2022 Master's Ceremony

Date: Friday, May 13, 2022
Time: 2:00-4:30 p.m.
Location: The Palestra, 235 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia PA

Livestream Video

Note: if you are unable to access YouTube, a recording of this event is available via Panopto.

Keynote Speaker

Joan LauJoan Lau

Joan Lau is Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia-based biotech Spirovant Sciences. She co-founded the company envisioning the potential for gene therapy for patients with inherited respiratory diseases. Under her leadership, Spirovant gained the support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and was honored as Healthcare Startup of the Year from the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies. Spirovant was acquired twice in 2019, once as part of a $3 billion transaction with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma.

Dr. Lau co-founded and is partner of  Militia Hill Ventures, a firm focused on building and growing life sciences companies. She led multiple biotechs including Immunome Inc, Azelon Pharmaceuticals, and Locus Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Lau began her career at Merck Research Laboratories.

Dr. Lau has been recognized for her leadership in the biotechnology industry and within the Philadelphia community. She serves on the board for Renovacor Inc., the Philadelphia Orchestra & Kimmel Center; and the School of Social Policy and Practice. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Wharton Healthcare Management Program. Previously she served as national board chair, Human Rights Campaign Foundation (DC). She was selected as the 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, Philadelphia Region by Ernst & Young; a 2020 Woman of Distinction by the Philadelphia Business Journal; and the 2021 Iris Newman Award recipient from the Alliance for Women Entrepreneurs. As a serial entrepreneur she enjoys engaging with STEM students and graduates to reach their full potential as leaders.

Dr. Lau earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BSE in Bioengineering, both at the University of Pennsylvania; and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She lives in northwest Philadelphia with her wife and teen holding a driver learner’s permit.

Student Speaker

Aditya HotaAditya Hota (CMPE’21, ROBO’22)

Aditya Hota hails from Tallahassee, Florida, and is graduating with a master’s degree in Robotics from Penn Engineering. Aditya also earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Penn Engineering in 2021.

While at Penn, Aditya dedicated much of his time to teaching, serving as a Teaching Assistant for courses in both Computer and Information Science and Electrical and Systems Engineering. In addition, he was the secretary and treasurer of Tau Beta Pi, and a member of the Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Honor Society. As a Rachleff Scholar, Aditya researched how to make internet-connected devices in hospitals more secure, and is currently researching how to make reconfigurable computing more accessible to software developers. Aditya was also the vice president of ADAPT (Assistive Devices and Prosthetic Technologies), a club of Penn Engineers dedicated to improving the quality of life for members of the Philadelphia community.

After graduating, Aditya will join NVIDIA, in Santa Clara, California, as a Systems Software Engineer.

Helpful Links:
Further Information:

Please direct general ceremony questions to the Dean’s Office at seasdean@seas.upenn.edu.