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Dean's Medal for Academic Excellence

Each year, the UW Engineering dean recognizes two exceptional students for academic excellence. Students must meet specific eligibility requirements and are selected from among those nominated by department chairs and reviewed by a selection committee.

Selection criteria include grades, rigor and distribution of courses, research experience, extracurricular activities, and leadership.

2021 Dean's Medal Nominees

  • Kelly Ho, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Henry Knight, Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • William Pope, Aeronautics & Astronautics
  • Joshua Quiring, Mechanical Engineering
  • Alexandra Rohrer, Human Centered Design & Engineering
  • Liyang (Jack) Wang, Materials Science & Engineering
  • Haifeng (Victor) Xia, Industrial & Systems Engineering

2021 Dean's Medal Medalists

Alejandro Diaz


Alejandro Diaz photo

Since joining the Department of Bioengineering as a direct admit student, Alejandro Diaz has applied his curiosity and drive to all areas of his UW experience, from studying global challenges in healthcare delivery to mentoring his fellow students.

As a junior, he participated in a summer study abroad program in Nepal, examining the high cost of rural healthcare and proposing healthcare access improvements for Nepali patients.

For his undergraduate research project, sponsored by the Center for Neurotechnology and the UW Undergraduate Fellow Program, Alejandro worked with Dr. Rajiv Saigal at UW Medicine to design microfabricated devices that induced osteogenesis in mouse bone cells. The application of this research could potentially improve bone fusion after a spinal injury.

As a first-generation college student and the son of migrant farm workers, Alejandro applies his personal experiences to his service work. He mentored engineering first year students as an Engineering Peer Educator and helped address challenges in remote learning as an undergraduate teaching assistant.

After graduation, Alejandro plans to work in industry or at a research lab, and continue giving back to the local and global community.

Parker Ruth

Computer Science & Engineering

Alex Ratcliff photo

Parker Ruth is pursuing a double major in bioengineering and computer science, blending computing, engineering and healthcare to advance equitable access to medical resources and personalized medicine.

Throughout his time as an undergraduate, Parker has conducted research in three faculty research labs: Klavins Lab, Lutz Lab, and Ubicomp Lab. His work combines machine learning, sensing and signal processing to build mobile health systems and wearable sensors. He developed non-invasive smartphone-based tools to identify and monitor symptoms and risk factors associated with osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and respiratory illness.

Outside of the classroom, Parker bridges research and education through his outreach and volunteer work. He helped run a summer high school mentorship program, exposing students from diverse backgrounds to many computing applications.

Parker received a National Science Foundation Graduate fellowship and will be pursuing his Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford University this fall. He plans to continue his work in designing technology that helps people live longer and healthier lives.

View past Dean's Medalists