Making History at Princeton – Graduation Stories – COVID-19 Recovery Story

Princeton University has named its first black valedictorian in the school’s 274-year history. Nicholas André G. Johnson, NJ Delta ’20, a Canadian student majoring in operations research and financial engineering and a Tau Beta Pi Fellow, has graduated at the top of the Princeton Class of 2020, the university announced in a news release.

Photo Credit: Lisa Festa/Princeton University

2020 Graduation Stories

UI senior takes winding path to studying STEM fields

Olivia F. Sandvold, IA Beta ’20, performed onstage as a mime in high school, creating a comedy sketch about incompetent superheroes.

Now, as Sandvold graduates from the University of Iowa with highest distinction, a degree in biomedical engineering and minors in mathematics and computer science, she recalls her time as a mime — and how that experience changed her life.

UK Grad Kelly C. Lynch, KY Alpha ’20, Lands Dream Job at NASA

 It’s been said that exploration is part of human nature. History is filled with stories of adventurers who dared to chart the unknown. But some feel that drive stronger than others.

“I’ve wanted to work at NASA since I was 5.”

Growing up in Glasgow, Kentucky, Kelly Lynch — not unlike most bright-eyed kids — had dreams of becoming an astronaut. For most, those aspirations are fleeting. For Lynch, they never faded.

COVID-19 Recovery Story from former
TBP Executive Director, Jim Froula

Some people come home from vacation with great stories and photographs. Well, not if you are Tau Beta Pi Executive Director Emeritus James D. Froula, P.E. (Ret.), TN Alpha ’67. His ‘normal’ activities include swimming, hiking, participating in the Senior Olympic games, and hiking all 900 miles of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

While Froula and his partner, Mary Coffey, were exploring the Galapagos Islands in early March, the Coronavirus was making its way around the world. The virus was causing companies and countries to shut down and travelers were rushing to find flights back to their homes, including Froula and Coffey.

When the couple returned March 16, they were exhausted from the added stress of travel, however, that wasn’t all that came back with them. The next day, Froula woke up with a near-constant cough, quickly followed by fever, severe lethargy, and shortness of breath—all tell-tale signs of the virus.

Recently, Froula sat down with Laura Tenpenny, a Development Assistant at the University of Tennessee’s Tickle College of Engineering, and shared details of his COVID-19 illness. His full story of the journey from Ecuador, through illness, to recovery can be read here.

Mary Coffey and Jim Froula in front of the Sacred Valley in Peru

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