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ODU's First Class of MSVE Graduates to Receive Degrees

They are the pioneers.

They're four Old Dominion engineering students whose years of work have led to the university's commencement program on Saturday morning, when each will walk across the stage to receive a bachelor's degree.

But together, Tyrell Gardner, Lucas Lezzi, Tien Nhan, and Spencer Lane also comprise the country's first class of undergraduate modeling, simulation and visualization (MSVE) engineering students.

"They've spoiled us. They're very smart, very motivated, very focused and, more importantly, they're nice kids," said Roland Mielke, professor and chair of the MSVE department in ODU's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology. "It's not often you get to work with a group of students like that."

Three of the students - Gardner, Lezzi and Nhan - are planning to do graduate work in M&S at ODU. Gardner, 30, from Virginia Beach, was the outstanding scholar in the engineering college this year. He ultimately wants to go to medical school.

"Modeling and simulation has given me the skill set to solve real-world problems," Gardner said.

The fourth graduate has his own incredible story. Lane, who is from Virginia Beach, came to the university as a 14-year-old, skipping high school altogether on the advice of his physician. Lane suffers from Crohn's disease, making it difficult for him to sit for extended periods of time.

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Published on: July 1, 2013