Emilie Rusch

Colorado School of Mines celebrates Spring 2020 Undergraduate Commencement

Just how many Blasters popped up in President Paul C. Johnson's video window? Watch the virtual ceremony recording to find out.
Virtual conferral of degrees, screenshot from video

Colorado School of Mines celebrated its Spring 2020 Undergraduate Commencement on May 8, conferring a total of 837 bachelor’s degrees during a virtual ceremony.

The live broadcast featured many of Mines’ cherished traditions as well as new features aimed at helping the community feel connected during this challenging time.

Watch the full ceremony, download the official Commencement program and join the ongoing celebration on social media at


The Spring 2020 Outstanding Graduating Seniors – chosen by faculty and staff and each representing a different academic major – were honored for their high scholastic achievement and on-campus engagement.

Seth Edelen, Mining Engineering

Post-graduation plans: Edelen, from Evergreen, Colorado, is looking forward to joining the mining industry and currently interviewing for jobs.                                   

Eli Evers, Civil Engineering

Post-graduation plans: Evers, from Sumner, Washington, will return to Mines in the fall to complete his master’s degree in civil engineering.                                    

Tori Heckart, Environmental Engineering

Post-graduation plans: Heckart, from Pleasanton, California, will complete her master’s degree in water engineering at Mines in the fall.                                         

Cierra DellaRova, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering

Post-graduation plans: DellaRova, from Wake Forest, North Carolina, will attend NC State University to pursue her graduate studies, with a focus on characterization of electronic materials.                                                         

David Werner, Electrical Engineering

Post-graduation plans: Werner, from Broomfield, Colorado, will return to Mines in the fall to finish his master’s degree in electrical engineering.                                                

Lauren Miller, Geology and Geological Engineering

Post-graduation plans: Miller, from Houston, Texas, is headed to The Woodlands, Texas, this fall to work for Exxon Mobil.

Kendall Bril, Chemical Engineering

Post-graduation plans: Bril, from Westminster, Colorado, is applying to medical school, where he hopes to be able to bring the engineering mindset to medicine and specialize in cardiology.

Bradley Jesteadt, Mechanical Engineering

Post-graduation plans: Jesteadt, from Arvada, Colorado, is interning at Lockheed Martin this summer before returning to Mines in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and graduate certificate in space resources.

Nicole Bourdon, Petroleum Engineering

Post-graduation plans: Bourdon, from Golden, Colorado, is interning at Cimarex in Oklahoma this summer before returning to Mines in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in petroleum engineering.

Leah Reeder, Computational and Applied Mathematics

Post-graduation plans: Reeder, from Lafayette, Colorado, will pursue her PhD in computational and mathematical engineering at Stanford University.

Aidan Dykstal, Statistics

Post-graduation plans: Dykstal, from Fort Collins, Colorado, will continue working for ICR Inc., a defense contractor for the U.S. Air Force located in Aurora.

Paul Bonn, Geophysics

Post-graduation plans: Bonn, from Gretna, Nebraska, is looking forward to beginning work as a consultant with Partners in Performance.

Philip Nelson, Chemistry

Post-graduation plans: Nelson, from Fort Worth, Texas, will pursue his PhD in theoretical and computational chemistry at Georgia Tech.

Joshua Stackhouse, Physics

Stackhouse, from Fort Collins, Colorado, will attend the University of California, Berkeley, to pursue a PhD in nuclear engineering.

Alexandra Pollock, Computer Science

Pollock, from Reno, Nevada, is interning with Intuit this summer before returning to Mines in the fall to complete her master’s degree in computer science.

Warren Scott Marshall, Economics & Business

Marshall, from Houston, Texas, will return to Mines in the fall to pursue a master’s degree and complete his final year of NCAA eligibility in football.


The Alan Kissock Award is awarded to graduating seniors in metallurgical and materials engineering, acknowledging creativity in metallurgy: Cierra DellaRova; Chad Haunschild; Sarah Ingram; Alexandria Mares; Taj Mitchell; and Lidia Yakovleva

The American Institute of Chemists Award honors outstanding seniors, post-baccalaureate and postdoctoral students majoring in chemistry, chemical engineering or biochemistry. The awards are given in recognition of a demonstrated ability, leadership and professional promise. Candidates are chosen and nominated by their faculty members: Nicole Wisniewski

The Cecil H. Green Award is given to the graduating senior in geophysical engineering who, in the opinion of the Department of Geophysics, has the highest attainment in the combination of scholastic achievement, personality and integrity: Alicia Downard

The C. N. Bell, 1906, Award, provided for by Mr. Bell, is a Brunton transit, awarded in mining for completing a course in mining and showing the most progress in schoolwork during the entire period for which the course is given: Nicholas Bellusci

The Clark B. Carpenter Award is presented to the graduating seniors in mining or metallurgy who, in the opinion of the senior students in mining and metallurgy and the professors in charge of the respective departments, is the most deserving of this award: Wyatt Lovingier and Chad Matthews                          

