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On May 16, Tufts Gordon Institute celebrated the Class of 2018 in a gathering that gave students, faculty, staff, and family members the chance to honor the accomplishments of the graduating students. The celebration was held before Tufts University’s official commencement over the weekend.

The evening celebrated the 83 members of the M.S. in Engineering Management Class of 2018, and the 24 members of the M.S. in Innovation & Management Class of 2018. With 107 total students in the two programs, this year marked the Gordon Institute’s largest graduating class. Faculty members encouraged the graduates to use their unique set of skills to be leaders in making the world a better place.

“You have the knowledge and skills. All that it is going to take now for you to lead is to make that personal decision each and every time,” said Mary Viola, Professor of the Practice and director of the MSEM program, to the students. “I wish you to have the courage to act and to do what is necessary, to make your home, make your company, make your state, your country, all the more better.”

“Every time I walked into the room to teach, I always learned something new, and more importantly, I became more optimistic about the future,” said Kevin Oye, director of the MSIM program. “I tend to be an optimistic person. We live in a time of lots of chaos, lots of trouble. But every time I interacted with any of the people in this room, I walked out with a smile on my face because I had great confidence that it will be you all who are going to make this a better world.”

The faculty members recognized several MSEM students who were presented with awards based on their leadership and academic achievements: Amanda DeQuattro, Product Solutions Director at Confluent Medical Technologies, Tara Eriksen, Product Manager at Paytronix Systems, Kevin Hennessy, Software Engineer at MITRE, Sarah Ernst, Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships and Care Solutions at PatientsLikeMe, Kristen Ransom, CEO and Founder of IncluDe Web Design, and Kendra West, Scrum Master for Data Sciences and Data Engineering at Broad Institute.

Emily Airoldi, Sr. Process Engineer at WAVE Life Sciences Ltd, was presented with the Outstanding Student Award in Engineering Management, and she used the opportunity to thank all of the faculty and fellow students and shared a quote that has inspired her: “Be grateful for everything that you have while pursuing everything that you want.”

“The definition of success that I like isn’t about getting a certain amount of money or having a certain title. It’s about being your best self.” Airoldi said. “I like this definition because it is dynamic and always changing. As you learn and grow, that bar keeps moving, a little higher, so you always have somewhere to grow. And as your best self, you can feed back into that ecosystem that enabled your success in the first place.”

View more photos from the celebration.