Career Profiles

Paths to leadership are not always straight forward.

Career Paths

Business Types

Amol Mate

Amol Mate received his Industrial Engineering degree from Vishwakarma Institute of Technology in India. After graduating, he went to work for Vishay (formerly Philips India Ltd.) doing traditional Industrial Engineering.

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Andrew Kovach

Andy Kovach wasn’t sure what he wanted for a career. He chose Industrial Engineering because he liked the combination of engineering and business.

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Anna Maria Medvid

When Anna Maria told her parents she wanted to go to college, they were very upset. She came from a cultural background that didn’t believe that women needed a college degree.

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Arvind Krishnappa

Arvind Krishnappa came to WVU in 1994. He chose WVU since it was the only school that offered him an assistanceship.

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Bart Aitken

When Aitken came to WVU, he didn’t have an idea of what he wanted to do for a career. The fact that an older brother was an engineer led him to engineering.

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Bernard Wolford

Bernie Wolford was encouraged to do something technical when he was graduating from high school. He originally decided to pursue Electrical Engineering, but when he saw the description of Industrial Engineering in the catalog, he decided that IE was a better fit for him.

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Bob Cline

Bob Cline comes from a family involved in the mining industry. His family insisted that he study engineering in college.

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Bradley Parrish

Brad Parrish knew he wanted to be an Industrial Engineer when he was seven years old. His father (see his profile at https://wvuieleaders.com/profiles/ron-parrish) was a manager with the Lamp Division of Westinghouse, and Brad had spent time in light bulb plants as he was growing up.

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Bryan West

Bryan West had no idea of what he wanted to do for a career when he came to WVU. He knew he wanted to be an engineer.

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Buddy Stemple

Buddy Stemple came to WVU with the intent of being a Chemical Engineer. He even had a Chemistry Scholarship.

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Chad Schron

Chad Schron grew up in a manufacturing family, so it was natural that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father to follow a career in manufacturing as an engineer.

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Chris Maiocco

Chris Maiocco transferred to WVU from the Air Force Academy. He was aware of the career opportunities in Industrial Engineering and joined the department.

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Chris Williams

As a child, Chris Williams lived in states all across the United States. His father was with the U.S. Border Patrol.

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Christopher Hornbecker

When Chris Hornbecker entered WVU, he was very uncertain about his desired career. He thought about medical school, but hated biology.

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Colleen Burns

Colleen Burns came to WVU after spending one year at the University of Buffalo. She knew that she wanted to study Industrial Engineering, but wasn’t sure what her desired career path would be.

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Corrie Johnson

Corrie Johnson started WVU thinking she would be an Aerospace Engineer, but transferred to Industrial Engineering because she thought it would be a better fit. She had a rough first year, but didn’t give up.

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Dale Dodrill

When Dale Dodrill came to WVU he didn’t know what Industrial Engineering was even though he was enrolled in the program.

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Dan Tunacik

Dan Tunacik came to WVU from Weirton, WV. He had read about Industrial Engineering and had talked to the father of a friend who was the head of IE at Weirton Steel. Dan was especially interested in the business side that Industrial Engineering offered.

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Daniel Groves

Dan Groves came to WVU with intentions of being an Industrial Engineer. He liked math and science, but wanted a degree that would give him a chance to directly impact people.

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Daniel Manack

When Dan came to WVU, he knew he wanted to be an engineer but had no idea of what kind. Dan picked IE because he liked the link between engineering and business that IE provided.

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Daniel Mullins

Dan Mullins began his college career at West Virginia Institute of Technology. Since Dan had to pay for most of his own college expenses, he became involved in Tech’s co-op program.

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Daniel Phillips

Dan Phillips came to college thinking he wanted to be a doctor so he started as a major in Chemistry. As he thought about his career, he felt that becoming a doctor would not give him the career flexibility he wanted.

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Darren Anderson

When Darren Anderson was in high school and thinking about a major, his father helped him decide what he would be doing. “He told me if I went into engineering, he would pay for my degree, but if I pursued a business degree, I would be on my own, “ Darren laughs.

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Darryl Duncan

Darryl Duncan was the first in his family to go to college. His decision to go into engineering was greatly influenced by a high school physics teacher and a visit from a WVU Engineering professor to his high school.

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Dave Baker

Dave Baker didn’t start college thinking he would be an engineer. Instead he thought of becoming a lawyer.

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Dave Hawkins

Though Dave Hawkins resides in Pittsburgh, he will always consider Morgantown his home. As any West Virginian will tell you, it’s not just a place to live, it’s a way of life.

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David Haynes

Dave Haynes struggled in the first years at WVU. In fact he failed physical chemistry. He originally intended to be a Chemical Engineer because he grew up in Charleston, WV where the chemical industry was a dominant employer.

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David Hesse

Dave Hesse came to WVU thinking his career path would be an Air Force pilot. He joined AFROTC and decided to major in Aerospace Engineering. During his freshman year, he heard a presentation on Industrial Engineering and said to himself: “That’s me.”

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David Palmer

When David Palmer came to WVU, he had no idea of his career path or even what he wanted to major in. It was an Industrial Engineering presentation that helped him decide what he wanted to do.

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David Pecoraro

David Pecoraro started his college career when he was 16 years old. He planned to major in Physics, but it was a volunteer assignment in a hospital that changed his career plans.

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Dewey Boswell

Dewey eventually decided on Industrial Engineering because he liked the process focus. He also liked the many different career opportunities he would have with an IE degree

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Donald Suray

When Don Suray came to college, he thought he would get an engineering degree and return to his hometown of Weirton, WV and eventually become the plant manager of Weirton Steel.

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Donald Worlledge

Don Worlledge was one of the 10 original graduates in Industrial Engineering at West Virginia University. He graduated in 1955.

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Eugene Zvolensky

Gene Zvolensky was a successful high school athlete who had a partial scholarship to play football at Purdue. He eventually decided to come to WVU.

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Frank Cerminara

Frank Cerminara came to America from Italy when he was 8 years old. When he arrived at WVU, he couldn’t believe how lucky he was.

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Ganesh Iyer

Ganesh Iyer moved to the United States from India to pursue a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering. Passionate about optimizing complex processes, systems and organizations, he followed a close friend to West Virginia University.

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Garry Newton

When Garry Newton came to college, he knew he wanted to be an engineer because he did well in math/science in high school. It was a presentation on Industrial Engineering during his freshman year that helped him decide on his career path.

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Gary Murdock

Gary Murdock came to WVU knowing he wanted to be an engineer. He chose Industrial Engineering because he liked the business aspect of IE.

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Gary Sheehan

Gary decided to study Industrial Engineering because he liked the broad background of Industrial Engineering. While at WVU, Gary was fortunate to work with Professor Robert Fowler on a coal mine tunnel boring project.

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George Bennett

George Bennett started WVU as an Electrical Engineer, but quickly transferred to Industrial Engineering because he wanted to work with computers.

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George Didawick

When George Didawick graduated from high school, he was drafted to serve in Vietnam. When he fulfilled his military obligations, he went to work for Western Electric.

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Gina Dubbe

Gina describes her pursuit of a college degree as running away from something rather than seeking a specific career.

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Greg Andersen

Greg Andersen decided to study engineering because he was good in math and science in high school. He chose Industrial Engineering because of his business interests beyond traditional engineering.

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Gregory Cominos

As a freshman coming from a blue collar family in Pittsburgh, Greg Cominos never imagined that he would have a career that would take him to all parts of the world.

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Gregory Ford

Greg Ford always thought he wanted a career that involved business. It was a presentation on Industrial Engineering that helped him decide on his college major.

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Gregory Nailler

Greg Nailler knew he wanted to be an engineer, but wasn’t sure what type. What helped him decide was the freshman presentation on Industrial Engineering.

