260 graduate on Saturday

Dec 3, 2012

President Robert McMahan to give the Charge to the 2012 Graduates when Kettering University hosts Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 8

Kettering University will host Commencement ceremonies for more than 260 graduates on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012.  The 11 a.m. event is free and open to the public in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center in Flint.

University President Robert K. McMahanAt a Glance:

Saturday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m.
Connie and Jim John Recreation Center
213 undergraduates and 54 master’s
Charge to the Graduates by President Robert McMahan

Kettering will graduate 213 undergraduates and 54 master’s candidates during graduation services, with 201 undergraduate and 28 graduate students expected to march.

University President Robert K. McMahan will preside over ceremonies.  Dr. Jim Huggins, Faculty Senator Moderator, will be the grand marshal.  

Highlights of December Commencement:

  • Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, 11 a.m.
  • Connie and Jim John Recreation Center, Flint, Mich. 
  • No tickets required to attend Commencement 
  • The event is free and open to the public
  • Allow 1 1/2 hours for the ceremony 
  • Presiding: Kettering University President Robert McMahan
  • Grand Marshal: Dr. Jim Huggins, Faculty Senate Moderator
  • Parking is free and available in all campus parking lots 
  • Information Center is in the Great Court, Campus Center, 8:30-10:45 a.m.
  • There is no graduation rehearsal
  • Total graduates: 213 undergraduates, 54 master’s candidates 
  • Graduates expecting to march: 201 undergraduate, 28 graduate
  • Expected number of guests: 1,500 
  • Faculty will host a light breakfast, International Room, fifth floor, Campus Center, 8:30 -10 a.m.
  • Recreation Center doors open at 9 a.m. for visitors to arrive and be seated 
  • Faculty and staff assemble for the Processional between 10-10:55 a.m. in the third floor, Recreation Center 
  • Graduates assemble on the first floor of the Campus Center (just outside BJ's Lounge) between 10:30-10:55 a.m.  
  • Formal processional begins at 11 a.m.


Charge to the Graduates: President Robert McMahan

President Robert McMahan will present the Charge to the Graduates.  Dr. McMahan became the seventh President of Kettering University in August 2011.  Prior to this, he was the Founding Dean of the Kimmel School (the College of Engineering and Technology) at Western Carolina University.  Prior to that, Dr. McMahan was the Senior Advisor to the Governor of North Carolina for Science and Technology, and the Executive Director of the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology.

Before working with the Governor, he was a Senior Technology Strategist and Venture Capitalist for In-Q-Tel, a private venture capital organization funded by the CIA, where he was responsible for developing a technology investment strategy for the intelligence community, and then deriving, molding, and structuring individual investments and technologies within the portfolio in response to it. 

Earlier in his career, he was Executive Vice President of Engineering and R&D worldwide for GretagMacbeth, LLC.  He joined GretagMacbeth after its acquisition of McMahan Research Laboratories, the advanced technologies company which he founded in Cambridge, MA and later expanded to the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina.

Dr. McMahan has been involved in the creation of a number of successful technology startups, and he has co-led equity and LBO capital raises in excess of $50MM. He also simultaneously held for many years the positions of Research Professor of Physics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Adjunct Professor of Technology Management at NC State University.

He earned Bachelors’ Degrees in Physics and in the History of Art from Duke University and a Ph.D. degree in Physics from Dartmouth in addition to completing postdoctoral studies at the Harvard University / Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Center for Astrophysics, and post graduate professional studies at Harvard University.

Dr. McMahan has extensive national and international speaking, consulting, and management experience in organizations and initiatives related to technology and product development, research policy, investment capital, entrepreneurship and innovation-based economic development and frequently speaks and consults with national and international organizations, including the National Academies, the US Congress, and the Federal Reserve as well as a number of international governments.

Undergraduate Student Speaker: Kemoy Jorge Orlando Smith

Undergraduate Student Speaker: Kemoy Jorge Orlando Smith"The Journey Into Our Futures," the undergraduate student commencement address, will be presented by Kemoy Jorge Orlando Smith.  Smith is a Chemical Engineering major with a Biochemistry minor.  His co-op was at Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor, Mich., where he worked in the Materials department doing research on new and emerging technologies to improve the performance of Whirlpool appliances.

Smith is from Kingston, Jamaica, and first became acquainted with the University as an AIM student, Kettering’s pre-college program for Academically Interested Minorities.  Smith said he is pleased for the opportunity to address his graduating classmates.  "We're ready for the journey ahead," he said.  "We are excited about our accomplishments so far, but our preparation at Kettering has called upon us to take on ever bigger challenges.  The world expects us to take them on."

Smith's accomplishments on campus include serving as a mentor for Kagle Leadership Initiatives, Student Ambassador, Resident Assistant, COMPASS, International Club and as a member of the Robot Society, National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Phi Delta Theta fraternity.  He will also be honored on Commencement Day for being a Leaders Fellow.

