Four students honored with Outstanding Senior Awards

Four seniors in the College of Engineering received 2021 Outstanding Senior Awards for their exceptional contributions to NC State and beyond in Citizenship and Service, Humanities, Leadership and Scholarly Achievement.

Seniors are nominated by their respective academic departments in the College of Engineering, and winners are chosen by a selection committee made up of faculty and staff members in the College. Winners traditionally receive their awards during a special ceremony, but due to the pandemic, they were recognized during a virtual event on April 15, 2021.

Senior Award for Citizenship and Service | Erica Lisowe

Erica Lisowe is an active, dedicated senior and Caldwell Fellow in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering who has a passion for helping others connect with the environment. An involved community volunteer, her personal goal is to “help all people have the chance to develop their relationship with the earth.” She is a strong believer in the power of community working together in pursuit of progress, empowerment and positive change.

Her many volunteer and service activities include working with Habitat for Humanity, Engineers Without Borders and Dorothea Dix Park, where she involved students in the park’s renovation process by gathering input from more than 400 diverse students from all six universities with campuses in Raleigh. Lisowe also served as a STEM camp counselor and teacher for students in rural areas of North Carolina, and she has immersed herself in diversity, equity and inclusion training to address racial disparities, particularly when it comes to environmental injustice.

As Lisowe states, she serves “in pursuit of joy,” and her many volunteer and service activities at NC State are just the beginning of her life goal to continue empowering others.

Senior Award for the Humanities | Elijah Bouma-Sims

Elijah Bouma-Sims is a senior double-majoring in computer engineering and history with a cumulative 4.0 GPA. Through his studies in computer engineering and history, he has recognized the importance of grounding his computer security research in an awareness of the broader social landscape.

Bouma-Sims credits his history curriculum with helping him see the need to recognize how systems and technologies might reinforce inequities in society. As part of the History Honors Program and inspired by his own experience publishing computing security research, he wrote a thesis on the computing field’s research culture and how it came to focus on conferences for publications rather than journals.

He has received several awards during his time at NC State, including two for his publication “Who’s Calling? Characterizing Robocalling Campaigns through Audio and Metadata Analysis” — the Distinguished Paper Award and Internet Defense Award from the 29th USENIX Security Symposium. He has worked as a research assistant for Brad Reaves in the Department of Computer Science, for which he received an undergraduate research grant in 2018. Bouma-Sims is a Park Scholar and Ben Franklin Scholar, and he is a member of the Grand Challenges Scholars program.

Senior Award for Leadership | Pippin Payne

Pippin Payne, a senior pursuing a B.S. in mechanical engineering and B.A. in religious studies with a minor in business administration, has demonstrated excellent leadership and entrepreneurship skills during his time at NC State.

Payne believes that “leaders are defined by one thing — followers,” and he has focused his energy on building trust with his peers and being a good steward of their time, which has resulted in a successful startup and important roles in several national organizations. He co-founded and co-led Peak Coffee Processing, an award-winning startup focused on improving the sustainability of the coffee industry by inventing a filtration system that creates fertilizer from coffee wastewater. Payne also served as the youngest member ever on the Students, Post-Doctoral Scholars and Early Career Professionals Subcommittee for the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

At NC State, he co-founded a student team called Engineer Your Experience to help current students supplement their engineering education with free, high-impact experiences. He also co-founded the first student council for the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges Scholars Program, leading to a 332-percent increase in scholars.

Senior Award for Scholarly Achievement | Juliet Swinea

Juliet Swinea, a senior majoring in civil engineering, maintained a 4.0 cumulative GPA while conducting and leading undergraduate research, as well as serving as a civil engineering ambassador.

Swinea started participating in undergraduate research during her first year at NC State in the Constructed Facilities Lab under Rudi Seracino and Gregory Lucier. She continued to build on her research by participating in NC State’s summer RISE REU program, working on the preparation, testing and data analysis of mechanically fastened carbon fiber reinforced polymers. This experience later helped her lead a section of a project funded by an REU grant she received. In fall 2018 and spring 2019, she conducted experiments on MF-FRP under fatigue, creep and uniaxial tension. Under the guidance of Seracino and Lucier, she created an interface program that aids a layered sectional analysis tool that is used by North Carolina Department of Transportation engineers to model the behavior of fiber reinforced polymer retrofitted bridge beams.

As an undergraduate student, Swinea also participated in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s SURE Summer Research Program, where she won first place in a poster presentation competition on her work making and analyzing alkali silica reaction gels.

Other nominees for these awards are:

Senior Award for Citizenship and Service

  • Monique Reid from Biomedical Engineering
  • Sydney Floryanzia from Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Luke Shealy from Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
  • Crys Blackey from Computer Science
  • Zeynep Yasmin Durmaz from Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Georgia Burgess from Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Victor Jimenez from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Senior Award for the Humanities

  • Kyra Sigler from Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Sarah Kubik from Biomedical Engineering
  • Julia O’Brien from Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Kendra Klemann from Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
  • Rebeca Teran from Computer Science
  • Jack Timothy from Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Rachel Figard from Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Hannah Fletcher from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Radhika Pal from Textile Engineering

Senior Award for Leadership

  • Carly Graves from Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Matthew Traenkle from Biomedical Engineering
  • Luke Sobolewski from Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Mike Scrudato from Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
  • Nikhil Milind from Computer Science
  • Alexander Allen from Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Nicole Gorrell from Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Halen Mattison from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Jacob Andrew Weinberg from Nuclear Engineering
  • Courtney Michaels from Textile Engineering

Senior Award for Scholarly Achievement

  • Kimberly Gebbia from Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Anthony Ming Kyu from Biomedical Engineering
  • Jack Davis from Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Mark Klose from Computer Science
  • Grace Maddocks from Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Ryan Winz from Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Evan Waldron from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • William Garrabrant from Nuclear Engineering
  • Jack Davis from Paper Science and Engineering
  • Jakub Sciora from Textiles Engineering