Recognizing Excellence: 2021 Master’s Awards Ceremony

| May 5, 2021

This year’s virtual awards ceremony commemorated the impressive accomplishments and commitment to excellence of Viterbi’s graduating master’s students.

Mattie Germann, Joseph Lyon, Omey Manyar. Photos from Ceremony.

Mattie Germann, Joseph Lyon, Omey Manyar. Photos from 2021 Master’s Student Awards ceremony.

On Monday, May 3, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering celebrated the achievements of its graduate students at the 2021 USC Viterbi Master’s Student Awards. The virtual ceremony recognized students across all eight USC Viterbi departments for their excellence in academics, research and service.

Nora Sandoval, the director of master’s student affairs, served as the emcee for the event. She kicked off the evening congratulating students for “fighting on” through the challenges and obstacles they’ve faced over the course of the last year. Kelly Goulis, the USC Viterbi senior associate dean of admission and student engagement, spoke next, welcoming students, families, friends and USC Viterbi faculty.

“When we started this event just five years ago,” Goulis said, “I never would have imagined that we would be celebrating in your homes. However, with a virtual event, we are able to share this wonderful occasion with so many more families, friends and colleagues in the community. And in a virtual setting, everyone has a seat in the front row. That’s particularly wonderful because as your achievements are recognized, you all deserve to take center stage.”

The 2021 master’s graduating class is the most representative in Viterbi’s history, with 32 percent of graduates being women, and students hailing from 44 countries around the world.

USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos shared his optimism about science and engineering in the post coronavirus era. “If there is anything that we learned from this pandemic,” Yortsos said, “it is that only through science and engineering can we conquer future calamities, solve grand challenges and create a better world for all humanity.”

Over 140 attendees, including awardees, their families and friends, and USC Viterbi faculty, joined the ceremony to honor and recognize the impressive achievements of the graduating students.

Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Academic Excellence Award
Omey Manyar

Department of Astronautical Engineering

Rocket Scientist of the Year Award
Tyler Presser
Shobhita Rajashekar
Caroline O’Neil

Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award
Joseph Lyon

Department of Biomedical Engineering

Academic Excellence and Service Award
Niki Tavakoli

Department of Computer Science

Best Research Award
Zhengyu Yang
Xiao Song
Ankith Mohan
Zhehui Wang
Sunny Singh

Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Excellence in Service and Achievement Award
Evan Davis

Outstanding Academic Achievement Award
Mingxi Lei
Zhiwei Deng
Zheng Wen

Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering

Master’s Student of the Year Award
Mattie Germann
David Rozenboim Sepulveda

Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science

Master’s Student Achievement Award
Saud Alfraikh
Andrew Zahn
Aoxuan Zhang
Lixin Wang

Sonny Astani Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Research Award
Pengxiang Zhang
Harmita Golwala
Yuxi Liu

Service Award
Maria Herrera Leos

Viterbi Admission & Student Engagement

Outstanding Mentor Award
Mayank Gupta
Agam Ketan Shah

Viterbi Graduate Student Association

Leadership Award
Diego Jacome

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