Skip to Content

Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing

  • CEC Outstanding seniors

CEC seniors to be recognized on Awards Day

The University of South Carolina will host the annual Awards Day ceremony to honor student excellence on Thursday, April 18 on the USC Horseshoe. College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) students from each of the 10 undergraduate programs will be recognized for their achievements. 

Outstanding Senior Awards

The Outstanding Senior Awards are given by the CEC to graduating seniors from each degree program. Recipients are faculty recommended and selected based on demonstrated academic excellence, undergraduate research participation, and active involvement in the college and university community.

Aerospace Engineering
Andrew Borrelli
Hometown: Cherry Hill, New Jersey

“I am grateful to win this award. I have worked hard for the last four years in balancing my school and extra-curricular life, and I am very appreciative to be acknowledged for my efforts. What I will remember most about the last four years are the lab classes that were part of the curriculum. Each class helped me better understand concepts as well sharpening my skills and acclimating me with the possible work and problems I could face in my professional life.”

Biomedical Engineering

Adam Parker
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursing a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from USC.

"Dr. Nader Taheri Qazvini, who I had class with and worked in his lab, was a helpful professor. Not only was he a good teacher, but he also gave me my first research opportunity and freedom to dive into my own project. Moving forward, I hope to pursue a career in industry research, and I am grateful that he helped me grow as a researcher during my time as an undergraduate.”

Chemical Engineering

Sarah Stofik
Hometown: Quakertown, Pennsylvania
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from USC, while working in the Strategic Approaches to the Generation of Electricity SAGE Laboratory under Professor Jochen Lauterbach.

“I will take away the various relationships with professors and other students the most. The professors have always been supportive, which was inspiring. Being a small major and involved in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, I knew my classmates well and formed a supportive community that has made my time even more enjoyable. Getting involved in research and competing in the ChemE Cube competition were the most impactful experiences since it allowed me to get hands-on engineering experiences. It also solidified my decision to pursue a Ph.D., while gaining invaluable mentorship from Dr. Lauterbach and members of the SAGE Laboratory.”

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Macy Mekiliesky
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Post-Graduation Job: Entry level civil engineering, AECOM

“I am honored to represent the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as outstanding senior. Being recognized for four years of hard work is extremely validating and not only reassured me that I chose a well-suited major, but the right university. This award will serve as a happy reminder of my time at USC.”

Computer Engineering

Musa Azeem
Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursuing a master’s degree in computer science at USC.

“One professor that impacted my time at the CEC was Dr. [Homayoun] Valafar. I joined his lab after taking a course with him during my sophomore year, where I was consistently provided opportunities to learn, network and explore my interests in this field. Under his guidance, I developed critical skills and a passion for learning that has been instrumental in shaping my academic journey.”

Computer Information Systems

Terry Hancock
Hometown: Pawleys Island, South Carolina

“I'm honored to have my academic efforts recognized by this award. The CEC gave me the skills and knowledge to enter the job market as a confident young professional. My classes with Professor [Portia] Plante were amazing for learning real development skills and using what we learned to create real world applications. Her help and encouragement cemented my love for software development.”

Computer Science and Engineering

Anna Michelitch
Hometown: Ashburn, Virginia
Post-Graduation Job: Technology Consultant, Ernst & Young

“To me, this award is a testament to my ability to overcome my imposter syndrome as a woman hoping to leave a lasting impact at the intersection of technology and business. Throughout the past four years, everything I've learned and experienced has culminated into a personal vision for a better future, one marked by innovation and positive change. Receiving this award serves as validation that I'm on the right path towards one day bringing these aspirations into reality.”

Electrical Engineering

Matthew Belanger
Hometown: Center Valley, Pennsylvania
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursuing a master’s degree in electrical engineering at USC. 

“Receiving the Outstanding Senior Award means a great deal to me. It symbolizes the years of hard work, dedication and commitment to academic excellence. To me, this award represents not just personal achievement, but the endless support and inspiration I've received from professors, mentors, family and friends.” 

Integrated Information Technology

Chloe Wheeler
Hometown: Milton, Georgia
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursuing a master’s degree in international business at USC, followed by working as a technology consultant at Protiviti.

“I am so grateful for the awards I have received. I appreciate the constant support from the CEC and the IIT program. Leading within the CEC student organization, Alpha Omega Epsilon, has been such a fulfilling experience. I have enjoyed attending every CEC event, making a positive impact and growing along the way.”

Mechanical Engineering

Daniel Coble
Hometown: West Columbia, South Carolina
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.  

