Joules and Dano Go to Commencement
On the eve of Caltech's 116th commencement, which will take place Friday, June 11, senior class copresidents Julianne Gould ("Joules") and Daniel Obenshain ("Dano") took time out from their final preparations to talk about their experiences during four years at what some call "the boot camp of science."
Joules, who will be receiving her degree in mechanical engineering, is a native of Beavercreek, Ohio. This fall she'll head north to Stanford, where she'll pursue a master's degree in ME and, she hopes, continue one of her favorite activities: TAing for thermodynamics classes. First, though, she plans to travel—home to see her family, then to China with a friend—and work as a counselor with Caltech's Young Engineering and Science Scholars summer program for exceptional underrepresented high-school students.
Dano, who hails from the suburbs of Baltimore, has majored in computer science and minored in English while at Caltech. After a well-deserved break this summer, he'll enter a doctoral program in computer science at Johns Hopkins University, where he'll work on designing the next generation of da Vinci surgical robots.
The copresidents have had many memorable moments in the past four years, from Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURFs) that helped them chart their future careers, to learning what it's like to raise money for the senior gift. Besides sharing the senior-class presidency, they've both experienced the deep camaraderie that Techers famously feel with their fellow students. Both consider the lasting friendships they've made at Caltech to be among the highlights of their college years.
The class of 2010 has the distinction of being the first group of undergraduates to complete all four years of study under President Jean-Lou Chameau. In September 2006, when Chameau arrived on campus, he too was starting his freshman year—as Caltech's eighth leader. And although neither Joules nor Dano feels that the class of 2010 had a demonstrable "group personality," it seems clear that the copresidents represent their classmates in more ways than one. They're bright, articulate, and thoroughly prepared to begin the next chapter in their lives.