LANCASTER — The first 18 students to complete their Bachelor of Science in Engineering through California State University, Long Beach’s Antelope Valley Engineering Program celebrated their graduation last month at the J.P. Eliopulos Hellenic Center in Lancaster.
The first of its kind, the graduation celebration honored the 10 Mechanical Engineering students and eight Electrical Engineering students who completed their degrees during the two-and-a-half-year program.
Nearly 200 guests, faculty, and staff attended the event to congratulate the class of Fall 2013.
California State University, Long Beach’s (CSULB) College of Engineering and College of Continuing and Professional Education partnered with Antelope Valley College and Cerro Coso Community College to develop the program.
Classes take place at the Lancaster University Center, offering unprecedented access to the industry and internships with local companies and organizations. Students must have completed their first two years of undergraduate coursework at community colleges or other universities before transferring to the CSULB Antelope Valley program.
The graduation celebration culminated well over a decade of hard work initiated by Robert Johnstone and his “Homegrown Engineers” initiative. Mr. Johnstone, Antelope Valley Board of Trade Aerospace Office, volunteers his time and chairs the Math, Science, Engineering, and Technology Consortium and is co-chair of the AVBOT Education Committee. He is a stalwart proponent and tireless worker for promoting STEM education in the Antelope Valley and, in particular, for helping to bring this undergraduate program to the Antelope Valley.
The celebration featured keynote speaker Shawn H. Phillips, PhD, Deputy Chief of Space and Missile Propulsion at the Air Force Research Laboratory, as well as an introduction from CSULB College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golshani, PhD, and congratulatory remarks from Edward Knudson, President of Antelope Valley College. The celebration concluded with a recessional and dinner.
“This celebration recognizes a major life-changing accomplishment on the part of our students who will become highly productive citizens and leaders in their profession and in our region,” said Program Director Kenneth Santarelli, EdD. “It is also a major milestone for the CSULB Antelope Valley Engineering Program and all of the Antelope Valley education, community, industry, and government partners who have worked so hard to make this event possible.”
(Information via press release from the city of Lancaster.)