The Colorado Engineering Council Awards are presented for excellence in scholarship, high integrity and general engineering ability: Kendall Bril; Alexandra Pollock; and Jason Zobott                                               

The Emeritus Faculty Undergraduate Award is presented to an exceptional student as chosen by emeritus faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering: Juno Padilla

The Faculty Choice Award in Computer Science is given to a top graduating senior who helped improve computer science at Mines: Azam Abidjanov

The George R. Pickett Memorial Award is presented on the basis of demonstrated interest and accomplishments in the study of borehole geophysics: Jake McCaskill

The George T. Merideth Award, established in 2012 by Keith A. ’52 and Mary Ann Kvenvolden to carry forward the legacy of former Mines Geophysics Professor George T. Merideth, is presented to outstanding graduating geophysics students who have demonstrated academic excellence, community involvement and potential for leadership in earth science engineering: Brett Bernstein                                        

The H.G. Washburn Award is presented in mining for good scholastic record and active participation in athletics: Aaron Rickey

H. L. Hazen Prize in Process Metallurgy: Austin Rich                   

The Harrison L. Hays, 1931, Award is presented in chemical and petroleum refining for demonstrating scholarship, personality and integrity of character and the general potentialities of a successful industrial career: Gabriel Adriano and Meredith Greer

The Henry W. Kaanta, 1915, Award is presented for the outstanding paper on a laboratory procedure or experimental process written by a graduating senior majoring in extractive metallurgy or mineral processing: JT Belcourt

The Honorable D. W. Brunton Award, provided for by Mr. Brunton, is awarded for meritorious work in mining: Paul Stanton

Hutchinson Award: Elyse Denault

The John C. Hollister Award is presented to the most deserving student in geophysics and is not based solely on academic performance: Amabel Teca and Carlos Macedo

The John Steele Commemorative Service Award is given to one graduating senior that has displayed outstanding service to the Department of Mechanical Engineering: Jacqueline Pierce

The Mary & Charles Cavanaugh Award, presented in metallurgy, is determined by scholarship, professional activity and participation in school activities: Walker Hayse

The Maryanna Bell Kafadar Award is presented to the graduating senior who has excelled in humanities courses and humanities-related activities: Erika Stromerson

The McIver-Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Faculty Award is presented by the faculty of the department to the graduating senior who, by participation in and contribution to campus life and by academic achievement, has demonstrated those characteristics of a well-rounded graduate that Mines aspires to develop in its students: Anyka Bergeson-Keller

The Neal J. Harr Memorial Outstanding Student Award, provided by the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, is presented for scholastic excellence in the study of geology with the aim of encouraging future endeavors in the earth sciences: Robert Johanson

The Old Timers’ Club Award is presented to the graduating senior who, in the opinion of the Department of Mining Engineering, has shown high academic standing in coal mining engineering and potential for the coal industry: Jacob Oakley                                                     

The Outstanding Senior Research Award in Computer Science is awarded to a student who demonstrates superior performance and creativity in undergraduate research: Joshua Rands

The Pearson Potential Award is given to students in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering who have shown emerging leadership and engineering potential: Samuel Shnowske and Carter Ortiz

Phillip R. Romig Award in Geophysics: John Wiman

The Physics Faculty Distinguished Graduate Award is presented by the faculty of the department to graduating seniors with exceptionally high academic achievement in physics: Zachary Parrott and William Schenken

The Professor Everett Award, provided for by Frank Ausanka ’42, in honor of James R. Everett, an outstanding former faculty member in mathematics at Mines, is presented to a graduating senior in mathematics who demonstrates scholarship, leadership, community service and the potential for the innovative application of mathematics to mineral engineering: Amit Rotem

The Robert A. Baxter Award is presented for meritorious work in chemistry: Samantha Robinson

The Selim Memorial Scholarship is presented by the faculty of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering to a graduating student who promises great success in graduate school: Ronghua (Andy) Bei and Elizabeth Chengrian

The William D. Waltman Award 1899 is presented to the graduating seniors who have consistently demonstrated the utmost integrity, scholarship and citizenship in and outside of the classroom throughout their collegiate career: Walter Pennington and Leah Reeder

The Outstanding Student Service Award is presented by the Division of Student Life to the student who, during their tenure at Mines, outside and above their academic role, vigorously participated in activities or projects for the greater benefit of their peers and community to promote excellence and well-being: Gina Heinsohn and Maia Warner

The President’s Senior Scholar Athlete Award is presented to one graduating female and male athlete with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, has lettered in a sport during their senior year and has demonstrated leadership qualities of an exemplary student-athlete: Abigail Tiesman, Women’s Volleyball, and Jason Zobott, Men’s Soccer                                 


The following students will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force:

  • Luke LaRocque, Mechanical Engineering
  • Blake Simpson, Mechanical Engineering
  • Nicole C. Wisniewski, Biochemistry
Emilie Rusch

Emilie Rusch

Director of Communications
About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public research university focused on science and engineering, where students and faculty together address the great challenges society faces today - particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment.