Published: April 22, 2024 By

Two exceptional students from the Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering (ECEE) have earned 2024 Graduating Student Awards from the College of Engineering and Applied Science. 

These honors are awarded to seniors who are nominated by faculty, staff or fellow students for their outstanding contributions and achievements.

ECEE students will celebrate graduation on Thursday, May 9, 2024 from 4-6 p.m. at the Business Field.

Perseverance Award

Bruno Armas
BS in Electrical & Computer Engineering

This award recognizes undergraduate students who persevere despite adversity – above and beyond the inherent perseverance needed in any engineering major.

What are your plans after graduation? I am still seeking full-time employment. I have two trips to California in the works with one road trip with friends and the other to go to San Diego Comic Con. 

Your perseverance speaks volumes. How did perseverance and resilience help you tackle challenges?
Since the beginning, my college career has been characterized by numerous obstacles, setbacks and challenges, which all seemed insurmountable at the time. No challenge has changed and defined me more than taking nearly two years away from school to support my family during the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter how impossible my situation seemed, commuting more than 40 miles for two semesters while taking a full course load, I always reminded myself that I am living out my dream. This was the second chance that I fought for and that I never take my education for granted. 

How has your involvement with CU Engineering helped your journey?
I continued to work at the BOLD Center as a peer mentor to scholars and met with my academic coach every two weeks. I was involved as a board member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. As a student leader, I shared my lessons learned and provided support to other engineering students. I’ve been eager to share those experiences through my leadership in the BOLD community and as a leader. I will be graduating this upcoming May with a degree in electrical and computer engineering. The sacrifices and changes I made ultimately led to success and a foundational achievement that has brought me to this moment today. 

What will you miss the most from your CU Engineering experience?
What I will miss the most from CU Engineering were the long nights in the electronics lab with my friends.

What has been an important moment during your time with Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering?
My favorite memory at ECEE is the eruption of excitement that my lab partner, Sam Feller, and I felt when we were finally able to pulse an LED for three seconds after hours of working in embedded systems. 

What is a piece of advance you have for future engineering students?
My advice for future students is that your goals can always be reality. Be flexible to accomplish your goals in ways that you didn’t envision. No matter the outcome, keep working for your dreams. Always be solution-focused despite obstacles, setbacks and hardships. I have accomplished this not only for me, but for everyone who helped me on this journey. 

Community Impact Award

Jasleen K. Batra
BS in Electrical & Computer Engineering

This award recognizes undergraduate students who contribute to improving their department, program, college, university and/or local community.

What are your plans after graduation? I am pursuing a master’s in electrical engineering at CU Boulder to conduct thesis research in radiative transfer and remote sensing! 

What has been an important moment during your time with Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering?
Midway through my first semester of sophomore year, I switched into the Electrical & Computer Engineering major, which led me to being incredibly behind in classes. I remember struggling a lot each week, and I frequently questioned if I had made the right decision switching majors. One week in particular, I was overwhelmed with staying up to date with new coursework. I reached out to a friend who gave me advice I still carry with me two years later.

He told me the responsibility in obtaining my degree was mine and mine only. If I was serious about the degree, I’d do anything and everything it took to finish it. It reminds me of one of my favorite poems, Invictus, where the author finishes the poem with, “It matters now how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” This moment highlighted just how empowering it can be to take hold of a circumstance, even if less than ideal. Here I was, questioning if I had what it took to be an engineer, absolutely entrenched within a difficult academic situation. This is my favorite memory at ECEE because it showed me that good engineers and scientists struggle, but being able to put yourself in the driver’s seat makes life easier to manage.

What will you miss the most from CU Engineering?
I am going to miss the plethora of research opportunities. Through my time in undergrad, I have been involved with a variety of remote sensing, quantum, and space weather research projects through the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and it’s amazing to me that these opportunities are open to students. From a young age, I was always curious about weather and how it worked. When I got to university, I was able to explore weather-based research that provided me a more solid understanding of weather dynamics not only here on Earth, but in space as well. When you do research, it feels like you’re contributing to something bigger than yourself, and it’s an amazing feeling. 

What is a piece of advice you have for future engineering students?
The best way to succeed in engineering is by supporting, collaborating and receiving support. Your strongest relationships will come from struggling alongside others, whether that be through homework, exams or through life in general. I am still in this major because I had a support system. Be the reason someone stays in engineering. There will always be a million reasons to not do something. By holding out a helping hand, you will be surprised by who you meet, who will inspire you and who will introduce you to the next step in your career. And while you’re developing your career, you’ll know who to point your friends and peers to as they develop theirs.