2021 ECE Undergraduate Awards

The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department congratulates the following 2021 Honors and Awards recipients for excellence in academics, leadership, and service across all disciplines of the college:

The ECE Department’s Outstanding Academic Performance Award, which is presented to juniors for academic excellence, is awarded to Zachary Breit, who is a junior computer engineering major and a member of the Gemstone Honors Program. For his Gemstone research, Zach is studying the usability and security of web authentication methods with a team of nine other honors students. He is also the Software Development Director for Bitcamp (UMD's largest on-campus hackathon), where he leads a team of 12 programmers to create websites and apps to support the 1000+ person event. In the future, Zach is excited to pursue a career in robotics engineering.

Timothy Henderson and Daojun Xu received the ECE Department’s Service Award, presented to graduating seniors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to both their fellow students and the department.

Timothy Henderson is a senior computer engineering student. He is a member of Design Cultures and Creativity in the Honors College, a leadership team member of the Texas Instruments Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Peer Mentor Program, the academic chair of the University of Maryland's Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers chapter, and has been a teaching assistant for three years. In his senior year, he worked to recruit more teaching assistants in the ECE department. After graduation, he plans on completing his master's degree in electrical engineering at UMD and he eventually hopes to work in the semiconductor field. 

Daojun (June) Xu is a senior computer engineering student with a 3.88 GPA. She is an alumna of Design Cultures and Creativity in the Honors College. June was an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow for the Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) course for four semesters. She also acted as a Peer Mentor in the ECE Peer Mentor Program, before assuming the role of Communication Coordinator for its Student Leadership Team. After graduation, she will be joining Accenture Federal Services in Washington, D.C. as a Software Engineering Analyst. 

Benjamin Honecker, Pratik Rathore, and Benjamin Seufert received the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Chair’s Award, recognizing their outstanding academic performance as seniors in electrical engineering.

Benjamin Honecker is a senior electrical engineering major with a 4.0 GPA. He transferred from Anne Arundel College with an associate's degree and participated in an engineering cooperative education program with the federal government. He served as a supplemental instruction leader for calculus and volunteers at his local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Upon graduation, he plans to start his graduate degree in radio frequency and microwave engineering at Johns Hopkins University. 

Pratik Rathore is a senior pursuing a double degree in mathematics and electrical engineering. At Maryland, he is a member of University Honors and a Banneker/Key Scholar. He is a teaching fellow for ENEE150 in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department and serves as a peer mentor through University Honors. He has been part of the University of Maryland’s Putnam team for the last three years and received the Dan Shanks award for research in number theory from the UMD math department. Starting in Fall 2021, Pratik will be a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. 

Benjamin Seufert is a senior electrical engineering student with a 3.98 GPA. He is a member of University Honors and recently received his Honors Citation. He was an undergraduate teaching fellow for Digital Logic Design, an Electrical and Computer Engineering major course, for two semesters. He is also a two-time recipient and received the David Andrew Tretter Memorial Scholarship. Benjamin has accepted a job offer from Northrop Grumman, which he will start this summer.

John Heide, Mihailo Rancic, and Xinyi Shi received the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Chair’s Award for outstanding academic performance as seniors in computer engineering.

John Heide is a senior computer engineering student in University Honors. He was a member of Engineers Without Borders, traveling to Puerto Rico in June 2018 with a team to install solar panels on a nursing home after Hurricane Maria. He was on the team that traveled to Suma Ahenkro, Ghana in January 2019 to install a photovoltaic system at a secondary school. He was also a tuba player in the Mighty Sound of Maryland for four years and a squad leader for two. John had two summer internships at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, where he will return full time after graduation. 

Mihailo Rancic is a senior studying computer engineering and mathematics. On campus, he is a leader of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Peer Mentoring Program, which provides incoming ECE freshmen with mentorship and support. He is also involved with research, specifically in designing a tiny, high-temperature central processing unit at the University of Maryland and in Field Programmable Gate Array hardware acceleration at Carnegie Mellon University. Finally, he serves as an undergraduate teaching assistant for a course in programming languages. Mihailo has recently been accepted into graduate school and plans to earn his Ph.D. in ECE, focusing on research in computer architecture. 

Xinyi Shi is a senior computer engineering student and a member of University Honors. She has served as an undergraduate teaching fellow within the Electrical and Computer Engineering department for three semesters and has been an active member of the avionics subteam of University of Maryland Loop since 2019. She has participated in research projects pertaining to topics such as natural language processing and the development of cancer-detecting wearable devices. Xinyi intends to pursue graduate studies after completing her degree.

Published May 5, 2021