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CEE graduation in photos

June 27, 2024

Nearly 300 graduates celebrated at the CEE Class of 2024 ceremony with speeches, awards and caps thrown in the air.


Graduation speakers Maxwell Pearson, Trevor Zalud, Karima Zulfo, Jana Escoton and Nancy Le.

(From top left) Undergraduate speakers Maxwell Pearson and Trevor Zalud, graduate speaker Karima Zulfo, and student group speakers Jana Escoton and Nancy Le.

The department celebrated the Class of 2024 graduation on June 1 at the Alaska Airlines Arena. The ceremony honored nearly 300 graduates who received bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. 

Professor Emeritus Steve Kramer delivered the keynote address. Drawing from his extensive career in geotechnical engineering, Kramer shared insights on the importance of adaptability in the ever-evolving field of civil and environmental engineering.

“Remember," he said, "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. Be willing and prepared to adjust your plan as life punches you in the mouth.”

Kramer’s address highlighted the critical role engineers play in tackling issues such as climate change, infrastructure decay and extreme weather events. He discussed the significance of teamwork, professional development and maintaining a sense of community. 

The ceremony included remarks from Department Chair Bart Nijssen, who congratulated the graduates. Undergraduate students Maxwell Pearson and Trevor Zalud and graduate student Karima Zulfo provided student reflections. They each shared personal stories about their journeys, emphasizing the bond between students, faculty and staff in the department. Additionally, students Jana Escoton and Nancy Le highlighted the achievements of various student groups.

Hawkins Prize winner Matthew Bonner and Distinguished Alumni Award winner Victor Yamada.

Distinguished Alumni Award winner Victor Yamada (left) and Hawkins Prize winner Matthew Bonner (right).

Several outstanding students received special recognition during the awards presentation. Nathalie Thelemaque was awarded the Graduate School Medal for her exemplary commitment to both the university and the larger community. Matthew Bonner received the Dean’s Medal for academic excellence and also took home the prestigious Hawkins Prize, with Trevor Zalud being recognized as the runner-up for the Hawkins Prize. The ceremony also featured the Distinguished Alumni Award, presented to Victor Yamada for his significant contributions to the field of air quality monitoring and dedication to preserving Japanese American history in his retirement.

The event culminated in graduates walking across the stage to receive their degrees and enjoying a final moment together as a cohort by throwing their graduation caps into the air. 

2024 graduation ceremony

A recording of the June 1 graduation ceremony is available at the link below.

Watch the recording