Eight Commencement celebrations — four undergraduate, three graduate and for the first time, a separate a Ph.D. Commencement ceremony — capped off a year like no other in Stevens’, and the world’s, history. Instead of a traditional one-day Commencement with two ceremonies as in years past, the series of celebrations was held over three days to ensure social distancing, in accordance with the State of New Jersey and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines.
Class of 2021 graduates celebrate outside the Meadowlands Expo Center (Photo Credit: Kathy Cacicedo)
Proud family members and friends cheered on the graduates, some in person at the Meadowlands Expo Center and others via live stream across the country and around the world. Spirits were high at the culmination of a challenging year and as graduates look forward to new and exciting pursuits. Many are moving on to careers in a wide range of industries, including business and finance, bioengineering, defense, pharmaceutical engineering, robotics and more, and others will continue their education at graduate school.
Yanxia Lin, who earned her doctorate in environmental engineering, will soon begin her new job as a staff engineer at Haley & Aldrich, a New York City-based environmental consulting firm. While she was disappointed that her family couldn’t share her special day in person, she was grateful that they could watch virtually. “My family is in China and they could not travel at this time, but my best friends from Stevens are here,” she said, adding that the friends and mentors she’s met during her time at Stevens have made it her “home away from home.”
Kenneth Asah was excited that his family was able to attend the ceremony where he received the diploma that made his master’s degree in construction engineering and management official. His parents and two brothers traveled from his hometown in Ghana to celebrate the occasion with him. “I’m proud of myself for taking the chance of going to another land where things are completely different and still being able to keep my head right in this,” said Asah, who graduated with an impressive 3.93 grade point average.President Congratulates the “Next Generation of Pioneers, Innovators and Global Citizens”
Stevens President Nariman Farvardin (Photo Credit: Kathy Cacicedo)
The Commencement ceremonies began with a processional video of candidates as Stevens’ seventh President, Nariman Farvardin, Provost Christophe Pierre and a member of the Stevens Board of Trustees — different for each ceremony — took the stage. Their entrance was followed by a performance of the national anthem pre-recorded by the President’s Ensemble.
In his opening remarks, President Farvardin congratulated graduates on their hard-won achievements during unprecedented times.
“The past year has undoubtedly been a time of tremendous disruption and generation-defining change,” he said. “You have proven yourselves to be adaptable, tenacious, and resilient in the face of many unexpected challenges, and you have persevered.”
He assured graduates that they now possessed the education, experience, wisdom and determination to overcome whatever obstacles they may face, and to make important contributions to society.
“You are well prepared to recognize and take advantage of all the world will offer you in your professional and personal lives,” he said, “to identify and solve the thorny problems we face as a society, and to be the next generation of pioneers, technology innovators and global citizens that our world needs.”Doctor and Global Healthcare Leader Encourages Graduates to Challenge Themselves, Seek Out Diverse Experiences
2021 Undergraduate Commencement speaker Giovanni Caforio, M.D., board chair and CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb
President Farvardin introduced the 2021 Undergraduate Commencement speaker Giovanni Caforio, M.D., board chair and CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb. For his commitment to transforming patients’ lives through science and advocacy, Dr. Caforio was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy, Honoris Causa.
In his keynote address, Dr. Caforio urged graduates to build upon the foundation they established at Stevens and to seek out as many experiences as possible to acquire diversity of thought and grow as scholars, professionals and people.
Sharing his own career journey from medicine to leading a global biopharmaceutical company, Dr. Caforio said that growth requires risk-taking. “I want to be honest and tell you this is not always easy,” he said. “It is not easy to move out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself in different ways. But remember this: growth and comfort are incompatible.”
