Zahra Ahmed Speech - Commencement 2012
Address to the Class of 2012, College of Engineering and the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
I am extremely honored today to speak on behalf of such an accomplished engineering class. Every graduate here today has been through at least four or more years of an engineering curriculum that has led to countless sleepless nights, 20 credits per term through almost the entirety of our college careers, practically moving into the study spaces in Bossone, CAT and Main Building, and pulling our hair out through the struggles of senior design and a graduate thesis. Despite all that, I am sure every graduate here will agree: what a great few years it has been.
As an engineering student at Drexel, every single one of us has mastered the urgency of a 10-week quarter and developed an incredible work ethic. We have learned to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, collaborators and above all great leaders beyond the classroom walls.
As I look back to the start of my college career, I am reminded what led me to pursue biomedical engineering. I was attracted to the concept of inter-disciplinary research in medicine – to the idea that the convergence of nanotechnology, mechanics, material sciences and biology was more likely to produce giant leaps in medicine, than biology alone.
Five years later, my engineering education has reinforced this belief and I have come to appreciate the significance of advancements in the sciences powered by engineering. Advancements made by people who once started where we are today. As Drexel Engineering graduates, most of us have had the opportunity to test the waters through our co-ops and find our niche, making us more prepared for what is in store. So while we leave here to begin careers as engineers, remember that we are entering society as the future of technological change and development.
Lastly, I would like to give thanks on behalf of the Class of 2012 to some very important people. First, to all our professors, who taught us, mentored us and helped us develop an engineering intellect. To Drs. Onaral and Eisenstein, for encouraging us to embark on a path of academic excellence and innovation. To our academic advisors and department staff for counseling us, putting up with us and for steering us away from the “change in major form” during our freshman years. And finally and most importantly, to our moms and dads, our families and our friends. Your unconditional love and encouragement through our Drexel careers and throughout our lives have made us only more prepared for this day.
From me personally, thanks to my engineering buddies – Kate, BK, Jackie and Jeremy – we did it. To my little sisters for following me to Drexel and being my cheerleaders. To my brother who is also graduating today with his Ph.D. from Cal Tech – congratulations. And finally to my parents back at home in India, Mom and Dad - I love you and thank you.
I conclude by saying: Graduates of 2012, good luck with your future endeavors and if you ever find yourself in need of assistance, remember that you will always have this amazing Dragon family to support you. Thank you and congratulations!