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Students Recognized for Academic Success, Service to Others, Campus Leadership

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
RHIT Commencement 2017 Heminway Award Winners 22227 310X207

Top Of The Class: Six students who each graduated with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average were honored at this year’s commencement. They are James Edwards, Christine Harper, Nicolae Iovanac, Ian Ludden, Christian Schultz and Katina Volitich.

Several members of Rose-Hulman’s Class of 2017 were recognized during Commencement ceremonies May 27 for their academic achievements, service to campus and community, and undergraduate project activities.

Heminway Gold Medal

Six students received the Heminway Gold Medal for highest academic achievement—all completing their undergraduate study with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. Recipients are:

  • James H. Edwards, among the first two students to receive a degree in international computer science, from Greenfield, Ind.
  • Christine E. Harper, a biomedical engineering graduate from Swayzee, Ind.
  • Nicolae C. Iovanac, a chemical engineering graduate from Robinson, Ill., and recipient of the Archer Daniels Midland Award for excellence in chemical engineering. 
  • Ian G. Ludden, a computer engineering and mathematics double-major graduate from Brandon, Fla. He shared the Clarence P. Sousley Award as the outstanding graduating senior mathematics major.
  • Christian C. Schultz, a computer science and mathematics double-major graduate from Bolingbrook, Ill. He shared the Clarence P. Sousley Award as the outstanding graduating senior mathematics major.
  • Katina Volitich, a biomedical engineering graduate from Aliquippa, Pa., who received the Samuel F. Hulbert Award as the outstanding biomedical engineering graduate.

Sarah Heminway, a cousin of the institute’s founder, Chauncey Rose, established the Heminway Gold Medal award in 1888 to honor outstanding student academic achievement.

RHIT Commencement 2017 Herman Moench Outstanding Senior Thomas Janssen 18764 310X207

Moench Award Winner: In addition to his academic success, Thomas Janssen showcased his musical talents in such drama club productions as Les Miserables, West Side Story and Little Shop of Horrors, along with performing in the string orchestra and chorus.

Herman A. Moench Outstanding Senior Commendation

Thomas L. Janssen, a mechanical engineering and computational science double-major graduate from Martinsville, Ind.,was saluted by the faculty and staff for serving as a role model and mentor for other students. He is planning to attend graduate school at Northwestern University.

After completing the Accelerated Math Physics program as an entering freshman student, Janssen served as a counselor for the program two years later. AMP co-director Richard Ditteon, the Herman A. Moench Distinguished Professor, notes that Janssen contributed significantly to the success of the students in the third AMP class. “He is friendly and professional, enthusiastic and organized, and curious and self-disciplined,” Ditteon says.

In student performing arts, Janssen showcased his talents as a member of the string orchestra and chorus, and had major roles in drama club productions of Les Miserables, West Side Story, Little Shop of Horrors and this spring’s musical production of Anything Goes. He earned the respect and trust of his fellow cast mates, according to Terence Hartnett, director of theater programs.

Janssen also was a sophomore resident tutor and a grader for numerous classes in the mechanical engineering department.

“Thomas is an outstanding example of how students provide support and encouragement to each other following the example set by Herman Moench,” says Ditteon.

Herman A. Moench was a legendary Rose-Hulman professor and administrator.

RHIT Commencement 2017 John Royce Award Katina Volitich 18674 310X207

Royse Award Winner: Katina Volitich contributed to the development of several medical devices as a student intern at Rose-Hulman Ventures while having a perfect 4.0 grade-point average for her academic career.

John T. Royse Award

Katina Volitich was recognized for using her engineering skills as an intern at Rose-Hulman Ventures to help design and create prototype neurosurgical equipment for the human brain and spine. The John T. Royce Award recognizes an outstanding member of each graduating class for academic achievement, student leadership, participation in co-curricular activities and campus citizenship.

This spring she worked on four different projects for an Indianapolis-based company that’s become a leader in developing innovative medical devices that are saving lives and improving health care throughout the world.

The biomedical engineering graduate from Aliquippa, Pa., who had a perfect 4.0 grade-point average also led teams for academic design projects and helped give back to the community through several service activities. She volunteered to assist local girl scouts, tutored local students and classmates and raised money to support breast cancer prevention.

“Several of her classmates have indicated that her presence on their team raised their own academic performance through her unselfish guidance and assistance,” says Erik Hayes, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. He notes that Volitich considered several job opportunities before deciding to begin her career at Paragon Medical Inc.

John T. Royse served as a member of Rose-Hulman’s Board of Trustees for several years; his son, John N. Royse, is an emeritus member of the board.

Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award

Kang-min Lee, a master’s degree recipient in optical engineering from South Korea, received the Outstanding Thesis Award, selected by a committee of faculty members. His thesis, advised by physics and optical engineering professor Robert Bunch, covered the topic “Designs and Reliability Evaluations of a Scattered Light Measurement System.”