While Dr. Caforio acknowledged the importance of a fulfilling professional life, he advised graduates to invest in their personal relationships as well. “Decide which values are most important to you and never deviate from them,” he said. “Grow personally to grow professionally. Become a better person to be a better leader.”Honoring Nine First-in-Class Graduates
Nine students in the Class of 2021 shared the distinction of attaining a perfect 4.0 GPA, the highest number of first-in-class honorees in Stevens’ history. Sarah Bertussi, Ivana Bozinovska, Michael Di Pentima, Alexis Fryc, Kevin Gmelin, Ian Kruithof, Ryan Ludemann, Stephen Lysak and Ian Mauser were recognized at Commencement for achieving exceptional academic honors. Each student recorded a speech, all of which are available on the Stevens YouTube channel. At the undergraduate ceremonies, a compilation video made of up excerpts of their speeches was shown to their fellow graduates and attendees in the venue.
Class of 2021 First in Class speeches
During their time at Stevens, the students’ collective experiences include clubs and honor societies, research, and study abroad. They also held internships at organizations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, Merck, Panasonic Corporation and Walt Disney World.
Sarah Bertussi, who earned both Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering degrees, credited Stevens for making life-changing internship experiences possible and remarked on the unwavering support and encouragement of mentors like Dean of Students Kenneth Nilsen.
“That desire to support one another is something I see constantly and is one of the things that made my time at Stevens special to me — someone always had your back and wanted to see you make it just as much as you wanted to,” she said.
The other first-in-class honorees echoed their gratitude for the support they received during their college years.
“The community at Stevens is truly special, and for me personally, the passion and care of those in the music and technology program will stick with me for the rest of my life,” said Stephen Lysak, who earned a bachelor’s degree in music and technology.
Michael Di Pentima, who earned a bachelor’s degree in quantitative finance, urged graduates, no matter what their next destinations, to continue to fight for their dreams. “Promise me…that no matter what life throws your way, be it joy or strife, hell or high water, or, yes, even a global pandemic, you will continue to press forward and strive to make your dreams a reality.”Rise Above Adversity and Lead with Compassion
2021 Graduate Commencement speaker Dr. Allan E. Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education (IIE)
Dr. Allan E. Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education (IIE), delivered the keynote address at the graduate ceremonies as well as the Ph.D. Commencement. For his many contributions in international relations and education, Dr. Goodman was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy, Honoris Causa.
In his speech to graduates, Dr. Goodman considered the pandemic and the effect it has had on the state of the world. “We know that [historically] international education and exchanges actually continue during pandemics and substantially grow afterwards,” he said. “This pandemic will also end and as it does, will reinforce the message that science and learning from all over the world will have saved us.”
Members of the graduate Class of 2021 gather outside of the Meadowlands Expo Center (Photo Credit: Kathy Cacicedo)
He added that the pandemic provided opportunities for graduates to rise above adversity and to practice compassion, a hallmark of a Stevens education. Dr. Goodman also acknowledged the many members of the Stevens community who have volunteered to help local businesses, improve hybrid education models and assist people in locating sites for COVID-19 testing and inoculations.
He concluded his speech with Stevens’ Latin motto “per aspera ad astra”— “through adversity to the stars” — calling it particularly apt for the times. “This class certainly knows adversity at first hand, but you also know the stars by which to navigate as we push to the finish line.”Recognizing Faculty Excellence and the Promise of the Class of 2021
Dr. Christophe Pierre, provost and vice president for academic affairs, expressed confidence in the graduates’ future success and asked them to stay connected with professors and mentors who guided them along their academic journeys.
“Our professors are driving Stevens forward, building its reputation as a university dedicated to the development of knowledge and the application of technology toward addressing complex challenges and contributing to human progress,” he said.
In recognition of faculty excellence, Trustee Joseph DiPompeo, on behalf of the Stevens Board of Trustees, conferred an honorary Master of Engineering degree upon an esteemed faculty member: Souran Manoochehri – the chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
He also acknowledged the recipients of this year’s faculty awards: Antonia Zaferiou (Early Career Award for Research Excellence); Brendan Englot (Award for Research Excellence); Hongjun Wang (Jess Davis Memorial Award for Research Excellence); Ying Wu (Harvey N. Davis Distinguished Teaching Assistant Professor Award); Patricia Muisener (Alexander Crombie Humphreys Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor Award); Leslie Brunell (Henry Morton Distinguished Teaching Professor Award); Lindsey Cormack (Award for Excellence in Online Teaching); and Dibyendu “Dibs” Sarkar (Award for Distinguished University Service).
