Emilie Rusch

Outstanding graduating seniors lead the way at Fall 2019 Undergraduate Commencement

Colorado School of Mines awarded a total of 286 bachelor's degrees during the Dec. 13 ceremony.
President Johnson shakes hands with graduate

Colorado School of Mines celebrated its Fall 2019 Undergraduate Commencement on Dec. 13, conferring a total of 286 bachelor’s degrees during a ceremony at Lockridge Arena.

The Fall 2019 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:

Caleb Dotten headshot

Caleb Dotten, Civil Engineering

Dotten, of Elizabeth, Colorado, will work for JR Engineering’s land development department.

Favorite Mines memory: My favorite Mines memory was attending and competing at the ASCE regional competitions. It was a lot of fun to cheer on our steel bridge and concrete canoe teams along with my civil engineering classmates.

Willie Konishi headshot

William Konishi, Environmental Engineering

Konishi, of Scottsdale, Arizona, will join Kimley-Horn’s consulting team in Denver working mostly on hydrology projects.

Favorite Mines memory: My favorite memories have been teaching three amazing CSM 101 classes over the last few years. They have all been amazing. However, a close second would probably be running through a hailstorm my freshman year to my physics final.

Melissa Dangler headshot

Melissa Dangler, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering

Dangler, of Lakeland, Florida, plans to go into industry before returning to school to pursue a PhD.

Favorite Mines memory: The fondest memories I have of my time at Mines were all spent in Dr. Bourne’s classes. I’ve learned a lot from him and enjoyed his humor along the way. The day that he retires, Mines will lose one of their best.

John Wiens headshot

John Wiens, Electrical Engineering

Wiens, of Fort Collins, Colorado, will finish his master’s degree in electrical engineering at Mines.

Favorite Mines memory: My favorite Mines memory was traveling to Florida for the ASME Student Design Competition Finals.

Gavin Yeung headshot

Gavin Yeung, Chemical Engineering

Yeung, of Hong Kong, will continue his studies in the chemical engineering master’s program at Mines this spring.

Favorite Mines Memory: When I made solar cells to increase the efficiency of the energy harvesting process.

Ira Weyand headshot

Ira Weyand, Mechanical Engineering

Weyand, of Monument, Colorado, will commission into the United States Army as a second lieutenant immediately after graduation, pursuing his military career in the National Guard while simultaneously beginning his civilian career as a technical analyst for Citrix.

Favorite Mines Memory: My favorite memory from Mines goes all the way back to move-in week, when I first met my floormates on Thomas Hall’s second floor. The instantaneous bonds we formed and jokes we quickly developed reassured my decision to join this smaller, but tight-knit, community. I will forever be thankful for the friends I have made here and the times I shared with the extraordinary people at Mines.

Sarah Moravits

Sara Moravits, Petroleum Engineering

Moravits, of San Antonio, Texas, plans to work for Schlumberger as a field engineer in North Dakota.

Favorite Mines memory: My favorite Mines memory is going on a different adventure every weekend freshman year.

Lindsey Nield headshot

Lindsey Nield, Statistics

Nield, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, will stay at Mines for the Spring 2020 term to finish a master’s degree in statistics.

Favorite Mines Memory: My favorite Mines memory is leading the M Climb during my junior year and getting more drenched than when I did it as a freshman.

Miika Jarvela

Miika Jarvela, Computational and Applied Mathematics

Jarvela, of Coppell, Texas, is doing the combined program for his master’s degree in applied math and statistics.

Favorite Mines memory: I really enjoyed doing undergraduate research with Dr. Leiderman and participating in the Mines Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Lorena Loving headshot

Lorena Loving, Computer Science

Loving, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, will begin a master’s degree in computer science in January.

Favorite Mines memory: I’ve met some of my best friends at Mines through various classes and organizations.

Michael Cofrancesco headshot

Michael Cofrancesco, Mining Engineering

Cofrancesco, of Tolland, Connecticut, plans to seek a job in industry.

Favorite Mines memory: Meeting my girlfriend


The following student will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force:

  • Justin Dollar, Civil Engineering

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

  • Parker Bolstad, Environmental Engineering
  • Andrew McClain, Mechanical Engineering
  • Jeremy Nguyen, Civil Engineering
  • Ira Weyand, Mechanical Engineering


Alan Kissock Award, awarded to graduating seniors in metallurgical and materials engineering, acknowledging creativity in metallurgy: Robert Puerling (creative effort in outreach), Kaitlyn Nagel (creative effort in CSMMAC Admin)

Computer Science Faculty Choice Award, awarded to a top graduating senior who helped improve computer science at Mines: Hannah Lee

Computer Science Outstanding Senior Research Award, awarded to a student who demonstrates superior performance and creativity in undergraduate research: Gazi Md Mahbub-Morshed

Distinguished Military Graduate: Parker Bolstad

Emeritus Faculty Undergraduate Award, awarded to a top graduating senior in mechanical engineering: Shona Hansen

John Steele Commemorative Service Award, awarded to a top graduating senior in mechanical engineering: Dylan McClain

Outstanding Student Service Award, 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: William Konishi and Demonna Wade

President’s Senior Scholar Athlete Award, 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: Mikayla Hostetler, women’s soccer, and Grant Stewart, football

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.