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Class of 2024 BYU engineering graduates go forth to serve

Hear some favorite memories, future plans, and words of wisdom from this year's BYU engineering graduates.

Graduating Students Collage 2024

On Friday, April 26, 2024, the senior class of BYU engineering students will graduate from their programs. Read these spotlights of eleven outstanding seniors to learn about some of their achievements and aspirations. With their diverse experiences, talents, and contributions, the College of Engineering class of 2024 is sure to make the world a better place as they go forth to serve.

Cassie Larimer, chemical engineering

Cassie Larimer

  • Best part of chemical engineering: Working with people in the program, learning from them, and seeing their examples
  • Extracurricular experiences: Research groups and a study abroad in Europe
  • Most influential person: Hillary Bingham, a grad student research mentor. “She was just really inspiring to me because she had gone through some of the same challenges that I had faced earlier.”
  • What’s next: Working for the energy practice of Boston Consulting Group. Someday, graduate school and making a difference in sustainability issues
  • Words of wisdom: “Don't be afraid of getting involved in something that seems like a lot of work, whether it's a leadership position or a project or an activity. Because a lot of times those really time-consuming or laborious activities end up being the ones that are the most memorable and impactful in the long run.”

Joey McConkie, mechanical engineering and animation

Joey McConkie

  • Favorite memory: Going on walks around campus with his wife and two young sons
  • Extracurricular experiences: Rocketry club and personally building a three-axis robot arm
  • Greatest triumph: Graduating with a double major
  • What’s next: Interviewing for a few different work opportunities
  • Words of wisdom: “It's okay to not have everything figured out. …Engineering wasn't even on my radar when I came to BYU. I just thought, ‘Animation is what I'm here to do.’ And eventually it wasn't, and that was okay. ... It's so important to be seeking the Lord's guidance. I really trust that the Lord is guiding me and my family.”

Annika Green, construction management

Annika Green

  • Favorite memory: Spending long Friday nights in the Snell Building with her classmates
  • Extracurricular experiences: Construction management competition teams and serving as Construction Management Student Association president
  • Most influential person: Professor Justin Weidman. “He was my professor when I took the intro class, and it was kind of stressful … but he made me feel super comfortable.”
  • What’s next: Seeking an interior design certification. Someday, designing and building residential remodels or custom homes
  • Words of wisdom: “If you look at traits of someone, and you're like, ‘I wish I was like that,’ you can! People went through stuff that got them there. I look at who I am now and who I was freshman year, and it's completely different. I have so much more confidence, so much more ability to communicate with other people. … If you have a goal, you can take the steps that you need to get there. It’s not instant, but looking back, it’s amazing.”

Christoper Akiki, chemical engineering

Christopher Akiki

  • Favorite memory: Getting his first “yes” to an internship opportunity after many applications
  • Greatest triumph: Knocking on a professor’s door as a freshman to ask to join a research group
  • Most influential person: Professor Doug Tree. “I think he's the smartest guy I've ever met. … I want to have that depth of knowledge and that passion that he has.”
  • What’s next: Deciding between different work opportunities. Someday, contributing to more sustainable energy solutions
  • Words of wisdom: “It's easy to just follow the classic path, but my advice would be just be aware of what is happening in the world around you. Be aware of how technology is evolving, and don't be afraid to take the non-classic path and align yourself with the change.”

Jonathan Tshibanda, civil engineering

Jonathan Tshibanda

  • Best part of civil engineering: Solving complex problems, puzzles, and riddles
  • Favorite memory: Taking a leadership class and learning a lot
  • Greatest triumph: Adjusting to the language and culture here after moving from his home country, the Republic of the Congo
  • What’s next: Civil engineering master’s program at BYU. Someday, working in the steel construction industry
  • Words of wisdom: “When I came to BYU, I was already expecting a lot. But I feel like I've really got even more than what I expected, especially when it comes to building character. … I worked and collaborated with a lot of professors and other students that had really great character, so you not only learn from what you read from books, but also just from examples that are around you.”