As graduates turned their tassels and took their place among more than 50,000 Stevens alumni around the world, they parted with the encouragement and inspiring words of President Farvardin:
“Your time at Stevens has shaped the person you are today,” he said. “But you now are equipped to shape your future. Whatever your future holds, I am sure of one thing. You will step up to any challenge and create a better future for all of us.
Members of the Class of 2021 celebrating their achievement outside of the Meadowland Expo Center
Stevens Institute of Technology Continues Collaboration with Noodle to Add Three New Online Master’s Degrees
HOBOKEN, N.J., May 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Stevens Institute of Technology, a premier research and technology-centric university in Hoboken, N.J., is continuing its collaboration with Noodle, the fastest growing online learning network in the country, to further broaden its offerings of online classes at the master’s level.
This month, Stevens launched three new online master’s degree programs, supported by a technologically advanced platform that features synchronous learning and interactive networking opportunities with world-class faculty and students. The three programs are:
Stevens Institute of Technology Continues Collaboration with Noodle to Add Three New Online Master’s DegreesMaster of Science in Business Intelligence & Analytics / School of BusinessMaster of Engineering in Engineering Management / School of Systems & EnterprisesAnalytics MBA / School of Business
The addition of these three new degrees underscores Stevens’ commitment to provide programs that prepare students for some of the world’s most in-demand professions. As part of Stevens’ mission to inspire, nurture, and educate leaders in tomorrow’s technology-centric environment, the online curriculum will support deep learning opportunities and further broaden the coding skills and technology tools students need to achieve the best possible career outcomes.
“Online studies are the future of professional graduate education, and the pandemic has underscored the value of remote degree programs such as those Stevens offers in collaboration with Noodle,” said Christophe Pierre, Stevens’ Provost and chief academic officer. “The launch of these three additional master’s degree programs builds upon our successful partnership with Noodle, our many years of leadership in online studies and our reputation for providing high-quality, technology-focused graduate education.”
This expansion marks the latest chapter in the partnership between Stevens and Noodle. In 2020, Stevens partnered with Noodle to expand and innovate the institution’s renowned online programs through StevensOnline. The first phase of the partnership included the revision and growth of Stevens’ existing online Master of Science in Computer Science and the launch of a new online Master of Science in Data Science, both in the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science.
“Stevens is building an impressive selection of in-demand, world-class programs with StevensOnline,” Noodle CEO John Katzman said. “These three new programs broaden Stevens’ impact as a leading technology-centric institution, and will open up its doors to hundreds more students.”
StevensOnline offers 20 master’s degrees in a wide range of fields, such as engineering, management, analytics, finance, computer science, and systems engineering.
U.S. News & World Report has ranked Stevens as one of the top institutions providing online graduate degrees, including Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology (ranked No. 8), Best Online Engineering Specialties for Industrial (Systems) Engineering (No. 8), Best Online MBA Specialties for Business Analytics (No. 16) and Best Online Graduate Engineering (No. 21). Online programs at Stevens have consistently grown over the past few years; enrollment in fall 2020 was up 63 percent from the previous year.
Stevens has long been established as a technology-centric institution. It was the first university that required students to use a computer in the classroom and Stevens also developed one of the first intranets in the United States. The addition of these three new graduate degree programs illustrates Stevens’ dedication to innovation and stellar learning opportunities as the institution continues to grow its rapidly expanding online programs that prepare students for some of the fastest-growing job sectors in the United States.
About Stevens Institute of Technology:
Stevens Institute of Technology is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, New Jersey. Since our founding in 1870, technological innovation has been the hallmark of Stevens’ education and research. Within the university’s three schools and one college, 7,300 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate closely with faculty in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment. Academic and research programs spanning business, computing, engineering, the arts and other disciplines actively advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront our most pressing global challenges. As Stevens celebrates its 150th anniversary, the university continues to be consistently ranked among the nation’s leaders in career services, post-graduation salaries of alumni, and return on tuition investment.
