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The Heart of Oregon Tech Class of 2013

Jun 17, 2013
“…if you think your degree will make life easier, that may not happen. However, your education has equipped you to make tough decisions,” declared Mary

“…if you think your degree will make life easier, that may not happen. However, your education has equipped you to make tough decisions,” declared Mary DaSaro, one of the graduating speakers for the College of Health, Arts and Sciences (HAS). “Remember that no matter how smart computers are, they cannot compete with that which makes us human. Our creativity and our compassion.”

June 17, 2013, KLAMATH FALLS, ORE. – The Oregon Tech Class of 2013 was challenged to celebrate their humanity by serving others, get involved by helping in their new communities, and experience the new world their degree offers by spreading their owl wings. The theme of giving back was a strong message this year as speakers encouraged each individual to find a way to use their newfound knowledge for a greater purpose. “No matter what career path we take, we can each make a difference. This is what some of our faculty have individually demonstrated to us with their continued belief and support,” stated HAS graduating speaker, Tessa Simpson.

DaSaro and Simpson shared the stage with fellow graduating senior, Luke Ovgard from the College of Engineering, Technology and Management (ETM). This year also featured education and community leader speakers such as James Francesconi, OUS Board Representative; Todd Kellstrom, Klamath Falls Mayor; Don Gentry, Klamath Tribes Chairman; and keynote speaker, Maurice Gunderson, Managing Director of Earth Energy Ventures and Chairman of the Board of Contour Energy Systems. Oregon Tech President Chris Maples led the event with the support of Dr. Erin Foley, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students and Brad Burda, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

During this event, Oregon Tech honored faculty and administration who have given at least 10 years to the university. This included Lynda Baker, Department Chair and Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences; Larry Powers, Dean of the College of Health, Arts and Sciences and Professor of Natural Sciences; and Sam King, Payroll Supervisor for the Business Office.Numerous academic accolades, volunteer experience, activity involvement, and military service were listed among the accomplishments for 2013 student award winners.

  • Owens Citizenship Award- Ryan Berndt, Renewable Energy and Electrical Engineering
  • Most Dedicated Student Award- Tessa Simpson, Dental Hygiene and Communication Studies
  • Student Achievement Award- Tyler Martin, Embedded Systems Engineering and Computer Electronics
  • Outstanding Student Veteran Award- Joseph Miranda, Renewable Energy Engineering and Environmental Sciences
  • Hiram M. Hunt Award- Adam Burwell, Renewable Energy Engineering
  • Oregon Tech Pride Award- Jesse Ginestar, Small Business Management
  • Outstanding Community Service- Rebecca Lillie, Operations Management
  • Outstanding Non-Traditional Student- Robert Murie, Biology
  • President’s Senior Cup- Sean Hinchcliffe from the College of Engineering, Technology and Management (ETM); Rebecca Merriam-Stelfox from the College of Health, Arts and Sciences (HAS); and Alan Freeman-Scott from both ETM and HAS

Up from last year, 744 graduates received a total of 773 degrees for the Class of 2013. A total of 14 students received master’s degrees, while another 692 received bachelor’s degrees, and the remaining consisted of associate’s and certificates.

This year’s increased number is inclusive of the new Wilsonville campus that began admitting students in the fall of 2012. The increase is also reflective of the increase in demand for specialized polytechnic degrees from Oregon Tech, which boasts the highest return on investment ranking among Northwest universities. More than 92 percent of Oregon Tech graduates are employed or in highly competitive graduate or professional programs within six months of graduation. President Maples attributes the post-graduate success of Oregon Tech students to the university’s focus on sensible growth, rigor, and problem-solving focus based on industry demand and student ambition.


About Oregon Tech

Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is one of seven universities in the Oregon University System, and the only public institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls and an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.

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