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James Blue

Jim Blue was born and raised in Morgantown. His older brother was a mining engineer, so Jim enrolled in Mining Engineering at WVU as well.

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James Hahn

Jim Hahn’s career was shaped by his senior internship. He was assigned to work at United Hospital Center in Clarksburg. “I was excited to work at a hospital,” Jim says.

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James Haines

When Jim Haines came to WVU, he wanted a major where he could use his math/science skills. He wanted a major with more of a business focus.

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James Hinkle

Jim Hinkle chose to study Industrial Engineering when he received a recruiting letter from the IE program when he was in high school. He had no knowledge of what Industrial Engineers do, but decided to make IE his major.

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James Hurley

Jim Hurley came to WVU after getting an Associates Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State. As one of six children, Jim needed to pay for his entire college education.

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James Magro

Jim Magro’s father stated: “I’m going to be the last coal miner in this family.” He was wrong. His son, Jim, started working in a rebuild shop when he was 16. When he was 18 years old, he was a member of the United Mine Workers (UMWA) and a coal miner

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James Saurborn

Jim Saurborn came to WVU thinking he would become a lawyer. Since WVU didn’t have a pre-law program, Jim decided to pursue an engineering degree.

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Jason Williams

Jason Williams says that he could never have imagined the career he has had when he first entered WVU. “Originally I thought I would be a Chemical Engineer, but the Industrial Engineering presentation just blew me away. I liked the idea of connecting engineering with business.”

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Jay Perkins

Jay Perkins gained both a career and his future wife while at WVU. His future wife, Beth, was a classmate. Jay followed Beth to Columbus and began his career at Scientific Columbus. He did traditional Industrial Engineering work.

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Jay Rateau

Jay Rateau grew up in Weirton WV. Little did he know at the time that his career would take him to more than 90 countries across the world for business or pleasure.

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Jeff Robinson

Jeff Robinson always had in the back of his mind that he wanted to be a lawyer. He decided to pursue an engineering degree in case law school didn’t work out.

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Jeff Thompson

When Jeff came to WVU, he planned on studying Mechanical Engineering, but chose Industrial Engineering instead. “I didn’t know IE existed,” Jeff said, “But I found it to be a better fit for what I wanted to do.”

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Jeffrey Kenny

Jeff Kenny knew he wanted to run a business, and determined that an engineering under-grad would provide a good technical foundation toward that goal.

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Jeffrey Manuel

Jeff Manuel came to WVU from Martinsburg, WV and a family of Industrial Engineers. His uncle was an IE professor at WVU and his brother had just graduated with an IE degree. However, the Pride of West Virginia was his biggest influence.

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Jill Broschard

Jill liked the flexibility of an Industrial Engineering degree and chose WVU’s IE program to pursue her degree. Like many students she wasn’t sure how she wanted to use her degree.

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John Altieri

When John Altieri came to WVU he wasn’t sure what his career path would be. He started in Mining Engineering because his father worked in the industry.

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John Jackson

As fate would have it, not having a car in college influenced John Jackson’s entire career. “When I was in college, we did internships during the regular semester. Most of the students were placed in nearby areas. Since I didn’t have a car, I was assigned to WVU Hospital.

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John Kalkreuth

John Kalkreuth came to WVU thinking he would become a veterinarian. After a BS degree in Animal Science and a graduate degree is Bio Chemistry, he came to the realization that he wasn’t going to be accepted into veterinarian school.

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John Knorr

John Knorr grew up on a small farm in Southwestern Pennsylvania. While neither parent was able to go to college, education was the priority in his family.

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John Martin

John Martin came from a family of nine children in Webster Springs, WV. Neither parent had gone to college, but all the nine children received degrees. Today, John’s siblings are doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, and social workers.

