Kettering welcomes UPE

Mar 4, 2004

The Computer Science degree program at Kettering gained new status with the chartering of Upsilon Pi Epsilon honors society on campus

Kettering has joined the ranks of universities with a chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), an academic honor society that recognizes academic excellence at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the Computing and Information disciplines.

The charter class of UPE at Kettering has 10 A-Section members, they are:

  • Bryan M. Barnes, Saint Petersburg, Fla.;
  • Gurgen Greg Hayrapetyan, Flushing, Mich.;
  • James B. Hollenbeck, Bad Axe, Mich.;
  • Olga S. Lavrova, Flint, Mich.;
  • Anthony F. Murphy, Swartz creek, Mich.;
  • Sean Poling, Saint Helens, Ore.;
  • Charles E. Pregibon, Campbell, Ohio;
  • Eric J. Smith, Vicksburg, Mich.;
  • Jonathan M. Taylor, Bidwell, Ohio; and
  • Stacy Lynne Turczynski, Chesterfield, Mich.

Taylor and Pregibon are the first A-section president and vice-president, respectively for the chapter. A separate induction ceremony for B-section students will be held during the spring term.

In addition, six Kettering Computer Science faculty also joined UPE. They are: 

  • Rajeev Agrawal, lecturer of Computer Science, Science and Math;
  • Steve Cater, associate professor of Science and Mathematics;
  • John Geske, associate professor and director of Computer Science;
  • James Huggins, associate professor of Computer Science;
  • Peter Stanchev, associate professor of Science and Mathematics; and
  • David Vineyard, assistant professor ofScience and Mathematics.

Dr. James Comer, associate professor of Computer Science at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and member of the Executive Council of UPE, attended on behalf of the national organization to formally present the Kettering UPE charter.

Students qualify for membership in UPE by being Computer Science majors, having senior credit standing, being in the top third of CS majors in their graduating class, and having an overall GPA of 3.5/4.0 (when converted from the Kettering scale).

Pregibon feels having a chapter of UPE on campus allows recognition of outstanding Computer Science students and the Computer Science department as a whole. "It gives us a feeling of pride in our department," said Pregibon, a senior. "I feel we can come together to discuss and act as a group to make improvements in our departments status and future," he said.

"It is rewarding and gives the sense of belonging to something important," said Olga S. Lavrova, a senior from Flint, Mich. "It gives all non-member Computer Science students something to strive for academically, so that they can become members and better problem solvers," she said.

Taylor appreciates the academic recognition as well, and feels it opens new opportunities for students. "I think a plus for many members of the chapter will be the one year membership in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). It gives students exposure to an organization that they might never have given a second thought about," said Taylor.

Huggins initiated establishment of the UPE chapter at Kettering, and is currently the faculty adviser for the group. "Now that the Computer Science Department is graduating about 20 to 25 students a year, it seemed like a good time to create a UPE chapter here," he said. Computer Science degrees at Kettering were first awarded in June 1999.

"This couldnot have happened without the support of Provost John Lorenz,who endorsed our application, and the support of President James E.A. John, who provided funds for our application," said Huggins. "I am grateful to both of them for their support of this endeavor."

The Kettering chapter of UPE is the fifth chapter in the state of Michigan, making it the "Michigan Epsilon" chapter. There are existing chapters at Western Michigan University,UM-Dearborn, Grand Valley State, and Michigan State.

UPE is the only international honor society in the Computing and Information disciplines. It has received endorsements from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS), the two largest computer organizations in the world.

UPE was first organized at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, in 1967. The international organization now consists of chapters in various colleges and universities in North America and overseas. For more information about the national organization, visit their web site at

Written by Dawn Hibbard