CETA Graduates Setting Their Sights on Success
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CETA Graduates Setting Their Sights on Success

adam haggettIt’s only the beginning for the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture’s (CETA) Class of 2018 as more than 150 graduates took off their caps and gowns this weekend to step into exciting careers, graduate school, and new opportunities. In his opening remarks to undergraduates, Dean Lou Manzione reminded students of their accomplishments. “You have one of the most important and hard-earned credentials in higher education,” he shared. “You have the ability to design products and our buildings, build our bridges and roads, create new generations of electronics, and life-saving medical devices. You’ll be innovators and inventors, and the world will benefit from your work.”

Board of Visitor and Alumna of the Year Micaela Bulich ’85, also delivered an inspirational message, urging students to, “find companies and organizations that help you make a difference while you make a living.”

Meet some of CETA’s 2018 graduates and learn more about their plans for the future:

Acoustical engineering and music major Jarrett Lagler ’18, who graduated Summa cum laude and received the University’s coveted Belle K. Ribicoff Prize for academic excellence and service, is taking his degree and experience to Apple. He will work as an acoustical engineer alongside the company’s product teams. While at UHart, Lagler served as chapter president for the Acoustical Society of America, conducted research with Assistant Professor Eoin King where he will be credited as co-author of a publication, and served as a physics lab teaching assistant.

Samantha Nyser ’18 is ready to immerse herself in the study of water. “It happens to be my favorite subject in a professional environment,” she says. Now, the civil engineering major can dive in full time as she takes on a roll as a staff engineer for Westfield, Mass.-based engineering and consulting firm Tighe and Bond. Nyser will be working in a group that focuses on projects related to wastewater, stormwater, and dams. She offers some advice to future students: “Be less intimidated by any engineering stereotypes you might have in your mind, and get involved with the American Society of Civil engineers as soon as possible.”

A runner at heart, Architectural Engineering Technology major Kaitlyn King is packing her cross trainers and preparing her portfolio for a trip abroad. The former Track & Field student athlete is moving to New Zealand to pursue working in an architectural firm, with eventual plans to complete her master’s in architecture. “I studied at the University of Auckland in New Zealand the spring of my junior year and loved it and the surrounding architecture,” she says. “I want to go back and gain even more experience.”

Wesaam Lepak ’18 will continue studying acoustics and vibration in Purdue University Master’s of Engineering program. But before then, he’ll complete his second NASA summer internship, this time at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. working on the structural dynamics analysis of solid rocket motors. Lepak says he, “made the most of my four years at CETA, not only landing two competitive NASA internships, but also having great opportunities to practice my skills, like flying to Kennedy Space Center for SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy maiden launch to create a training video for future students.” Watch the video here.

When Paul Mangelsdorf ‘18 found himself with some downtime between classes, he had two great options to choose from. The acoustical engineering and music major either played the saxophone or headed to the racetrack. As president of UHart’s Green 707 Club, which set a new club track test record for its electric-powered Chevy S10 pickup, he’s ready to take new challenges leaving his home state of New York for Raleigh, N.C. He is joining Thorburn Associates as an assistant acoustical consultant. His message to future CETA graduates: “Take opportunities of all kinds. Go on all AcoustialAcoustical Society of America (ASA) trips, take on extra projects, go for the interview you think you can’t get.”

Electrical engineering major Adam Haggett ’18 recently accepted an offer to work for General Dynamics Electric Boat as an electrical engineer. He intends to continue pursuing his educational goals by earning his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at UHart. He also hopes that within the next five years, “I can begin working on a doctoral degree so that I can educate and encourage others during their college career." Haggett recently placed first in the senior design expo for his “Passive Motorcycle Accident Detection and Response” project. The system is a physical device that can be placed on motorcycles and is designed to call 911 directly using a synthesized human voice, saving lives and dramatically reducing the time required to receive help.

Thienly Nguyen ’18 majored in biomedical engineering. She’ll be taking a full-time position as a specialist in the Education and Workforce Development department at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), one of CETA’s many strategic partners. She began as an intern delivering STEM and manufacturing workshops at various Connecticut schools. The internship, says Nguyen, “sparked my interest in STEM education and I am looking into potential paths along this route, whether it be grad school for teaching or a career in education programming.” 

For highlights of Commencement 2018, click here.