MAE Department Salutes Its Alumni, Volunteers, and Graduates

CSULB Mechanical and Aerospace students on Monday gathered with faculty and advisors for a celebration before their graduation.

“This is a milestone. Your efforts and hard work have paid off,” said MAE Chair Jalal Torabzadeh. “It’s a great day to be proud of your achievements. This is also an opportunity for you to say thank you for all who helped you on your journey.”

Ross Ahlberg, who received MAE’s Distinguished Alumni Award, said CSULB’s mechanical engineering program provides a solid career foundation. Ahlberg, who graduated two decades ago, is now Vice President of Clinical Development at Applied Medical.

“It’s been an interesting ride,” he said, adding that he chose CSULB over Cal Poly Pomina after receiving a tour of the machine shop and labs from equipment technician Mike Fritz. “That alone is what made the decision,” Ahlberg said.

He advised students not to turn down opportunities, and take advantage of peers as resources. “The best technology out there is your peers,” he said.

The Department Graduation also served as an occasion to remember longtime volunteer Charley Hoult, who passed away late last year after a short illness. Charley Hoult and his wife, Janet, mentored MAE students for decades. The MAE is establishing an award in their honor, the Janet and Charles Hoult Outstanding Leadership and Service Award.

Janet Hoult received the Outstanding Volunteer and Service Award. Janet Hoult, who teaches poetry to senior citizens, read some lines of poetry her late husband wrote. When the CSULB rocket group competes in New Mexico next month, some of Charley Hoult’s ashes will be aboard the rocket. “Students believe we cannot lose with him on board,” she said.

MAE students were also recognized for their accomplishments. Dean’s List recipients were Daniel Folick (MSME), Joshua Noell Rocha (MSAE), Poom Narongdej (BSME) and Christopher Brandariz (BSAE).

Rodolfo Amezcua received the MAE Outstanding Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis Award. Amezcua was also this year’s College of Engineering Distinguished Graduate.

The student recipients of the Janet and Charles Hoult Outstanding Leadership and Service Award were Diana Castro and Erwin Joell King.