UNC Computer Science recognizes more than 300 graduates in annual commencement

Helen Qin receives the Weiss Award
Helen Qin receives the Weiss Award for Outstanding Achievement in Computer Science from Professor Emeritus Stephen F. Weiss.
Gabi Stein delivers the Class of 2019 address
Gabriela Stein delivers her address to the Class of 2019, their family and friends, and the faculty of the Department of Computer Science.
Josh Bakita laughs as Department Chair Kevin Jeffay reads excerpts from his nominations for the Glotzer Teaching Assistant Award
Joshua Bakita laughs as Department Chair Kevin Jeffay reads excerpts from his nominations for the Glotzer TA Award.

The UNC Department of Computer Science celebrated its summer 2018, winter 2018, and spring 2019 graduates with an annual ceremony in Carmichael Arena. With 335 graduates, the 2019 event was the largest to date.

The department recognized 16 doctor of philosophy degrees, 23 master of science degrees, 173 bachelor of science degrees, 123 bachelor of arts degrees, and 60 undergraduate minors that had been earned over the past year. The number of undergraduate degree earners increased by more than fifty percent from 2018.

Among the undergraduate degree earners were four graduating with honors, two graduating with highest honors, 28 Phi Beta Kappa inductees, six Buckley Public Service Scholars, four Chancellor’s Science Scholars, and three Morehead-Cain Scholars.

Several graduating students and faculty members were also recognized with individual awards at the event. The undergraduate Class of 2019 honored professor Donald Porter with the Undergraduate Faculty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Professors Montek Singh and James Anderson were recognized by the graduate Computer Science Student Association with the CSSA Excellence in Teaching Award.

Graduating master’s student Joshua Bakita received the John M. Glotzer Teaching Assistant Award. Graduating senior Nicholas Rewkowski was recognized with the Learning Assistant Award, which was renamed in honor of retiring Director of Undergraduate Studies Diane Pozefsky. Another graduating senior, Helen Qin, was awarded the Stephen F. Weiss Award for Outstanding Achievement in Computer Science. All three students will have their names added to plaques hanging in the lower lobby of Sitterson Hall.

Morehead-Cain Scholar Gabriela Stein was selected by a vote of the undergraduate Class of 2019 to deliver a commencement speech. Stein stressed the need for her fellow students and the Department of Computer Science to continue to make inclusiveness a priority in the field. In February, The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UNC among the top computer science departments in the nation in terms of the percentage of bachelor’s degrees awarded to women and the percentage change since 2009-2010. 

Prior to the department-wide commencement in Carmichael Arena, all graduating students were invited to a reception in Sitterson Hall and Brooks Building, where they were served cake and ice cream by computer science faculty and alumni.

Photos of each graduating student were taken at Carmichael Arena by Photo Specialties. If you would like to purchase photos from the event, please email info@photospecialties.com or call 919-967-9576.

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