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For Oregon Tech grads, strong job skills create immediate opportunities

Jun 20, 2018
The Class of 2018 includes 721 individuals, some who received multiple degrees, amounting to 756 degrees awarded.

Commencement2018-Small-OT18-693The Oregon Institute of Technology, “Oregon Tech,” Class of 2018 moved their graduation tassels to the left on Saturday as President Nagi Naganathan, Ph.D., concluded the 70th annual commencement ceremony held at John F. Moehl Stadium. The Class of 2018 includes 721 individuals, some who received multiple degrees, amounting to 756 degrees awarded. This is inclusive of those who have completed degree requirements last Summer and Fall, Winter and Spring Terms this academic year; and another 59 who are expected to complete requirements this Summer. Nearly 400 students participated in the ceremony on campus, with an audience of more than a thousand.

President Naganathan opened the event by welcoming attendees and sharing what makes these graduates distinctive: “During your time at Oregon Tech you have gained a unique and valuable asset that you now own. Through the professional experiences you’ve had during your time here, you are already wired in to the world of work, knowing the expectations of your career field well before you graduate. While other recent grads are training and learning on the job, you’re already a seasoned and savvy professional. That produces unprecedented market and salary performance for those with an Oregon Tech degree.”

Commencement2018-Small-OT18-697This year Oregon Tech was honored to welcome The Honorable Kate Brown, Governor of the State of Oregon, as commencement address speaker. Governor Brown recently launched her Future Ready initiative which makes significant investments in skill and job training to students and adults, helping to close the gap between the skills that Oregon’s workers have and the skills that Oregon’s growing businesses need.

Sharing the sentiments of the University, President Naganathan expressed thanks to Governor Brown for her message. “Thank you Governor Brown. You have made today a very memorable celebration for our students, their families and all of us. I know how busy you are managing the myriad issues of our state, so the time you have spent with us today is very special. Thank you.”

In addition to President Naganathan and Governor Brown, speakers on behalf of the university included Board of Trustees member, Kelley Minty Morris; Oregon Tech Class of 2010 and Product Engineer at JELD-WEN, Rafael Santiago; Erin Foley, Ph.D., Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students; Gary Kuleck, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; and graduating speakers, Business: Marketing Option graduate David Murphy and Echocardiography graduate Alexandrya Steller.

Numerous academic accolades, volunteer experience, activity involvement and military service were listed among the accomplishments for 2018 student award winners.

  • Hiram M. Hunt Award: Kelly Honsinger, Embedded Systems Engineering Technology
  • Graduate Student Achievement Award: Jordan Preston, Civil Engineering
  • Outstanding Community Service Award: Craig Cedros, Technology and Management, Portland-Metro
  • Student Achievement Award: Matthew Schacht, Embedded Systems Engineering Technology, Portland-Metro
  • Owens Citizenship Award: Kayla Pershall, Applied Psychology
  • Outstanding Non-Traditional Student Award: Brenda Odesha, Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (Spring 2019)
  • Most Dedicated Student Award: Faith Lee, Healthcare Management (Spring 2019)
  • Oregon Tech Pride Award: 2018 Geomatics National Society of Professional Surveyors Student Competition Team: Katharine Singleton (captain), Mosier Locke, Saul Preciado, Riley Edwards, Jon Hennon, and Marcus Helm
  • President’s Senior Cup: Brayden Jones, Mechanical Engineering and Chloe Smith, Environmental Sciences

During this event, Oregon Tech also honored faculty who have given at least 10 years to the university. This included Emeritus Faculty Claude Kansaku, Professor of Engineering Technology Management (1998-2018), and Jill Schultz, Professor of Dental Hygiene (1984-2018). The second annual Oregon Tech Foundation Excellence in Teaching Awards were also presented to Irina Demeshko, Associate Professor in the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering; and Andria Fultz, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the Portland-Metro Campus.

The Class of 2018 has a great future ahead of them with a current competitive edge of 97 percent of Oregon Tech graduates employed or in graduate programs within six months of graduation. The high return on investment is reinforced by the $58,000 starting median salary those graduates earn.

Congratulations Oregon Institute of Technology Class of 2018.


About Oregon Tech

Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the premier public polytechnic institution in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in engineering, health technologies, business, technology, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public and international communities through applied, relevant learning and professional practice. Oregon Tech has a central, residential campus in Klamath Falls; an urban, industry-focused campus in Portland-Metro (Wilsonville); an Online campus; and offers degrees at Boeing Seattle and at other sites. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.
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