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John Tuchi

John Tuchi had an internship with Hughes Aircraft in Arizona during his last two summers in our IE Program. After he graduated from WVU, he returned to Arizona and Hughes.

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Keith Harvey

Keith Harvey came to WVU thinking he would be a mining engineer. Coming from Southern WV, mining was the way of life.

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Kenneth Codeluppi

Ken Codeluppi knew he wanted to be an engineer in high school, but realized that his personality was also suited for sales. He chose Industrial Engineering because it would give him both a technical and business-oriented education.

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Kevin Massie

Kevin Massie knew he wanted to be an engineer but wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. “I chose Industrial Engineering because I liked the broad flexibility of the many career paths you could pursue,” Kevin says.

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Kim Brenner

When Kim Brenner was thinking about college, he wasn’t sure about a major. His parents had blue collar careers and just didn’t have the awareness of choices he could pursue.

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Kumar Rampura

When Kumar Rampura finished his undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering, quality control was a major focus in India. He decided to come to America to further his background in quality management.

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Les Viegas

Les Viegas came to WVU from Bombay, India with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and three years’ experience working for a British Engineering Company.

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Logan Hartle

Logan Hartle always knew he wanted a business career and originally enrolled in Business Administration at WVU. He was also fascinated by manufacturing.

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Luis Gonzalez

Luis was destined to be an entrepreneur. As a child, he sold items throughout his neighborhood. When he came to WVU, he chose Industrial Engineering because he enjoyed math, but he wanted a business career also.

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Lynn Dagar

Lynn Dagar began her college career thinking she would be a pharmacist. It didn’t take long for her to seek out another career path.

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Mark Deskins

Mark Deskins originally planned to go to Marshall University and major in Pharmacy. But he couldn’t imagine filling prescriptions for the rest of his life. His father suggested he consider engineering, but Mark didn’t want to follow his brother who was an engineer.

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Mark Manuel

Mark Manuel was greatly influenced to go into engineering by his uncle, Dr. Don Gochenour, a Professor of Industrial Engineering at West Virginia University. He was in EE for one day, but wasn’t excited about the work he would be doing after hearing their presentation to freshmen.

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Mark Ramsey

Mark Ramsey came to WVU from Southern West Virginia and by his own admission was very shy. “I really struggled doing presentations and meeting people, “ he says.

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Mary Ackenhusen

When Mary Ackenhusen came to WVU, she was uncertain about her major. She eventually decided on engineering, but still had doubts.

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Mary Messuti

When Mary Messuti came to WVU, she was originally a pre-med student. Biology lab turned her off so she started looking for another major. She always liked math and physics, so she considered engineering.

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Matt West

Matt West came to WVU thinking he would be a Chemical Engineer, but wasn’t really firm on this choice of major. His older brother was a student in the college and recommended that Matt look at Industrial Engineering.

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Matthew Merrifield

Since Matt was good at math and science, his father suggested he become an engineer. At the time, Matt didn’t understand what math/science had to do with driving a train.

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Michael Hershberger

Mike Hershberger is a second generation WVU Industrial Engineer. When he came to WVU, he was leaning toward Industrial Engineering, but had a very difficult first semester.

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Michael Kutay

Michael Kutay, like many others, decided to study Industrial Engineering because he liked the combination of technology and business. He specifically wanted to work in manufacturing.

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Michael Leonard

When Mike Leonard was growing up his father had a failing tire retreading business. Mike at that young age realized that efficiency was key to business success.

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Michael McClung

Growing up in Beckley, Mike McClung always had a keen interest in math, so taking the Engineering route out of college was a relatively simple choice for him. But choosing between the various Engineering disciplines was not so simple.

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Michael Morris

Mike Morris originally thought he would major in Psychology, but his father had other thoughts. “My dad said he would pay for my college degree if I pursued engineering, but if I majored in Psychology, I was on my own,” Mike says.

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Michael Overs

For Mike Overs, the sky was always in his career dreams. His father was a licensed pilot and would frequently take Mike up in a plane or balloon.

