Jonathan McKenzie Named CSULB 2013 Outstanding Graduate for the College of Engineering

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Outstanding Graduate

Jonathan McKenzie

Jonathan McKenzie of Long Beach has been selected the 2013 Outstanding Graduate for the College of Engineering at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).

McKenzie, a 2009 graduate of Long Beach Poly High School,  will be recognized during CSULB’s College of Engineering commencement exercises on Friday, May 24, beginning at 5 p.m. in the campus Central Quadrangle.  He is graduating with a bachelor of science degree in computer engineering.

The son of Bruce and Norma McKenzie of Long Beach, McKenzie epitomizes the qualities of an outstanding student through both his mental and physical achievements.  His 3.9 grade-point average has placed him on the President’s List since fall 2010. For his senior project, he developed a unique mesh network configuration of autonomous hexacopters to enhance surveillance and search and rescue technology.

He also was the lead software programmer for the 2010 Imagine Cup Competition entry “Swarm cast,” a device to help detect locust swarms in developing countries, and he was the project manager for the Best Autonomous Line-Following Robot in spring 2012.

As a CSULB cycling team race coordinator and rider, he captured first place in a number of USA Cycling competitions, including the Ontario Grand Prix Series, back-to-back California Bicycle Racing criteriums and the UCSD Red Trolley Classic.  He placed second in the 2013 Cal Poly Classic road race and, in April, he was the CSULB cyclist with the most points overall in the Western Collegiate Cycling Conference.

“Cal State Long Beach played a major role in developing my character and making me the person I am today,” said McKenzie, who is also a cadet in the CSULB Army ROTC Trojan Batallion.  “There are a handful of professors who taught the core classes of my degree and who took the time and personal effort to not only teach the material but give me the drive to be able to compete with other students from other highly credible schools.

His service to the campus includes volunteering at the CSULB Science Extravaganza, tutoring computer engineering/computer science study groups and serving as an Embedded Applications Technology club member.

“CSULB’s College of Engineering gave me an impressive first impression as I was exploring a multitude of universities. CSULB seemed to have a prestigious and well-organized Computer Engineering and Computer Science Department,” said McKenzie about his choice to attend CSULB. It also didn’t hurt that he had a sister, Chrissy, who graduated from CSULB in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

After graduation, McKenzie will begin working for L-3 Communications as an embedded software engineer.  Additionally, he plans to pursue his appreciation for cycling at the professional level.

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