“Professor Austin Downey has been helpful in providing opportunities and giving advice since I started doing research with him during my freshman year. He does everything he can to develop his researchers’ résumés with publications and presentations, which helped me during my graduate school applications. He has also always been available for guidance as I chose my future path.”

South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers Outstanding Senior Awards

The South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers (SCSPE) Outstanding Senior Awards are given to graduating seniors in seven CEC degree programs. Recipients are faculty recommended and selected based on demonstrated academic excellence and contributions to the engineering profession. 

Aerospace Engineering

Victor Dubceac
Hometown: Spartanburg, South Carolina
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursuing a master’s degree in aerospace engineering at USC, while working as a graduate researcher for Tanvir Farouk on studying superficial water oxidation. 

“By far the most influential experience I've had is my involvement in undergraduate research since my second semester. I was assigned to design a reactor, and while going through the process was extremely uncomfortable due to my lack of knowledge, it was very rewarding. I learned many important skills, and it prepared me to be a great engineer.” 

Biomedical Engineering

Jessica Restivo
Hometown: Daniel Island, South Carolina
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursue a master’s degree in biomedical engineering at USC. 

“I am grateful to all my professors, whose mentorship has been instrumental to my intellectual and personal growth. Professor [Tarek] Shazly’s biomechanics course taught me to think critically through challenging problems, while Professor [Nicholas] Boltin’s CAD design class enabled me to translate my ideas into physical reality. Dr. [Chandrashekhar] Patel's captivating teaching style transformed complex biological concepts into engaging narratives, demonstrating the value of making learning enjoyable. Additionally, Professor [Silke] Henrich’s guidance in the analysis and presentation of experimental data, in addition to her meticulous coaching in technical writing, has been invaluable to my academic journey. 

The development of these fundamental skills laid the framework for the traumatic brain injury research that I pursued this semester under the supervision of Professor [Ahmed] Alshareef, which has ultimately motivated my interest in pursuing future research. These and many others have immeasurably and positively impacted my time at the university, for which I am truly thankful.”

Chemical Engineering

Emily Carpenter
Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina 

“Winning this award means a lot to me because I’m honored to have my achievements recognized by the outstanding staff here. My work ethic was fueled by inspiration from my professors and the admiration I have for my fellow classmates. Being a part of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell laboratory has also given me the chance to explore fascinating projects with an amazing team, and I could not be more thankful to have had such experiences in the field that I never want to stop learning about.”

Computer Engineering

Valerie Duffey
Hometown: Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Post-Graduation Job: Engineer I-Technology LDP, Verizon 

“Being the recipient of the SCSPE Outstanding Senior Award is an honor and acknowledgment of the hard work I put toward my goal of becoming a computer engineer. While I am proud of my academic accomplishments, this award serves as a tangible recognition that all my hard work can and does result in distinction. This award also provides motivation for me to continue to strive for greater excellence and to push through difficulties and challenges. I am sure that I will use these behaviors in my role as a computer engineer in the Leadership Development Program at Verizon. I am grateful to the CEC, and my professors and classmates whose encouragement and support have enabled me to achieve this prestigious award.”

Electrical Engineering

Chris Chau
Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina
Post-Graduation Plans: Starting a summer internship at the Naval Information Warfare Center in Charleston, South Carolina prior to pursuing a master’s degree in electrical engineering at USC. 

“My undergraduate years allowed me to deepen my knowledge in my field, but I also discovered more about myself, made lasting friendships, and created unforgettable memories. I am grateful to Dr. [David] Matolak for his mentorship and guidance, which helped me find the specific field in electrical engineering that best suits me and welcomed me into his research group.”  

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Trinity Collette
Hometown: Blackstone, Massachusetts
Post-Graduation Job: Structural engineer, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

“Winning this award is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and passion that I have poured into my studies, extracurriculars, and work experiences throughout my academic journey. However, this wouldn't have been possible without the support of my mentors, professors and peers along the way. I am fortunate to have been surrounded by a community in the CEC who have guided, inspired and encouraged me along the way.” 

Mechanical Engineering

Sierra Batson
Hometown: Irmo, South Carolina
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at USC.

“Being recognized as an outstanding senior is an incredible honor, one that I deeply appreciate and cherish. I’m profoundly grateful to the professors and staff at USC who have supported and guided me throughout these four years and have made this achievement possible. This recognition inspires me to continue pushing boundaries and making meaningful contributions to engineering in the future. Thank you for believing in me and for your unwavering support.”

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Leadership

Nominated by faculty or staff, the Dean's Award for Outstanding Leadership recognizes graduating seniors for significant contributions to the CEC. Each award recipient has provided outstanding leadership to a CEC student organization and positively impacted the college's brand through service to the college.

