Career Profiles

Paths to leadership are not always straight forward.

Career Paths

Business Types

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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 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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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 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 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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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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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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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 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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Robert Corsi

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

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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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