Three Class of 2017 Salutatorians Are Dartmouth Engineers

Dartmouth News

June 9, 2017

Three out of four salutatorians named from Dartmouth's Class of 2017 are engineering majors. Daniel Lee ’17, Daniel Magoon ’17, and Yichen Zhang ’17, have all been named Rufus Choate Scholars, a Dartmouth honor for students in the top 5 percent of their class.

Daniel Lee

Daniel Lee ’17

Bellevue, Wash.

Major: Engineering sciences, modified with mathematics

Post-graduate plans: Join Blackstone as a private equity analyst

“Thayer has a very entrepreneurial spirit in terms of how students are able to develop original ideas and projects, and that allows you take a great deal of ownership over your educational experience. One of the early engineering classes I took that really made me sure I wanted to pursue it was ‘ENGS 21.’ My partners and I created a smart running sole that we eventually presented at the Pitch competition—another great Dartmouth resource—and won third place. Professors have been an invaluable resource, but more than that the willingness of upper-class students and alumni to share their experiences has been one of my favorite parts of Dartmouth. Meeting alums from 10 or 20 years ago coming back on campus to provide career support or advice on how they shaped their Dartmouth experience has been really valuable. That sort of bond that formed through my fraternity has been great.”

Daniel Magoon

Daniel Magoon ’17

Granby, Conn.

Major: Engineering sciences

Post-graduate plans: Complete the fifth year undergraduate program at Thayer to earn a BE, then “probably working on robotics or electric vehicles, but I wouldn’t want to limit myself.”

“The best part about engineering at Dartmouth is the hands-on stuff. In some upper-level courses, you’re given really big problems and you have to start designing like a maniac. You live it, you dream it, you solve problems when you’re asleep. Then the next step is you have to manufacture it yourself. At Thayer we have all the resources for students to manufacture everything they come up with by hand. The guys in the machine shop at Thayer aren’t professors, they’re machinists, but some of them are just the brightest people. There’s whole classes that wouldn’t be possible without their expertise. The most valuable thing I’ve taken from my education here is that two-step process of design and build yourself. It builds a huge amount of intuition. It’s something that becomes second nature, and you can’t possibly forget it.”

Yichen Zhang

Yichen Zhang ’17

Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Post-graduate plans: Working at Vaxess, a biomedical startup in Cambridge, Mass., while applying to medical school

“I didn’t think about going into engineering until college, but I found biomedical engineering appealing because it would broaden my scientific interests and still let me go to medical school. I was able to finish classes for the major my junior year, and then I had more time to explore some other things. Global health has become a major interest. It’s still related to engineering in that for me it’s about tech innovation and implementation, but the discourse is very different from what I’m used to from a researcher or a medical standpoint. I’ve been lucky to go to Honduras and India to see that kind of work firsthand. I also went on an LSA to China my sophomore year. Those experiences have added to my experience of Dartmouth.” 

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