Chemical engineering senior Monica Shammas to give student commencement address

shammas-honorsAs Monica Shammas takes the podium to deliver the student address at the College of Engineering commencement ceremony May 10 at the Fox Theatre, she will undoubtedly give herself and the nearly 600 other Wayne State University graduating seniors a chance to reflect on how their academic journey has prepared for what’s yet to come.

“I had a really cool experience at Wayne State,” said Shammas. “I got to work in groups with people I never would have worked with. It pushes you out of your comfort zone.”

Shammas, who will receive her bachelor’s in chemical engineering, will see many familiar faces in the audience from her time as vice president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), a member of Tau Beta Pi, and vice president of the Chaldean-American Student Association.

“It’s been fun. The people who you’re doing all this work with become your friends, so you get to see your friends while you work,” said Shammas.

She also participates in a group called ‘Student to Student’ through her church, where she and other American college students work to help refugee college students, all while going to school full time and still finding time to do her homework.

Shammas was recently rewarded for her efforts at the college’s Honors Convocation, receiving the Outstanding Senior Award from the Engineering Alumni Association as well as the Robert G. Wingerter Award for excellence in character, leadership, and scholastic performance.

As someone who maintains a rigorous academic and extracurricular schedule, it’s perhaps no surprise that her advice to incoming students is to get involved with the college and the community.

“There’s a lot of resources and tricks of the trade that it’s better to have way earlier in your career,” said Shammas, who noted that her favorite class at WSU was thermodynamics with Professor Jeffrey Potoff. “There’s always someone who knows what you’re struggling with who will help.”

Shammas has held two co-op positions at Denso International and DTE Energy. After graduation, she will be working at Fiat-Chrysler America as a materials engineer in organic materials.

The Wayne State University College of Engineering commencement ceremony will be held at the Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit on Wednesday, May 10 at 7 p.m. For more information visit

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