Anna Pratt, cybersecurity

Anna Pratt

  • Best part of cybersecurity: Helping people out on their worst day
  • Favorite memory: Winning her first cybersecurity team competition as a sophomore
  • Extracurricular experiences: Serving in the cybersecurity club presidency and as a cybersecurity competition team captain
  • What’s next: Working as a full-time cybersecurity analyst for BYU. Someday, graduate school and perhaps teaching in a high school or university
  • Words of wisdom: “At the end of the day, we don't win to win. We win so that when people look at BYU, they're like, ‘What makes BYU different? Why do these people care so much and why do they help others so much?’ It's so that when people look at us, they can see God and they can see Christlike people who try to help others with their skills.”

Camilla Cave, manufacturing engineering

Camilla Cave

  • Best part of manufacturing engineering: All of the resources and machines available for working on cool projects, like a carbon fiber violin bow
  • Most influential people: Her boss and coworkers in the Engineering Building prototyping lab
  • Extracurricular experiences: Intramural sports, research groups, and a study abroad in Peru
  • What’s next: Working on a process engineering team for Owens Corning in Nephi, Utah
  • Words of wisdom: “The stuff we're learning here and the stuff we're developing or trying to understand really could have an impact in different businesses and people's lives. The whole point of engineering is learning something new that could benefit someone.”

Sadie McGinn, mechanical engineering

Sadie McGinn

  • Favorite memory: Going on an energy and environment study abroad in Europe
  • Greatest triumph: Learning how to work effectively on teams with other people
  • Most influential person: Professor Troy Munro. “I did research with Dr. Monroe on molten salts and friction stir welding. … that was a very good learning experience.”
  • What’s next: Exploring lots of possibilities to find what feels good
  • Words of wisdom: “Throughout my education, I've learned just enough to know how clueless I am about a lot of things. Because you definitely learn a huge variety of stuff at an introductory level. That’s kind of sobering and humbling to realize how much you don't know. But I also think my education has helped provide me a framework to take these really complicated, messy problems out there in the world and break them down and simplify them in a way to make them solvable.”

Elise Larson Kinghorn, electrical engineering

Elise Larson Kinghorn

  • Favorite memories: Getting married and having a baby girl
  • Greatest triumph: Passing her junior core classes while pregnant
  • Extracurricular experiences: Serving as president of the electrical and computer engineering Ambassador Program, a mentorship club for underclassmen
  • What’s next: Working for APCO in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Words of wisdom: “School is important, but keep it in perspective. It's important to have balance in everything. School is a means to gain an education and start your career, but you do that so that you can support your family. Also, it's important to have balance with your religion and have balance in everything. … There's a lot of people around to help you balance your life and succeed.”

Ivy Stout, civil engineering

Ivy Stout

  • Extracurricular experiences: Intramural sports, research groups, and Women in Civil Engineering Club
  • Greatest triumph: Learning to make friends and form relationships after the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Most influential person: Professor Spencer Guthrie. “If you have questions, he says, ‘Come into my office. We'll sit, and we'll chat about a problem and help you understand it.’”
  • What’s next: Civil engineering master’s program at BYU. Someday, facilitating better communication between clients and engineers
  • Words of wisdom: “Get some really good friends so that when you're not in school, you have some people to just go relax with and go on crazy adventures. Provo’s filled with rock climbing, hiking … drive three hours, you’re in Moab! There's a lot to do to get away from school, and then a lot of help to get in school.”

Ben Boyack, electrical engineering

Ben Boyack

  • Favorite memory: Getting married and having a son
  • Extracurricular experiences: Researching integrated circuits with Professor Wood Chiang
  • Greatest triumph: Learning to understand abstract and invisible concepts
  • What’s next: Graduate school studying robotics. Someday, developing medical equipment (and having a big family)
  • Words of wisdom: “I really like the model of enter to learn, go forth to serve. I feel like a lot of professors embody that—to take what you learn in electrical engineering and go to help the world and serve those around us.”