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Job market is strong for Oregon Tech grads, creating high return on investment

Jun 15, 2019
The Class of 2019 includes 751 individuals with a great future ahead of them with a current competitive edge of 97 percent of Oregon Tech graduates employed or in graduate programs within six months of graduation. The high return on investment is reinforced by the $60,000 starting median salary those graduates earn

Grad 2019 Full

The Oregon Institute of Technology, “Oregon Tech,” Class of 2019 moved their graduation tassels to the left as President Nagi Naganathan, Ph.D., concluded the 71st Annual Commencement Ceremony held at John F. Moehl Stadium. The Class of 2019 includes 751 individuals, some who received multiple degrees, amounting to 778 degrees awarded across all campus locations. Nearly 400 students participated in the ceremony, with an audience of more than a thousand.

President Naganathan opened the event by welcoming attendees and sharing what makes these graduates distinctive, “As I was thinking about all of you and the job market and career fields that you are entering into after you cross this Oregon Tech stage, what resonates most strongly is one word: In-demand. Unlike some of the graduating classes in the past, the class of 2019 is entering the best job market for college graduates in 12 years. Many graduates are receiving multiple job offers; and employers are planning to hire 10 percent more graduates than they did last year. We are also experiencing the lowest unemployment rate since 1969 in the U.S., a 50 year low!”

This year Oregon Tech was honored to welcome Stefan Bird, president and CEO of Pacific Power, as commencement address speaker. During his 12 years with the company, Mr. Bird has helped make Pacific Power successful in serving its communities in Oregon and other states, including many rural areas. Speakers on behalf of the university also included Paul Stewart, Board of Trustees member and Sky Lakes Medical Center CEO; Ken Vandehey, Oregon Tech Class of 1990 and chief of staff to global head of 3D materials, fusing science and core processes at HP; Erin Foley, Ph.D., vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students; Gary Kuleck, Ph.D., provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; and graduating speakers, Jordan Pavlic, Biology-Health Sciences, and Faith Lee, Health Care Management: Administration.

During the ceremony, numerous academic accolades, volunteer experience, activity involvement and military service accomplishments were recognized:

  • Graduate Student Achievement Award – Kelcy Gillen (Portland-Metro)
  • Hiram M. Hunt Award – The Reclaimers invention team; Annika Anderson, Ashlei Morgan and Jessica Arrington
  • Most Dedicated Student Award – Jessica Theil
  • Oregon Tech Pride Award – Daniel Iwicki
  • Outstanding Community Service Award – Mayra Rocha-Ramos
  • Outstanding Nontraditional Student Award – Aaron Miller and Francis Bartholomew III (Portland-Metro)
  • Owens Citizenship Award – Junmin Yee
  • Student Achievement Award – Connor Scott
  • Outstanding Student Veteran Award – William Natividad
  • President’s Senior Cup Recipients – Matthew Sai from the College of Engineering, Technology, and Management and Allison Young from the College of Health, Arts, and Sciences.

Oregon Tech also honored faculty who have given at least 10 years to the university. This included emeritus administrator and faculty member LeAnn Maupin, dean of the College of Health, Arts and Sciences, who is an alumna and served Oregon Tech for 22 years; emeritus administrator Marla Edge, director of Academic Agreements, who served Oregon Tech for 36 years; and emeritus faculty William ‘Joe’ Stuart, associate professor, who served Oregon Tech for 15 years.

The third annual Oregon Tech Foundation Excellence in Teaching Awards were also presented to Darlene Swigart, instructor in the Department of Dental Hygiene, and Sean Sloan, associate professor in the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering. President Naganathan also awarded the 2019 Greatest Service Award to Bend residents Diedra “Dee” and Thomas Thompson, who have been dynamic and impactful members of the Oregon Tech community for many years. Dee is also chair of the Oregon Tech Foundation.

The Class of 2019 has a great future ahead of them with a current competitive edge of 97 percent of Oregon Tech graduates employed or in graduate programs within six months of graduation. The high return on investment is reinforced by the $60,000 starting median salary those graduates earn.

Congratulations Oregon Institute of Technology Class of 2019.


About Oregon Institute of Technology

Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the premier polytechnic institution in Oregon. Oregon Tech provides bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in engineering, health technologies, business, technology, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public and international communities through applied, relevant learning and professional practice. Oregon Tech has a central, residential campus in Klamath Falls; an urban, industry-focused campus in Portland-Metro (Wilsonville); an Online campus; and offers degrees at Boeing Seattle and at other sites. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.

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