Scrugham Medal

James Graves Scrugham was a distinguished Nevadan who was the first Dean of the College of Engineering. He was also State Engineer, Governor of Nevada, a United States Representative in Congress, and a United States Senator. He served as a Lt. Colonel in World War I and was editor of the Nevada State Journal.

The James G. Scrugham Medal

The James G. Scrugham Medal is an award initiated by the college in 2006 to acknowledge successful alumni and James G. Scrugham. Alumni who have demonstrated success in their chosen profession are honored with this award - often receiving national recognition. Any alumna or alumnus of the College of Engineering is eligible.

2021 Winner

Kedar Deshpande ’03 MS (Computer Engineering)

Kedar Deshpande ’03 MS (Computer Engineering) is the CEO of retail and customer service powerhouse Prior to becoming CEO in the fall of 2020, he held multiple executive-level positions with the company, including VP of Technology &Marketing and Chief Operating Officer. Since joining Zappos in 2011, Kedar has overseen and worked alongside teams creating technological innovations for more efficient business operations and launched marketing campaigns that drove consumer awareness and encouraged brand loyalty – all while having fun and, in the spirit of Zappos Core Value #3, creating a little weirdness. With close to 20 years of experience spanning engineering, technology, and product marketing roles at companies just as diverse, including PepsiCo and General Electric, Kedar’s multiple skill sets and passion for company culture have formed him into a dynamic, visible leader.

Kedar is a graduate of Doctor Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University and the University of Nevada Reno, from which he holds an MS in computer engineering.

Between his fond memories at the University of Nevada, Reno and his time spent as part of the southern Nevada community upon joining (headquartered in downtown Las Vegas), Kedar and his family consider the Silver State home. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, (mostly) keeping them out of mischief and going on adventures together.

Past recipients

Development team

Flynn Ginty

Flynn Ginty

Director of Development
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