About Noodle:Noodle is a certified B-corp, that creates excellent online and agile programs that elevate campus-wide teaching and technology. Since January 2019, Noodle has launched as many online programs with elite US universities as have all of our competitors combined. Our network of universities, higher education leaders, providers and students fuel innovation and efficiency in learning design, marketing, recruitment, technology, student and faculty support, and clinical placement. For more information, visit partners.noodle.com and follow us on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/noodleeducation and Twitter @NoodleEducation.
Stevens Institute of Technology
Cybersecurity Program at Stevens Institute of Technology Trains Next Generation of Cyber Defense Experts
Cyberattacks are on the rise and massive organizations such as Equifax, retail giants like Target, and even government agencies are facing the threat of serious information security breaches. Cybersecurity has never been so relevant or salient.
Stevens Institute of Technology’s Department of Computer Science is diligently preparing the next wave of cybersecurity experts to sit on the front lines of the information battle. Home to renowned experts in the field of cybersecurity, the emphasis on innovation within the department is evident in the technological solutions being produced.
Stevens expert cybersecurity researcher Giuseppe Ateniese, together with financial technology giant Accenture, has developed a way to edit blockchains that can be changed to correct mistakes such as a fat finger entry. He and his team have also harnessed the power of machine learning to develop a powerful password cracker that detects commonly used password patterns, the implications of which could allow law enforcement to crack terrorist communications, among other applications.
As a leading institution in cybersecurity research and education, Stevens’ cybersecurity program is designed and consistently refined to meet criteria for cybersecurity excellence set by the National Security Agency.
With both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, it’s one of the few programs in the country that examines the underlying technical material underpinning cybersecurity, giving students a clear picture not only of its foundations, but of the interrelatedness between different layers and concepts within it. Dedicated courses built around key concepts such as cryptography and systems security give students a thorough understanding of the “why” behind cybersecurity technology and practices.
“We don’t just teach people how to use the layer on top without giving them an understanding of what’s underneath,” said program director Antonio Nicolosi. “We take everything apart and look at the nuts and bolts that underpin the algorithms and the techniques that go along with it.”
The university carries status as a National Center of Academic Excellence in cyber defense education and is home to the Center for the Advancement of Secure Systems and Information Assurance (CASSIA). This research center fosters multidisciplinary collaboration and acts as a catalyst for research, education and entrepreneurship in information assurance and cybersecurity, allowing Stevens students to participate in groundbreaking research projects.
The NSA designation has established Stevens as a major research center in cybersecurity, and it attracts significant funding for research initiatives, capacity-building and instructional program development.
Receiving a thorough education from an institution with these credentials gives Stevens’ graduates a major advantage in the job market.
“Stevens has an impeccable reputation in technical industries and I believe the knowledge and understanding I’m partaking in is second-to-none,” said Mark Wilson, a cybersecurity master’s student at the university. “Stevens’ Career Center is known to be one of the best placement centers nationwide, and I spoke with many Stevens alumni who assured me that the education gained by attending Stevens will set me up for future success. All of that reassured me that I would be able to find a job in cybersecurity.”
Wilson currently works as a computer service technician in the digital forensics lab at the prosecutor’s office in Bergen County, New Jersey.
“The faculty at Stevens is extremely knowledgeable in what they teach. This has allowed me to learn much more than just what was taught in class. All the professors I had have one common theme: they want students to succeed.”
Wilson, who will graduate from Stevens in the spring of 2018, hopes to enter the growing field of cybersecurity with solid experience and feels confident in what he’s learning.
“My experience with the cybersecurity master’s program at Stevens has been very positive. I have expanded my knowledge to know what to expect in the industry and how to apply what I learned in order to be successful in my future endeavors,” said Wilson.