Graduates Recognized for Scholastic Successes, Campus Leadership

Saturday, May 27, 2023
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Recognized as outstanding Class of 2023 members were John T. Royse Award winner Emma Goodman and Herman A. Moench Distinguished Senior Commendation recipient Alyssa Pinkston. Six other students graduated with perfect 4.0 GPAs.

Outstanding scholastic success, contributions through undergraduate research and service to campus and community earned special honors among the Class of 2023 to chemical engineering and biochemistry and molecular biology graduate Emma Goodman and computer science graduate Alyssa Pinkston. Meanwhile, six graduates were honored for completing their college careers with perfect 4.0 grade-point averages. 

These students were recognized during this year’s 145th Commencement, May 27.

Goodman earned the John T. Royse Award for being considered the most outstanding graduate, in the opinion of Rose-Hulman’s faculty and staff, based upon academic achievement, student leadership, participation in co-curricular activities, and general campus citizenship. 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.

From Flat Rock, Illinois, Goodman graduated with summa cum laude academic honors after completing two major courses of study. She also was engaged in several different chemical engineering research opportunities and was awarded the Elanco Award last year as the Chemical Engineering Department’s most outstanding junior. 

Outside the classroom, Goodman was president of the campus’ Society of Women Engineers student chapter and served as a mentor for the college’s new Rose Prime program that helped incoming students prepare for college success. She also was a leader of the Astronomical Society, Design Build Fly competition team and Fast Track Calculus program.

“Emma truly does embody all four aspects of the Royse Award and finds success in everything she does,” noted Erik Hayes, vice president of student affairs and dean of students.

Goodman is planning to use her Rose-Hulman degrees with Jacobs Engineering in Houston.

Meanwhile, Pinkston received the Herman A. Moench Distinguished Senior Commendation for distinguishing herself as a commendable influence on members of the Rose-Hulman community, according to Herman A. Moench Distinguished Professor Thom Adams, PhD, a professor of mechanical engineering.

Pinkston, who also earned minors in mathematics and theater, had a lengthy list of extracurricular activities. These included being president of the Chi Omega sorority and Computer Security Club, being founding member of the Shakespeare Club, playing on the varsity softball team, and being a member of the varsity cheer team.

In her very first academic quarter on campus, the Boonville, Indiana, native organized a student team that earned third-place honors in an Indianapolis-based hardware hacking contest, competing against other teams comprised mostly of graduate students.

Regarding Pinkston, Adams remarked, “Alyssa is also a tireless champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly through her advocacy for neurodiversity and mental health awareness. Students in socially oppressed groups throughout campus beam with a sense of hope and positivity simply upon hearing her name, which has become synonymous with empathy and compassion.” 

Associate Professor of Computer Science & Software Engineering Sid Stamm, PhD, added that Pinkston “use[s] what she has learned through her personal experiences and academic pursuits to help other students grow and flourish.” 

Earning the Heminway Gold Medal for attaining the highest academic achievement during their Rose-Hulman careers were Blake Baker, a computer engineering graduate from Stow, Ohio; William Chong, an electrical engineering graduate from Ashburn, Virginia; Zili He, a computer engineering graduate from China; Victoria Kinnamon, a biochemistry graduate from Plainfield, Indiana; Julia McGuire, a civil engineering graduate from Downers Grove, Illinois; and Kenton Pardue, a civil engineering graduate from Bedford, Indiana.