Engineering students graduate with honors and offers


Despite the declining economy, there is good news for newly minted University of Akron alumni — several outstanding graduates from the College of Engineering are launching their chosen careers. Of the 35 recently honored UA engineering graduates with 3.5 or greater grade point averages, 20 secured full-time engineering positions before their spring commencement ceremonies earlier this month. Six others have accepted scholarships for graduate study and one will attend medical school.

Dr. George K. Haritos, dean of the College of Engineering, credits these graduates’ achievements to the College’s longstanding reputation for graduating top-quality engineers with significant practical — “hands on” — experience.

“Our engineering graduating seniors are always highly sought after,” Haritos says. “Even in today’s challenging economy, our graduates fare very well.  The companies that hire them know they bring technical know-how to the workplace together with a wonderful work ethic and can-do attitude.”

Haritos says college seekers are taking note of UA’s College of Engineering and signing up for the program. He points out that the UA College of Engineering experienced a 25 percent increase in student enrollment between 2004 and 2007, making it the fourth fastest growing college of engineering in the United States (among the 150 largest; data source: American Society for Engineering Education) and the fastest growing in the state.  The college’s current 1,926 undergraduate enrollment represents a 39.3 percent increase in enrollment between fall 2004 and fall 2008. A critical component of students’ successes derives from their participation in the university’s  have  — “co-op”— education program.

Co-op program one of the first in U.S.

Through the College of Engineering’s Cooperative Education Program, the fifth oldest co-op program in the country, undergraduate students leave the academic setting and work as many as 18 months in the private sector or government firms. As a result, employers have an opportunity to evaluate what these students offer the company and their potential as full-time employees.

“Companies that recruit our co-op students save an average of 25 percent on hiring and training costs,” says Deanna Dunn, director of the cooperative education program in the UA College of Engineering. “They come into a company with a nice combination of familiarity and fresh ideas.”

John Marchi of Gahanna, Ohio, who received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering this month, accepted a full-time position as a project engineer with his co-op employer, Litko Contracting of Columbus. Marchi, who was a member of UA’s symphonic band, marching band, tuba studio and tuba ensemble as well as the Brass Band of the Western Reserve, says UA provided him flexibility to pursue various activities, interests and programs, including cooperative education, which helped him secure his position prior to graduation.

Like Marchi, Tyler Hershberger, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, recently accepted a full-time position with his co-op employer, GE Aviation in Cincinnati.

Gina DiAntonio of Stow will go in a different direction with her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering. DiAntonio, who completed a co-op position with the Biomedical Engineering Department at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, will continue her education in medical school. The recipient of the Presidential Scholarship and the Dr. & Mrs. William Loughry Scholarship, DiAntonio will attend Ohio State University’s medical school this fall.

In addition to DiAntonio, Marchi and Wright, other Outstanding Students recently honored by the UA College of Engineering include: Jamie Anderson, Alliance; Jaymes Beech, Richfield; Tyler Bolon, Tippecanoe; Ian Bowman, Alliance; Kyle Davison, North Royalton; Samuel Donnelly, Akron; Richard Eckenrode, Doylestown; Misty Edmisten, Mentor; Timothy Fox, Massillon; Joshua Galbraith, Millersburg; Robert Gessner, Fremont; Brett Goodyear, Atwater; Jacqueline Hale, Willowick; Brad Hartzler, Sterling; Hershberger, Beach City; Matthew Holland, Stow; Jason Jamil, Uniontown; Brandon Kipfer, Rittman; Ryan Kupchella, Akron; Kelsey Lee, Rocky River; David Maciupa, Englewood; Joshua Mahaffey, New Philadelphia; Gabriel Manzo, West Pittsburg, Pa.; Eric McClanahan, Concord; David Prueter and Phillip Prueter, both from Alliance; Benjamin Radey and Jonathan Rajala, both from Brunswick; Adam Rich and William Rodeman, both from Tallmadge; Jennifer Roth, Fowler; Devin Ryder, Canton; Nicholas Schaadt, Troy; Ryan Schmidt, Medina; Scott Schueller, Uniontown; Terry Scott, Salem; Laura Seloovre, Clinton; Adam Singer, Canton; Joshua Slaga, Brunswick; Troy Snyder, Tallmadge; Christopher Tulodzieski, Uniontown; Kyle Wittel, Danville; and Eric Wright, Marshallville.

Media Contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or