College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Fall 2019 student marshal and outstanding seniors honored

Each semester, twelve graduating seniors are selected as outstanding seniors to represent the College of Engineering. Of these twelve, one is chosen as the college’s student marshal at the undergraduate commencement ceremony on December 21. Click the names to read individual features about each student.


Student Marshal – Nicholas Wijaya



Major: Aerospace engineering

Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia

GPA: 3.95

Career goal: Become an aerospace engineer who participates actively in the future innovations in the engineering world.






Sarah Baratta

Major: Electrical engineering, emphasis in VLSI (Very-large-scale integration)

Minor: International studies, focus in science and technology in Asia

GPA: 3.84

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

Career goal: To be passionate and interested in what I do (and not dread going to work!)



Charlotte Brandenburg


Major: Materials engineering: emphasis in metals and polymers

Minor: Mathematics and German

GPA: 3.84

Hometown: Cedar Falls, Iowa

Career goal: To be a materials researcher at NASA



Jens Dancer

Major: Civil engineering, environmental emphasis, and Spanish

GPA: 3.69

Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa

Career goal: I hope to one day own my own business




Nathaniel Hall



Major: Agricultural engineering with emphasis in power and machinery

GPA: 3.81

Hometown: Brooklyn, Iowa

Career goal: My goal is to design machines that improve people’s lives.





Kyle Jackson

Major: Chemical engineering

Minor: Biology and Spanish

GPA: 3.93

Hometown: Winterset, Iowa

Career goal: Emergency medicine physician or a surgeon after graduating from medical school.




Kevin Oran


Major: Computer engineering and mechanical engineering

GPA: 3.73

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

Career goal: Complete a master’s degree then work as an engineer on a small-scale team.





Michael Peterson

Major: Industrial engineering

GPA: 3.87

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

Career goal: To assume an executive position with Procter & Gamble and become an expert in multiple areas of the business. 



Jaclyn Ralfs


Major: Software Engineering

Minor: General Business

GPA: 3.86

Hometown: Durant, Iowa

Career goal: Overall in my career, I want to be continually challenged and given opportunities to learn. The tech industry is constantly changing and I want a career that keeps up with the newest technologies and their capabilities!






Courtney Smyth

Major: Mechanical engineering

Minor: Biomedical engineering

GPA: 4.0

Hometown: Solon, Iowa

Career goal: Work in a clinic as a CPO (Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist) to help patients in regaining their mobility, as well as being a lecturer/faculty member for one of the prosthetics and orthotics master’s programs across the country.




Danielle Ufheil

Major: Biological Systems Engineering, emphasis in Biorenewable Resources

Minor: Spanish

GPA: 3.59

Hometown: Lake Zurich, Illinois

Career goal: My overall career goal is to be able to apply my passion for sustainability to the development of innovative methods for repurposing and mitigating organic wastes.




Kayla Youngblood

Major: Construction engineering, mechanical emphasis

GPA: 3.59

Hometown: Jefferson, Iowa

Career goal: To be a successful project manager for a construction company I am passionate about