Following graduation, Smith plans to attend graduate school at Kettering University, pursuing an MBA.  "My Kettering experience has been great," he added.  "It entailed a lot of growth as a leader and a scholar.  I believe we are ready for our journey." 

Outstanding Thesis Award: Stacy DeCrane

Outstanding Thesis Award: Stacy DeCraneThe Outstanding Thesis Award for Fall 2012 goes to Stacy DeCrane of Bloomington, Ill., who is graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering and minor in Biochemistry.  Her thesis advisor is Dr. Susan Farhat, assistant professor of Chemical Engineering.

Her research, "A Study of Platinum and Platinum Alloy Catalyst Dissolution Trends for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Durability," was conducted at her co-op employer Argonne National Laboratory - Chemical Sciences & Engineering Division in Argonne, Ill. 

“Through hundreds of experiments, my research explored several different factors that affect the activity and stability of fuel cell cathode catalysts,” DeCrane said.  “By analyzing the electrochemical and spectroscopic data, I was able to determine how each catalyst's dissolution ability and active surface area changed with varying catalyst composition, catalyst nanoparticle size, testing times, and voltage load profiles. The discovered trends and proposed chemical behavior that they explain along with several collaborators and physical modeling of the reactions taking place will help to determine the prominent mechanism of platinum dissolution in fuel cells, ultimately increasing their lifetime. This may one day replace internal combustion engines in automobiles. 

“My future plans,” DeCrane continued, “include either researching more at Argonne or working and learning at Kettering during winter 2013. In the spring , I plan to travel briefly around the United States before spending a few months in Europe backpacking, visiting friends and hopefully doing some missions work. I think this will be a good break for me before pursuing a full time career in pharmaceutical process development engineering.

“Although unbelievably stressful for 22 weeks per year, attending Kettering University has made the last four and a half years of my life truly incredible. With all of the amazing friends made along the way, the plethora of activities and leadership opportunities, as well as the outstandingly devoted and helpful faculty who advised me at every turn, question, and crisis, Kettering is so much more than the vessel from which I acquired all of my Chemical Engineering and mathematics knowledge.”

The Thesis Award medallion was designed and machined on campus by Daniel VanCura ‘11.

President's Medal Winners: 4
A Kettering University honor recognizing scholarship, professionalism on the job and community involvement.

Bryan A. Coburn, Swartz Creek, Mich., Mechanical Engineering,
Stacy N. DeCrane, Bloomington, Ill., Chemical Engineering
Nicole E. Findlay, San Angelo, Texas, Mechanical Engineering
Nurudeen Olajide Huthman, Lagos, Nigeria and Flint, Mich., Electrical Engineering

Sobey Scholars: 6
A Kettering University honor recognizing leadership qualities and scholarship.

Bryan A. Coburn, Swartz Creek, Mich., Mechanical Engineering
Stacy N. DeCrane, Bloomington, Ill., Chemical Engineering
Justin L. DeKoekkoek, Rockford, Mich., Mechanical Engineering
Nicole E. Findlay, San Angelo, Texas, Mechanical Engineering
Nurudeen Olajide Huthman, Lagos, Nigeria and Flint, Mich., Electrical Engineering
Alexandria J. Petit, Waterford, Mich., Biochemistry

Leaders Fellows: 4
A student leadership endowment established by recent graduates recognizing aspiring student leaders.

Bryan A. Coburn, Swartz Creek, Mich., Mechanical Engineering
Nicole E. Findlay, San Angelo, Texas, Mechanical Engineering
Deana L. Johnson, Gary, Ind., Business Administration
Kemoy Jorge Orlando Smith, Kingston, Jamaica, Chemical Engineering

Academic Honors
Cum Laude: 27
Magna Cum Laude: 31
Summa Cum Laude: 12

Bachelor's Degrees
Applied Math: 3
Biochemistry: 8
Business Administration/BSBA: 6
Chemical Engineering: 14
Chemistry: 2
Computer Engineering: 7
Computer Science: 8
Electrical Engineering: 33
Industrial Engineering: 3
Mechanical Engineering: 126
Dual Computer Engineering and Computer Science: 1
Dual Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering: 2

Bachelor's Total = 213

Master's Degrees
Engineering: 10
Engineering Management: 6
Information Technology: 3
Manufacturing Management: 1
Manufacturing Operations:  17
MBA: 8
Operations Management: 6
Dual MBA and Engineering Management: 1
Operations Management and MBA: 2

Master's Total = 54

Here’s more information to help Commencement visitors:

Hotels/Restaurants: Contact the Flint Area Convention and Visitors Bureau: 1-800-24-FLINT or (810) 232-2211.

Can we help? 1-800-955-4464, ext. 9585, or 810-762-9585.

Contact: Patricia Mroczek