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Michael Reid

Mike Reid chose engineering because he was good at math and science. He initially wanted to go to West Point but eventually decided to attend WVU.

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Michael Show

Coming to WVU was a last minute decision for Mike Show. “I was an average student in high school and unprepared for college,” Mike says.

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Nazih Hage

Nazih Hage is a native of Lebanon. His country was at war when he was ready to go to college.

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Neal Starkey

Neal Starkey was appointed to go to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He dropped out after one semester because of poor grades.

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Nick Caggiano

Nick Caggiano came to WVU knowing that he wanted an engineering career. He also knew that he wanted a career in management. When he attended the Industrial Engineering presentation, he knew he found the major that was right for him.

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Patrick Bond

Pat’s start in college was a struggle. He joined a fraternity and the party life almost doomed him.

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Phil Cain

Phil Cain came to WVU thinking he would be a pharmacist.

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Phil Matthews

When Phil Matthews entered college, he had the goal of becoming a leader of an organization. He had read an article on the day in the life of a Chief Operating Officer and this inspired him

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Pratik Roychoudhury

Pratik gained an Industrial Engineering degree in India and decided to come to the U.S. for a master’s degree. He had a number of friends who had come to WVU and talked highly of our program.

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Rafael Silva

Rafael Silva was born and raised in Venezuela and had engineering in his DNA. His father is an Electrical Engineer and his uncles are Civil Engineers. Rafael came to America on a tennis scholarship from Freed-Hardeman University, where he studied Physics.

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Rahul Todkar

Rahul Todkar has three core principles he lives by: always be learning, nurture an innovative mindset, and develop insatiable curiosity. These principles have shaped his life from childhood to up until his decision to come to the United States to pursue a graduate degree.

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Ray DeSabato

Ray DeSabato was destined to be an entrepreneur. In fact, he started his first business when he was in the sixth grade. He made cinnamon toothpicks.

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Raymond Brace

While Ray applied to college, he wasn’t thinking of continuing his education. Since he couldn’t find a job, he decided to go to college.

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Richard Kinney

Richard Kinney came to WVU from Parkersburg Community College (now WVU-Parkersburg). The Associate Dean in the College of Engineering wouldn’t admit him. Rich persisted, and after three meetings,the Associate Dean said he would be admitted if a department would accept him.

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Richard Ott

Rick Ott came from a blue collar family. His father was a shift worker at Shell Chemical in Belpre, Ohio and his mother did odd jobs to help support the family. “My parents were able to put their four children through college,” Rick says.

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Ritchie Soos

Ritchie Soos came to WVU with the goal of becoming an Industrial Engineer. He thought he would work in manufacturing, but his career has been totally focused on the healthcare industry.

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Robert Corsi

Bob Corsi was the first in his family to go to college.

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Robert Johnston

When Robert Johnston came to WVU, he thought he would major in accounting or finance, but transferred to Engineering because he enjoyed science which was limited in his business program.

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Robert Simon

Robert Simon came to America from Venezuela as a 13 year old. He knew no English.

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Rodney Bryner

When Rod came to college, he was sure he wanted to be an engineer, but he wasn’t sure what type. He tried ChE, EE, and ME before he decided that IE would be the best fit for him. “I liked the bigger picture issues that IEs dealt with,” Rod says.

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Ron Parrish

Ron Parrish was both a full-time WVU-IE student, a father, and full-time night-shift technician at the Westinghouse plant in Fairmont WV during his college years from 1960 to 1966.

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Ronald Pearson

Ron Pearson came to WVU thinking he would become an Aerospace Engineer. He switched to Industrial Engineering after his first year because of the broader perspective of IE. It became clear to him that in IE you have the opportunity to look at the big picture of a problem for an organization to try to find a solutions or improvement.

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Russell Craig

Russ Craig came to WVU thinking that he would be a Chemistry or Mathematics major. It was his roommate who convinced him to become an Industrial Engineer.

