Hard Hat Ceremony celebrates excellence in the School of Computing and Engineering

After two years of virtual ceremonies, the in-person 8th annual Hard Hat Ceremony was buoyed by the exuberance and pride of presenters and participants.

Interim Dean of the School of Computing and Engineering Lynn Byers hosted the April 8 ceremony, with 225 students recognized for a myriad of accomplishments.

Seventy-seven were presented the initial achievement award and awarded their bright yellow hard hats (monogrammed with the iconic navy Q). Eighty-three students were commended for the advanced achievement award with a sticker, and 69 students were celebrated for their pending graduation in May with a graduation year sticker.

Mechanical, software, civil, computer science and industrial engineering students earned accolades for their work.

Students were also recognized for more individualized efforts.

Greek letter stickers signified excellence in leadership, academic, research, competition, volunteer, internship, philanthropy and special areas. Philanthropy is a new recognition, with 10 students noted for a monetary contribution to the School of Computing and Engineering.

Mechanical engineering major and math minor Gina Greco ’22 is the first to have been awarded every Greek letter. She said she is grateful for the close relationships she has with each of her professors, as well as her peers.

“I feel Quinnipiac prepared me well for my future careers, especially through the many hands-on projects I’ve done,” said Greco. “My senior design project allowed me to go through the entire engineering process start to finish from design to prototype which will be extremely useful post-graduation.”

The dean’s special award went to the department’s makerspace superusers and its student ambassadors. Faculty member Mark Hoffman was recognized with the professor emeritus certificate.

Becky Spalthoff, senior director of marketing and communications, was named the 2022 Friend of the School of Computing and Engineering for her continued outstanding support of the department.

“My first Hard Hat Ceremony was in January 2017, and it was my first Quinnipiac event. I stepped into the room, and I knew I had landed an incredible opportunity. Seeing the community, and faculty and student relationships, blew me away,” said Spalthoff, after she received a faculty-specific navy-blue hard hat. “It goes to show you never know where your career path is going to take you, and sometimes it’s even better than you expected. I am proud to partner with this school because the work being done here is developing incredible leaders that will go on to make the world a better place..”

And for those still amid their academic journey, the department offers a unique opportunity to prepare for future vocation.

“Rather than just focusing on the specifics of a new programming language and how to use it, the professors also focus on general topics and skills that are easily translatable to other languages as well,” said Michael Merritt ’23. “In a field like computer science where the standards and practices are constantly evolving, being able to quickly learn new skills like this is invaluable no matter the career path and will help me keep up with the constantly evolving environment.”

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