College of Technology Recognizes Achievements of Outstanding Graduates

More than 300 College of Technology students earned their undergraduate and graduate degrees from the College of Technology this semester. In their honor, the College hosted a graduation reception on May 10, in the Rockwell Pavilion of the MD Anderson Library. Dean William E. Fitzgibbon warmly welcomed the students and their families and friends and encouraged the graduates to "remember those who got you here – go forth and lead your lives with integrity, passion & courage."

The Dean's Medal of Academic Excellence honors excellence in academic achievement in the College of Technology, using the University's standards for Honors recognition. It is awarded to the highest-ranking student, graduating with a grade point average of 3.75 or above with the final 66 hours in residence at the University of Houston. A $1,000 award accompanies the medal. Dean Fitzgibbon presented it to Michael Deleon, one of the first students to declare a major in digital media. Michael is highly regarded by the faculty as the most effective videographer that the program has yet produced. Demonstrating skills in several areas, he excelled in print, computer graphics, web design, and management courses. Michael was instrumental in the improvement of the Information and Logistics Technology Department's Ops Reality Show interdisciplinary project. As technical consultant for groups of students enrolled in the Production and Service Operations course, Michael expertly tutored the students and effectively guided their projects to completion. As a result, the videos shown at the bi-annual Red Carpet Event have displayed steady improvement in both content and video graphic quality. During the Red Carpet Event, every group saluted Michael for his contributions. In addition, Michael was the College's Honorary Banner Bearer.

The student chosen for the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award demonstrates notable academic achievement, a history of research activity (such as a special problems course or a grant-funded research project) and an awareness of social and cultural concerns made evident by involvement in organized community service programs or activities. Dean Fitzgibbon presented the Outstanding Undergraduate Award and $1,000 to James Abendroth, a Computer Information Systems major. Consistently, James has been an outstanding student who has been on the dean's list for outstanding academic performance. Highly regarded by faculty and his classmates, James displayed outstanding technical skills and leadership ability and is well known for his willingness to go the extra mile to offer help to peers. He held a full-time job at Hewlett Packard as a software engineer during the day, attending classes full-time while maintaining a high GPA and completing a research project that significantly expanded the experience of our undergraduate students with Internet application development. James created a Linux virtual machine (VM) application that allowed students to install a web server and deploy their web pages on a cloud, which resulted in quicker VMware® access times, remote access availability, and pre-packaged templates—an all-around improvement in the student virtualization experience.

The Banner Bearer awards are presented each semester to the highest achieving scholars in each department, and to an overall College winner.

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Fred Lewallen presented the awards to the Banner Bearers who led the processional of graduating students into UH Commencement ceremonies.

  • Michael Deleon, College of Technology, B.S. Digital Media
  • Alec Senko, Department of Engineering Technology, B.S. Power Engineering Technology
  • Julie Marin, Department of Human Development and Consumer Sciences, B.S. Retailing and Consumer Science
  • Ryan Chadick, Department of Information and Logistics Technology, B.S. Computer Information Systems
  • Christine Izuakor, Graduate Studies, M.S. Information Security

Dr. Heidar Malki presented the Engineering Technology Department Outstanding Undergraduate/Graduate Student Award to Alex Senko, for notable academic achievement, a history of research activity (such as a special problems course or a grant-funded research project), and an awareness of social and cultural concerns made evident by involvement in organized community service programs or activities. A generous anonymous donor funded the $500 award. As an Electric Power Engineering Technology major, Alec's genuine interest in the course topics was driven by his professional experience in the power industry. Impressed by his exemplary academic and research performance, faculty and peers also commended Alec for his work ethic, time management skills and dedication. "I was impressed by his research paper Distributed Generation Islanding. Moreover, he showed interest in enrolling in an independent study class that allowed him the flexibility to do research on a topic of his interest -The Texas Power Grid: Keeping up with Today's Growing Demand for Electrical Power. The report can be considered in the same league as many review articles that are published in reputed journals", said Dr. Malki. Alec produced the report in one semester while attending UH as a full time undergraduate student and working 24-30 hours a week.

Established this year, the Human Development and Consumer Science Department's Leadership Award recognizes outstanding student leaders. It is designed to reward those students who assume leadership positions that require a significant amount of time, energy, enthusiasm, effort, and thought. The award is given to the graduating student who best exemplifies the HDCS Department ideals of leadership, innovation and care for the greater community by organizing and directing initiatives that serve individuals, families and community. Dr. Carole Goodson presented it to Kenya Peña, President of the Collegiate DECA chapter for the 2011-2012 year. She was active in all aspects of the organization and active in charitable activities, fund-raising, conferences, department activities, working with other student organizations in the college, and student recruiting. Kenya served as an intern at Macy's as supervisor of the jewelry department.

Photos of the graduation reception are available on the College Facebook page: