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2019 Graduation and Awards Ceremony

June 14, 2019

Students posing with HCDE baloons at the 2019 graduation

Graduation photos on flickr

The Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) held its 2019 Graduation & Awards Ceremony on the morning of Tuesday, June 11, in the Husky Union Building Ballroom. 

In 2019, the Department awarded 97 students Bachelor of Science degrees, 78 with Master of Science degrees, and 4 with doctoral degrees. The full list of graduates is below

Graduation Addresses

Brenda LaurelGuest graduation speaker Dr. Brenda Laurel

The 2019 Graduation speaker was guest Brenda Laurel. Dr. Laurel is a video game design trailblazer, author, and virtual reality pioneer. She has worked in interactive media since 1976—in the computer game industry with Atari and Activision; in research labs at Atari and Interval Research; and as a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Labs. She researched gender and technology at Interval Research, and co-founded Purple Moon, interactive media for girls, in 1996. Read the full text of Dr. Laurel's graduation address »

Awards of Excellence

The Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering annually recognizes outstanding students with Awards of Excellence. These awards honor students who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating greatness in Academic Excellence, Leadership and Engagement, and Innovation. The HCDE faculty nominate and vote on the recipients and craft the award statements below. Read about these awards and see the past recipients, here

Ritika GuptaUndergraduate Award for Academic Excellence 

Ritika Gupta 

Beyond her stellar GPA, Ritika is an amazing all-around student. She consistently hits high marks academically, creatively and technically. She is the kind of student who is ever curious, asking probing and insightful questions, and sets the highest standards for herself. She is a deeply thoughtful designer and researcher who consistently achieves excellent results in her work. She has also been an outstanding course assistant in our introductory course, HCDE 210.

Hayley BierbaumGraduate Award for Academic Excellence

Hayley Bierbaum

Hayley is a highly creative student who put the time in to think critically about her coursework and how to make the most of her time in HCDE. She also served as an excellent teaching assistant in many courses during her time with us. (Hayley was unable to attend the ceremony as she recently moved to San Francisco to work as a researcher for Airbnb.)

Alaa AmedUndergraduate Award for Innovation

Alaa Amed

Alaa is a highly creative student with the soul of an artist and the dedication to her creative work that exemplifies innovation. Alaa received a minor in Digital Arts and Experimental Media and she brought her passion in wearable technology to the HCDE Alternative Spring Break program where she engaged teens in their own designs. 

Cindy BennettGraduate Award for Innovation

Cynthia Bennett

Throughout her doctoral studies in HCDE, Cindy has demonstrated outstanding scholarship in her research. She authored many publications in the areas of human-computer interaction, disability studies, and accessibility, and she is a major contributor to the accessibility research programs at UW. Her dissertation research has been supported by both Microsoft Research and the National Science Foundation. She is also an influential teacher and mentor for her fellow peers within HCDE and around the UW.

Blake TsuzakiGraduate Award for Innovation

Blake Tsuzaki

During his time in our master's program, Blake was a fountain of good ideas. He combined his technical expertise with user experience research and design to develop comprehensive solutions to design challenges. Especially clever was Blake’s work in physical computing and web services, where he also served as an outstanding teaching assistant in many courses.

Emily WongUndergraduate Award for Leadership & Engagement

Emily Wong

Emily has extensive leadership and mentoring experience. She is passionate about creating social impact and giving back to the community, and has participated in numerous efforts to bring more women and underrepresented minorities into technology and engineering. Emily has served as president of Women in User Experience (WiUX) as well as the executive organizer of DubHacks where she helped organize the largest hackathon in the Pacific Northwest.

D'Marcus ButlerGraduate Award for Leadership & Engagement

D’Marcus Butler

D’Marcus has demonstrated leadership excellence through his role as president of the HCDE Graduate Student Association, where he helped to organize professional development workshops for his peers, and through his service on the department’s diversity committee. D’Marcus has taken an active role in the UW’s Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program, where he holds a  leadership role on the Graduate Student Advisory Board.

Kiley SobelGraduate Award for Leadership & Engagement

Kiley Sobel

Kiley has been an outstanding leader of the HCDE community. In addition to being a leader among graduate students, such as through her work in being the graduate student union representative, she has been a leader in HCDE outreach efforts and through her mentorship of HCDE undergraduate research assistants. She was an outstanding teacher, as a leader and as one of the primary architects of our successful introductory course, HCDE 210. She has also shown immense leadership in the international research community for her roles leading student volunteer efforts at numerous conferences.

Mikey Award

Kelly FranznickMikey Award Recipient Kelly Franznick

Each year, the HCDE faculty select a recipient of the Myron L. White (aka "The Mikey") Award. The Mikey Award, named after a founder of the department, is given to a leader in the field and a dedicated friend of HCDE.

The HCDE faculty unanimously voted to award Kelly Franznick the 2019 Mikey Award, thanking him for his years of support of the Department. Kelly Franznick is a co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Blink UX. He is a dedicated friend of HCDE, currently serving on the department's External Advisory Board and previously on the Professional Graduate Programs Advisory Board. Kelly has been unfailingly generous with his time and energy in supporting many initiatives in HCDE. In addition to serving on our leadership boards, Kelly has taught classes for us, visited frequently as a guest lecturer, and opened up Blink’s offices for student groups. He has an exemplary vision about how human-centered design can help clients and the world at large, and has been at the forefront of partnering with our department to help us prepare students for their future careers.

2019 Graduates

Congratulations to the HCDE Class of 2019! All HCDE degrees awarded in the 2018–2019 academic year are below.

PhD Graduates

Cynthia Bennett and Daniela Rosner on stage

Cynthia Bennett

DISSERTATION: Examining the Intersection of Design and Disability: Towards Access-Centered Methods

Andrew Berry and Mark Haselkorn on stage

Andrew Berry

DISSERTATION: Designing to count for Patients’ Personal Values in Collaborative Care for Multiple Chronic Conditions


Nan-Chen Chen and Cecilia Aragon on stage

Nan-Chen Chen

DISSERTATION: Supporting Artificial Intelligence Development Workflows

Kiley Sobel and Julie Kientz on stage

Kiley Sobel

DISSERTATION: Designing Technology for Inclusive Play


Bachelor of Science


  • Reine Khadija Abubakar
  • Tariku-Di Allen
  • Alaa Abdalla A Amed
  • Aleenah Halim Ansari
  • Madisen Reyn Leonor Arurang
  • Yuki Asakura
  • Robert Connor Aylor
  • Timnit Bekele
  • Hallelujah Dararo Bekele
  • Vrishti K S Bhowmik
  • Gabrielle Diana Bilka
  • Andrew Geoffrey Briggs
  • Jamie Byun
  • Shangyang Chen
  • Stefanie Choi
  • Natalie Michelle Chow
  • Oorja Chowdhary
  • Jonathan Clinton Cole
  • Delannah Lynette Collins
  • Ruby Kathryn Davis
  • Feven Yonas Debela
  • Carina Marie Dempsey
  • Laura Elizabeth Dickinson
  • Zoe Olivia Escalona
  • Pari Jonathan Gabriel
  • Connor Garrett
  • Pooja Trisha Ghelani
  • Ritika Gupta
  • Nathan Han
  • Kaitlyn He
  • Sharon Saiyin Heung
  • Jingle Huang
  • Olivia Florence Irwin
  • Wendy Kang
  • Daiana Kaplan
  • Sierramatice Westphal Karras
  • Daniel Michael Kim
  • Inhae Kim
  • Ostin Kurniawan
  • Madeleine Tuong-Vi Le
  • Angela Li
  • Jang Soo Lim
  • Garrett Joel Mar
  • Theodore Jonathan McDonald
  • Courtney Madison McKee
  • Maria Guadalupe Medina
  • Sunny Mishra
  • Mulki Mohamud Mohamed
  • Owla Mohamed
  • Nikita Morozov
  • Wesley A. Muthemba
  • Leana H. Nakkour
  • Japjeet Singh Narang
  • Aylee Willow Neff
  • Lynda Thu Nguyen
  • Emily Nuri
  • Sam Christopher O’Brien
  • Michael Carrasca Palomo
  • Tre Gino Paolini III
  • Geon Soo Park
  • Mi Yeon Peach
  • Maria Elena Perla
  • Monica Catherine Posluszny
  • Reksha Rathnam
  • Rachel Ren
  • Sebastian Torres Retana
  • Samuelle Maria Saliba
  • Arshvardhan Singh Saroya
  • Jill Aneri Shah
  • Helene Yu Chen Shea
  • Amanda Chih-Ning Shen
  • Courtney Faye Smith
  • Cheyenne Fan Sokkappa
  • Samuel Bernstein Spieth
  • Nathnael Biruk Solomon
  • Timothy Sun
  • Asuka Takano
  • Savong Tan
  • Yodit Debritu Tefera
  • Kush Tekriwal
  • Zachary Chandler Thomas
  • Betsy Claire Todaro
  • Jonathan Anh Tran
  • Megan Yun Truong
  • Akshaya Venkat
  • Sahana A. Vishwanath
  • Ben Powell Wagner-Wilkins
  • Maike Wells
  • Emily Julia Wong
  • Kelly Xu
  • Ruotong Xu
  • Kotoko Yamada
  • Matthew Tao Yang
  • Steven Yong
  • Colin Ross Youngblood
  • Melody Yu
  • Ryan Thomas Zuzelski


