By Kimberley Clementi
The Alumni Advisory Board (AAB) for UC San Diego’s Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department saluted the Class of 2023 in its first CSE Graduation Celebration for undergraduates. The event, aptly named “Debugging to the Finish Line,” was held June 16 in the courtyard outside Atkinson Hall.
The AAB treated students, faculty and board members to lively DJ music and a tasty assortment of charcuterie boards and pastries. A photo booth gave graduates a fun backdrop and colorful props for taking group pictures, while lawn games instigated a bit of friendly competition. Each student attendee received a graduation tassel with an ornamental bear pendant, representing the department’s beloved and iconic bear statue.
The graduation celebration came one week after the department’s annual End-of-the-Year Celebrations and awards ceremony. During the awards ceremony, the AAB honored exceptional CSE students – 3 from the master’s program and 7 undergraduates – with the AAB Leadership of Excellence Award and scholarship.
“We have been inspired. You are outstanding individuals. And you are passionate about your community,” said AAB’s Emily Deere before introducing the 2023 recipients.
The Master’s Scholarship Awards recipients included: Ritvik Kapila, William Powers, and Pratik Rajendra Ratadiya.
The Undergraduate Scholarship Awards recipients included: Ryan Lay, Audria Saravia Montalvo, Kenneth Nguyen, Matthew Peng, Faith Rivera, Yash Shah, and Andrew Smithwick.
The board initiated the scholarship program in 2021 to recognize students who have demonstrated leadership and made contributions to the CSE community. The Alumni Advisory Board strives to develop and promote a sense of community between alumni and CSE students and faculty.
“Originally formed in response to the pandemic to help students who may be going through some trouble, we’ve decided to keep the scholarship post-pandemic because we have found so many amazing students who are really stepping in and helping other students, helping the community,” said Deere. “As an alumna, I couldn’t be more proud.”