Clarkson University Awards Degrees to More Than 700 students at Spring 2023 Commencement

June 7, 2023

Clarkson University awarded more than 700 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students from 28 states, 23 countries and 55 counties of New York state at its spring 2023 commencement ceremonies, on Thursday, May 11 and Saturday, May 13. An additional 383 students received degrees this past winter and summer.

a Clarkson University student in sunglasses is cheered by faculty
Clarkson University student in sunglasses is cheered by faculty

Yuncheng Du, an associate professor of chemical & biomolecular engineering in the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering was awarded the John W. Graham Jr. Faculty Research Award. The $1,500 research account is presented to "faculty members who have shown promise in engineering, business, liberal arts or scientific research."

Galina Melman, an associate professor of chemistry and biomolecular science in Clarkson University's School of Arts & Sciences was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award. The $1,500 prize is given "in recognition of the importance of superior teaching." Candidates are nominated for the award by Clarkson alumni and the final selection is made by a faculty committee.

Michael Sacks, assistant professor of economics & financial studies was awarded the Outstanding New Teacher Award for 2023. Established by the University Committee on Improvement in Teaching in 1991, the award recognizes an outstanding teacher within his or her first four years at the university. Criteria for selection include excellence in the classroom, capacity to motivate and challenge students and creativity in teaching methods and curriculum development.

Clarkson University Biology Professor Michael Twiss was named professor emeritus for his 20 years of service to the University.

Senior Zachary Goad of Colchester, V.T., received the Levinus Clarkson Award, and senior Miranda Wolf of McDonough, N.Y., received the Frederica Clarkson Award. Both are $1,000 prizes given to "a student who demonstrates the best combination of scholarship and promise of outstanding professional achievement."

In addition to the graduating students, receiving an honorary degree and addressing students, families and guests was distinguished military leader Lieutenant General Rick Lynch, U.S. Army (Retired).

In his remarks to the graduates on Saturday afternoon, Lynch stressed the importance of three qualities; discipline, work ethic, and especially relationships.

Lynch assured graduates that students’ focus on these three aspects of life, combined with their Clarkson education, would set them up for success, in whatever form that takes for each individual.

“Having studied the impact Clarkson University has had on our country and our world, you are poised for greatness,” Lynch said. “You have to define for yourself the definition of success. You can do well while doing good, but focus on the doing good piece.”

As a private, national research university, Clarkson is a leader in technological education and sustainable economic development through teaching, scholarship, research and innovation. We ignite personal connections across academic fields and industries to create the entrepreneurial mindset, knowledge and intellectual curiosity needed to innovate world-relevant solutions and cultivate the leaders of tomorrow. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the New York Capital Region, Beacon, N.Y., and New York City, Clarkson educates 4,000+ students across 95 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, the arts, education, sciences and health professions. Our alumni earn salaries that are among the top 2% in the nation and realize accelerated career growth. One in five already leads as a CEO, senior executive or owner of a company. To learn more about Clarkson University, go to
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