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Outstanding Graduate, Fall 2018

Derrick Gilbert

After six years away from school to serve his country, Derrick Gilbert knew he wanted to pursue a degree in electrical engineering.

He chose to study at Arizona State University, which offered the country’s first ABET-accredited electrical engineering bachelor’s of science. In spring 2014, Gilbert began taking courses online from Annapolis, Maryland, while he remained on active duty at the United States Naval Academy.

“I knew that earning an electrical engineering bachelor’s degree would not only help my naval career but would give me an option for civilian work should I ever decide to get out of the military,” Gilbert says. “Choosing ASU has been one of the best decisions for me personally and for my career.”

In 2016, Gilbert was one of 50 sailors selected to attend college and be commissioned as a U.S naval officer.

That year he began taking classes on campus in Tempe and was a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Ph. He was also a midshipman in ASU’s Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps unit.

“My most memorable moments at ASU must be the friendships made in the engineering labs while struggling through assignments,” Gilbert says. “Once I transitioned to on-campus classes, I saw first-hand the hours of work that everyone was putting in on one assignment and how much we could help each other.”

After graduation, Gilbert will be commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy and go through Basic Division Officer Course to prepare for the next three years as a division officer onboard the USS Truxtun in Norfolk, Virginia. Then he wants to attend graduate school to earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering

“The dream for my future is to make my family and my country proud,” Gilbert says. “I have served 10 years in the Navy and plan to serve many more.”

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