research Connections, who told the graduates and guests, "During my time running the UK Science Project, it became clear to me that one of the important areas that is coming in the future is the need for data scientists. People who understand and can manipulate, manage and mine huge amounts of data. In the next five years, we will collect more scientific data than we have in the whole of human history.

"I think it's really worthwhile keeping your personal and professional integrity. I really believe you'll be happier that way. You'll need to be adaptable, and I'm really pleased to see you have teamwork and multidisciplinary built into your course here and that will be essential for the future of what you do in engineering. It's important to have a good life and to do something you care about that will create, in the words of Andrew Carnegie, 'some real and permanent good.' My last piece of advice is: try to have some fun on the way."

Mary GauvainGupta, Kisailus, MorikisMary Gauvain (carrying mace in photo, left), chair of the UCR Academic Senate served as grand marshal for the ceremony and recognized BCOE faculty who earned campus awards during the academic year. They include Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Rajiv Gupta (left on photo), who was selected by the UCR Graduate Council and Graduate Division as co-recipient of the 2012 Doctoral Advisor/Mentor Award, and Winston Chung Professor of Energy Innovation David Kisailus (Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering - center in photo) and Professor of Bioengineering Dimitrios Morikis (right in photo), who were awarded the 2011–12 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research.

Amrik Singh Poonian Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Tamar Shinar served as faculty marshal for the ceremony. Students chosen to represent their class included John Reaver, B.S., mechanical engineering, who served as student marshal; Daisy Jimenez, B.S., bioengineering, who served as baccalaureate tassel turner; and Amir Rustamzadeh, B.S. electrical engineering, who delivered the student address. Paul Michael Atienza '02, '10 M.A. led the audience with rousing versions of the National Anthem and the UCR alma mater.

Amir RustamzadehIn his remarks, Rustamzadeh (photo, left) said, "Today we are accepting a credential, but more importantly, we are accepting a responsibility: the responsibility to improve the world with our specialized skills and expertise.

"Don't accept the status quo if you don't agree with it or you don't believe in it. Do something about it. Don't sit there and stay quiet. Speak up. Your thoughts and your actions matter. If something's broken, fix it. It is your job as an engineer to do so and it all our jobs as a generation to leave the world behind better that when it was handed over to us.

"The most important advice I can give to anyone at this stage in life: make sure you have a passion for whatever you do. I'm sure passion is a common word we hear about pursuing a career path, but the reason you hear the word so often in this context is because it is truly the most essential ingredient for a successful and happier life."

White and Abbaschian were joined by Dean of Graduate Affairs Joseph Childers in conferring the degrees. Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies Mark Matsumoto and Associate Dean of Student Academic Affairs Chinya Ravishankar introduced the candidates.

Commencement receptionDiploma backgroundThe evening concluded with a reception for graduates and their families and guests on the patio of the second floor of Winston Chung Hall, where more than 1,000 guests had the opportunity to greet faculty and friends and enjoy music, food and drink, a slide show of photos from the ceremony, and take photos in front of large mock diploma backgrounds.


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

College Information

Bourns College of Engineering
446 Winston Chung Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5190
Fax: (951) 827-3188