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Ryan Hunter

When Ryan Hunter came to WVU, he knew he wanted to be an engineer but didn’t know what type. He chose Industrial Engineering because of the variety of career paths it offered.

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Scott Gamble

Scott Gamble’s father was a great influence on his selection of a major. “Since I was good at math, my father thought engineering would be a good fit,” Scott says.

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Sean Henschel

Sean Henschel was influenced to be an engineer by a high school guidance counselor. “She told me I should pursue an engineering degree because of my math/science ability.”

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Sean Sexstone

Sean Sexstone admits that during his first two years of college, soccer was more of a priority than his academics. Sean was on the WVU soccer team and not really into his major.

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Sherry Deskins

If you were to summarize Sherry Deskins’ career in a phrase it would be “expect the unexpected and make the most of each moment of opportunity.”

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Sloan Bonar

When Sloan Bonar came to WVU, he was a Biology major. “I loved Biology in high school, but hated it in college,” Sloan says. “I was looking for a major and read about Industrial Engineering in the catalog. I really liked the idea of integrating technology with people.”

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Stephen Lewis

Steve Lewis came to WVU thinking he would be a Mechanical Engineer, but the first ME course (Mechanical Drawing) convinced him that he needed to find another major. He chose Industrial Engineering because he liked the business side of the major.

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Stephen Peskar

Steve Peskar knew he wanted to be an engineer when he entered WVU, but wasn’t sure what type. He wasn’t aware of Industrial Engineering until he heard the IE presentation during his freshman year. He liked the focus of manufacturing that IE offered.

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Susan Leroux

Susan was good at math/science in high school but didn’t particularly like them. She decided to go into engineering because several of her friends decided to study engineering.

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Susan Silcox

Susan Silcox chose to study engineering because she liked math and science. She chose Industrial Engineering because of the diversity of career paths.

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Suzanne McNamara

Suzanne never had a doubt that she would get a college degree. She was the oldest of five children with parents who never went to college. A college education was a fulfillment of her parent’s dreams. She learned about Industrial Engineering from a summer program at Notre Dame.

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Theodore Gibson

Theo Gibson came to WVU thinking he would be a pre-med major but quickly changed majors before classes started.

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Thomas Messmore

Tom Messmore probably had the qualifications to be accepted at Carnegie-Mellon and MIT as an undergraduate, but he came to WVU because of financial reasons. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do for a career, but thought engineering was the best preparation for any
career choice.

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Tim Adams

Tim Adams came to WVU knowing he wanted to be an engineer. During his second semester, he knew he wanted to be an Industrial Engineer.

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Tim Lord

Tim Lord wasn’t sure he wanted to be an engineer when he entered WVU. He was in the National Guard.

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TJ Toomey

When T.J. Toomey came to college, he imagined that he would be an Electrical Engineer. But struggling with math, he realized that EE wasn’t the best choice for a major. He chose Industrial Engineering because he liked the business aspects of the major.

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Vineet Shastri

Vineet Shastri earned an Industrial Engineering degree in his native country: India. He wanted to continue his education, so he applied to 5 schools in America for a Masters. He was accepted by all 5 schools.

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Walt Stender

Walt Stender didn’t imagine the career he has had when he was an undergraduate at WVU. In fact, Walt has had two unique careers. For the first 20 years of his career, Walt worked on a series of high profile leadership positions in major corporations.

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William Fuchs

Bill Fuchs had valuable advice from his father prior to starting college: “Avoid a career where you work for someone else,” Bills father owned his own company and hoped that Bill would be able to create his own business as well.

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William Merchant

When Bill Merchant came to WVU, his original intent was to be an Electrical Engineer. But the traditional employers of EE’s weren’t hiring so he switched to Industrial Engineering.

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William Ramsey

Bill Ramsey came to WVU knowing that he would be an engineer. He found out about IE from college literature.

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