Speed School Students and Organization Receive 2018 Student Awards

April 27, 2018

 Several engineering students are recipients of the University of Louisville Student Awards this year, which also includes recognition for the Speed School Student Council (SSSC) for the Engineering Expo (E-Expo) event held in March. According to the UofL Dean of Students website, the Student Awards “acknowledges outstanding students, staff and parents through a variety of awards and recognition programs. These programs provide the University with the opportunity to recognize the extraordinary contributions individuals make to the campus community.”

This year, a total of nine engineering students and one organization from Speed School received awards, which are listed below. For many of the students, the award reflects their achievements from the previous year, highlighting their accomplishments both in and outside of the classroom.

Dedication and Preparation

Transitioning now into his Junior year, sophomore Michael DeGroot hopes to continue his education as an electrical engineering student post-graduation, where he plans to work on his MEng. The recipient of both the Profiles in Leadership and the CCU Outstanding Sophomore Student Award, DeGroot attributes some of his accolades to the assistance that he’s received from the Faculty and Staff, who he believes have positioned him for success.

“A little dedication and preparation on my end allowed me to provide a rich experience where I was able to foster and grow the leadership skills on an outstanding group of first year students," DeGroot said. "When I was recognized, in return they were all recognized as well. Without their exceptional effort and commitment to the program, there would be no reason for me to receive this award.”

Looking to the Future

As bioengineering major Faizan Ahmed completes his junior year, he remains dedicated to his pursuits. Post graduation, Ahmed hopes to attend medical school to become a surgeon. Ultimately, he hopes to donate half of his year to providing free surgeries in third world countries like Syria, Afghanistan, or Pakistan. As such, Ahmed is encouraged by his award, and ready to continue to face the future.

“I will be the first to say that compared to my bioengineering peers, I am probably not the smartest in the room," Ahmed said. "But put me in any room with a group of students and I can assure you I will be the hardest working. I have an amazing support system of friends.”

Building on Success

This year, the E-Expo was attended by more than 700 students, not including outside visitors to the event like their families. Hosted by the Speed School Student Council, the E-Expo received their award based not only by the size and style of the event, but in its inclusivity.

“It means a lot because we were recognized for organizing this event. We obviously think it’s a great event, but it’s nice to be recognized," Outgoing SSSC Vice President Saralynn Callahan said. "Whenever you try something new, you find out what works and what doesn’t work. We learned some valuable lessons.”

The full list of Speed School Award Winners follows:

Intramural and Recreational Sports Solid Performance Award

Alex Lancaster, senior, Industrial Engineering



ACC Top Six for Service Awards
Bailey Florek, junior, Bioengineering

Profiles in Leadership

Michael DeGroot, junior, Electrical Engineering

Erik Rieger, senior, Electrical Engineering



PEACC Keeper Award
Behrad Bakhtiari, sophomore, Bioengineering


Katy Garrison LGBT Student Leadership Award
Celeste Atchison, senior, Chemical Engineering


CCU Outstanding Freshman Student Award
Emma Lawson junior, Mechanical Engineering

CCU Outstanding Sophomore Student Award
Michael DeGroot- junior, Electrical Engineering

CCU Outstanding Junior Student Award

Faizan Ahmed, senior, Bioengineering

Outstanding Academic/Educational Program
“Engineering Exposition” Speed School Student Council

Outstanding Student Employee Award

Joseph Graf, senior, Mechanical Engineering