On April 9th, Ali Khoshkhoo became the latest graduate student from our research group to successfully defend his doctoral dissertation. This took place in the state-of-the-art CASIC research facility at Auburn University. The next day, as it has been a tradition in our group (and for every doctoral graduate who went on to pursue an academic job), Ali received a blue velvet “doctoral tam” with a shiny gold tassel as a gift from his advisor (yours truly). For those interested, you may find more information on academic regalia here. Soon to be Dr. Khoshkhoo is currently working through some massive changes to his dissertation and pondering several academic offers – so no final decision yet has been made. Rest assured, he should become an assistant professor this coming fall.