Master of Science


  • Ross Abplanalp
  • Scott Andersen
  • Kira Awadalla
  • Bhakti Bathia
  • Meghna Bhairappa
  • Hayley A. Bierbaum
  • D’Marcus Butler
  • Kairavi Chahal
  • Adrian Che
  • Anting Chen
  • Vera Chen
  • Amy Chen
  • Christopher Collins
  • Kristen M. Demarjian
  • Tien Do
  • Kristoffer D. Everson
  • Evan William Feenstra
  • Alante D. Fields
  • Stefanie Maike Funtsch
  • Benjamin Galassi
  • Zimu Guo
  • Veronika Hanson
  • Michael Harwell
  • Katie R. Hauser
  • Yaonan Huang
  • Charlie Huo
  • Chris J. Hussein
  • Jenna Leigh James
  • Honggang Lai
  • Jose Lara Silva
  • Sonnet Andrea Lauberth
  • Dong Li
  • Galen Lieberworth
  • Alice Lin
  • Wamwitha Love
  • Yi Luo
  • Yahui Ma
  • Daniel MacDonald
  • Bill Marshall
  • Christina Mauri
  • Josephine Hoy
  • David A. Molinero
  • Samantha Muscat-Scherr
  • Nitya Nambisan
  • Hannah Christy Nursalim
  • Elizabeth Quepons
  • Jen Rapp
  • Kartika Rathee
  • Sandra Radosavljevic Rathman
  • Jake Rhodes
  • Haley Rohl
  • Sonam Hemant Samel
  • Toni Saylor
  • Kate Schenot
  • Andrea Jacqueline Sequeira
  • Yoonbo Shim
  • Hye Won Son
  • Tucker Standlee
  • Omari Stringer
  • Yi Tang
  • Sandy Tsai
  • Blake Tsuzaki
  • Anthony Ugas
  • Corynne Umeda
  • Nicole A. Vanmeter
  • Meng Wang
  • Zirui Wang
  • Juliette Weiss
  • Samantha Brooke West
  • Kyle A. Witt
  • Man Xu
  • Chun-Fang Yang
  • Ziyan Yang
  • Eric Zelna
  • Emily Yurou Zeng
  • Manuel Zetino
  • Tyson Zevenbergen
  • Dawen Zheng
  • Amy Xin Zhong

Graduation photos on flickr