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Distance Diplomas: 210 Receive USC M.S. Degrees via DEN May 12

Viterbi School's Distance Education Network is number 1 in the world in offerings and enrollment

May 08, 2006 —

DEN M.S. recipient and Viterbi School graduate commencement standardbearer Ray Ambrose meets Viterbi School dean Yannis Yortsos. Photo: Ray Fujioka
The USC Viterbi School of Engineering's Distance Education Network (DEN) granted Master of Science degrees to 210 distance learning students, most of whom earned their degrees while working full-time — and one of whom had the honor of serving as a flag bearer in the Viterbi School graduation ceremony May 12.  

DEN, which now offers 32 degrees online and enrolls students abroad, continues to be the largest online graduate engineering program in the world.

“We always look forward to commencement,” said Kelly Goulis, executive director of DEN.  “Students who have never set foot on campus come here for the first time to receive their diplomas. At this time we get to finally meet students who we have known via email and telephone for years.”

Ray Ambrose, a senior reservoir engineer at Occidental Petroleum near Bakersfield, California, was one of the flag bearers for the Viterbi School graduate ceremony, and attended a special commencement day reception hosted by DEN. Ambrose is one of only two USC students to earn a M.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering with specialization in "Smart Oilfield Technologies." The specialization focuses on new methods for getting more oil out of existing fields and was pioneered at the USC Viterbi School's Center for Interactive Smart Oilfield Technologies.

Though most of the other recipients of USC degrees earned through DEN are Californians, many others come from all across the nation, including Alabama, Florida,

Coming the distance: 27  DEN students received their  diplomas in person at the USC graduation May  12.  From the top: left to right: Alice Fung - DWP, Los Angeles  CA (MSEMT); Bandith Kongdalbansuke - Boeing, Torrance CA (MSEE); Brian Goetsch - Boeing, Houston  TX (MSSAE); Brian Lacanilao - Port Hueneme Naval Base, Port Hueneme CA (MSSAE); Neal Lepsetz - Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Canoga Park CA (MS Astronautical Engineering); Christopher Richins - Boeing, Long Beach CA (MS Astronautical Engineering); Cuoie Liv - Northrop Grumman, Redondo Beach CA (MSEE); Douglas Wilson - Independent Webcast, Clarksburg, WV (MS Astronautical Engineering); Edwin Ambrosio - Raytheon, El Segundo  CA (MSCSCI); Esther Yow - Intel, Santa Clara CA (MSEE); Fernando Campos-Loredo - Spectrolab Inc., Sylmar  CA (MSSAE); Gagan Mittal - BAE Systems, Westlake Village CA (MSEE - VLSI Design); Greg McRobbie - Northrop Grumman, Redondo Beach CA (MSEE); Murilo Bonilha - United Technologies, Hartford  CT (MSSAE); Kathy Fong - Hughes, El Segundo  CA (MSEE - Computer Networks); Keith Beveridge - Hamilton Sundstrand, San Diego  CA (MSSAE); Keith Mizokami - Boeing, Huntington Beach CA (MSSSAE); Leilani Kashida - Raytheon, El Segundo CA (MSEE); Marcos Antonio Gutierrez - Boeing, Seal Beach, CA (MSEE); Mike Nicosia - Raytheon, Fullerton CA (MSCSCI - Multimedia & Creative Technologies); Rebecca Carter - JPL, Pasadena  CA (MS Astronautical Engineering); Ray Ambrose - Occidental Petroleum, Bakersfield  CA (MS-PTE - Smart Oilfield Technologies); Ray Alde - Northrop Grumman, Redondo Beach CA (MSEMT); Steve Lapen - Northrop Grumman, Redondo Beach CA (MSEE); Sunayna Uberoy - Qualcomm, San Diego CA (MSCSCI); Tracy Lai - Raytheon, El Segundo  CA (MSEE); Ashi Kothary - Raytheon, El Segundo  CA (MSEE);  
Illinois, Texas, Arizona, New Jersey, Washington, Colorado, and Virginia. “This year,” said Goulis, “we signed agreements with both Qualcomm and Chevron to educate their overseas employees, so we expect increased geographical diversity in the future.”

This year’s graduating class represents a major increase of 23 percent compared with the graduating class from 2005. DEN graduates are employed at industry-leading institutions such as Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Aerospace Corporation, JPL, Port Hueneme Naval Base, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Motorola, Qualcomm, Ericsson, Intel, IBM, Raytheon, Occidental Petroleum, and Chevron. Graduates this year represented a wide variety of industries, demonstrating the breadth of DEN's program offerings.

The distance scholars earned M.S. degrees in a number of disciplines.  The largest percentage was in electrical engineering, followed by systems architecture and engineering.  Graduates also earned degrees in aerospace and mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, astronautical engineering, biomedical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, engineering management; industrial and systems engineering, mechanical engineering; petroleum engineering, and product development engineering.

For 34 years, DEN has been a pioneer in distance learning, providing thousands of working professionals the opportunity to obtain their M.S. degrees in over 30 disciplines. DEN’s cutting-edge technology allows students to view the same lectures conducted for on-campus students, transmit homework assignments, and interact with professors via chat capabilities, all from the comfort of their homes and offices. Currently, DEN has students from over 40 states, as well as from Canada and Korea, who are pursuing engineering graduate degrees online. DEN offers the widest selection of engineering graduate degrees – more than any other leading research university.  Please visit http://den.usc.edu or contact info@den.usc.edu for more information.