Alexis Allegro
Student Organization: American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
Hometown: Colts Neck, New Jersey
Post-Graduation Job: Rotational chemical engineering, Evonik

“Winning this award means a lot to me. AIChE has given me so much in terms of professional development and introduced me to some of my best friends. I am grateful for the experience and to give back as an officer the past two years. I have learned so much about being a leader and enjoyed getting to inspire the underclassmen to get excited about their future in chemical engineering. Being recognized for this is an honor.”

Remy Bell
Student Organization: Biomedical Engineering Society
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Post-Graduation Job: Research engineer, Massachusetts General Hospital 

“A professor who has been influential during my time at USC is Dr. Mark Uline, who has been an amazing resource not only for me, but all biomedical engineering students. My academic interests and post-graduation plans have bounced around throughout my time at USC; however, Dr. Uline has been a great resource in helping me narrow down my choices and provided me with the information and connections to make a better-informed decision.” 

Jackson Goldsmith
Student Organization: American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Hometown: Lexington, South Carolina
Post-Graduation Job: Wells engineer, ExxonMobil 

“To me, winning this award is a celebration of everything I have been able to accomplish at the CEC over my four years. It is a reminder of the wonderful people I have had the privilege of working alongside and serving. It is proof of the change and growth I have been able to help cultivate within the college. It is an expression of all the good times and wonderful memories made during my time in engineering at USC.” 

Mahi Patel
Student Organization: Women in Computing
Hometown: Lexington, South Carolina
Post-Graduation Job: Business analyst, Bank of America

“Joining clubs and organizations in the CEC meant finding a support system within the CEC and resources and peers that would grow a community. Becoming a leader in organizations like Women in Computing and the Diversity Gala allowed me to improve upon and continue to grow that support for others coming into CEC and set them up for success like I had. Winning this award means the hard work and dedication paid off and others can get its benefits as I did when I first joined, and I’m leaving it better and improved.”

Christian Smith
Student Organization: University Flight Club
Hometown: Rock Hill, South Carolina
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursing a master’s degree in aerospace engineering at USC. 

“Dr. Mostafa Mobli and Dr. Sang Hee Won have had the biggest impact on my development as an engineer. Dr. Won taught me the standard I should strive for as an engineer every day.  He has helped me hold myself accountable for the quality of work I complete rather than focusing on the quantity. Dr. Mobli truly opened the door for me to begin helping other students and helped me realize my love for teaching. What he does for the college is invaluable, and I strive to follow his example.”  

Jacob Vaught
Student Organization:
Society of Automotive Engineers
Hometown: Aiken, South Carolina
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursuing a master’s degree in electrical engineering.

“During my multi-year journey at the CEC, my most significant and personally impactful takeaway has been the opportunity to contribute to my fellow students' growth and success. My involvement at both student organization and department levels has enabled me to support and enrich our college experience by supporting the department through a variety of events, fostering meaningful connections with current and future students, along with career opportunities.”

Chloe Wheeler
Student Organization:
Alpha Omega Epsilon

“Leading within the CEC student organization, Alpha Omega Epsilon, has been such a fulfilling experience. I have enjoyed attending every CEC event, making a positive impact and growing along the way.”

Stephen Wilcken
Student Organization:
Gamecock Railway Society
Hometown: Mount Siani, New York
Post-Graduation Job: Field engineering trainee, Norfolk Southern

“This award represents not only the culmination of my hard work at the university, but my entire educational career. Since I was young, I strove to be a leader among my peers and better any organization and community I was a part of. Knowing that my efforts have had an impact means the world to me and fuels me to continue my efforts in my professional career. 

The CEC and affiliated student organizations have had a tremendous impact on preparing me for my professional career. Both have brought in professional speakers, and this allowed me to build relationships with these professional engineers. The CEC also held numerous workshops that I used to help prepare for interviews. It was through AREMA that I made connections that helped me to land an internship and later my future job.”

Margaret & Edward Ernst Outstanding Leadership and Service Award (Given by the Department of Electrical Engineering ED Foundation)

Aditya Padala
Hometown: Hyderabad, India/Columbia, South Carolina

“Receiving this award holds profound significance for me. Throughout my undergraduate journey, I've had the privilege of supporting my peers as a teaching assistant for three courses, contributing to the academic community in meaningful ways. Balancing multiple responsibilities reflects my unwavering dedication and resilience, fostered by the invaluable support of my professors, mentors and peers in the Department of Electrical Engineering. This award not only honors my leadership efforts and academic accomplishments but also serves as a driving force, inspiring me to continue striving for excellence in all aspects of my pursuits.”

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.