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The Month in Photos: May 2021

June 11, 2021

While Commencement was the (well-deserved) star of last month, May was filled with plenty of other events and activities—outdoor labs, several new research projects, and even a quick run through the fountain for good measure. Take a look at what the WPI community was up to through the lenses of our talented staff photographers.

Graduating students smile together and flash thumbs up in their graduating regalia and masks.

Face coverings didn’t hide the fact that our graduating seniors were all smiles, all day.


President Leshin shares an elbow bump with a graduating student.

Graduate students celebrated in style, sharing an elbow bump with President Leshin in front of the 3D-printed Gompei statue created through a collaborative effort between the Makerspace and Prototyping Lab team in The Innovation Studio, assistant vice president and dean of students Greg Snoddy, and Adam Murrison ‘23.


ROTC cadets prepare for their commissioning ceremony on the Quad.

22 Army ROTC and Air Force cadets from WPI, Assumption, Becker, Holy Cross, Fitchburg State, and UMass Lowell were sworn in as second lieutenants in the Army and Air Force during a joint commissioning ceremony on the Quad.


Students cross Earle Bridge on their way to Commencement.

While faculty and staff took a few minutes to reflect on the resilience and perseverance of the Class of 2021 as they worked through a year like no other, class members themselves looked back on their time at WPI and shared their plans for what’s next.


A student jumps through the fountain in the middle of campus.

Nothing beats a refreshing leap through the fountain between classes.


Members of the women's rowing team participate in an event out on the water.

The Women’s Rowing team concluded its regular season by sweeping Holy Cross during the May regatta, with the varsity eight posting the fastest Division III time in the nation on Saturday, May 18.


Two students working on a project during an outdoor lab class.

Danielle Cote, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, took advantage of the perfect New England weather throughout D-Term to hold outdoor materials labs with her classes on Higgins House Lawn.


Pam Weathers poses with an Artemisia annua plant.

A team of researchers that includes biology professor Pamela Weathers has found that extracts from the leaves of the Artemisia annua plant inhibit the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and two recent variants.


Spencer Tess smiles in a shot on campus.

After the pandemic cancelled his ROTC stint at Fort Knox last summer, cadet Spencer Tess ’21 switched things up with an internship with the Department of Defense, leading to his involvement in collaborative teamwork that recently earned a Technology Transfer Innovation Award.


Skylar Barthelmes competes in the hammer throw event as part of the WPI Track & Field team.

Skylar Barthelmes ’22 reset two of her own records in the hammer throw as the men’s and women’s track and field teams closed out the 2021 regular season with the Tufts Final Qualifier before moving on to the NCAA DIII championships.


Leila Carvajal smiles while holding cocoa beans up to the camera in a dark room against a window.

Helping chocolatiers build a better bar, assuring the safety of cosmetics, exploring the Glacier National Park Project Center, researching how to help communities adapt to climate change, catching up with the Dean of Arts & Sciences—it’s all in the latest issue of the WPI Journal.


WPI PhD candidate Heather LeClerc (foreground) and WPI PhD student David Kenney work together to seal and prepare the reactor used to produce bio-oil from toxic sludge. alt
WPI PhD candidate Heather LeClerc (foreground) and WPI PhD student David Kenney work together to seal and prepare the reactor used to produce bio-oil from toxic sludge.

Can toxic sewage sludge be turned into renewable energy? A team of WPI researchers—including Michael Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering; Geoffrey Tompsett, assistant research professor in chemical engineering; Andrew Teixeira, assistant professor of chemical engineering; Nick Kazantzis, professor of chemical engineering; and Harold Walker, Alena and David M. Schwaber Professor of Environmental Engineering—received a nearly $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to research exactly that.


WPI students gather for a "Jazz on the Lawn" festival on Higgins Lawn.

We’re ending the academic year on a good note, especially if all four jazz groups on campus—who hosted a free Jazz on the Lawn event on Higgins House Lawn—have anything to say about it.