Graduation year and major:
1975 with a degree in electrical engineering
Position at KCPR:
Chief Engineer of KCPR
Favorite part about working for KCPR:
Covering the Poly Royal. We sent an engineer and a journalism student out [to] the various places around campus and had them report back from the field on interesting events, like the tractor pull. They would use their two-way radios to do live reports while we were on the air. We also would cover live events that occurred at Mott Gym and University Union after dark. We did this all day Friday and Saturday. I went to bed about 3 am on Saturday. I woke up about 9 am on Sunday morning and I realized we really accomplished something.
For the first time in my life, I felt that I worked with a team of really great people who really did great things. I never really experienced a feeling like that before. It was very empowering. Even though at the time, I was still learning to have a position at KCPR, I felt a sense of empowerment that I hope that other students would also feel. That’s really hard to achieve this through academic classes alone. I think that’s what KCPR can offer.
Finally, when I graduated, I really felt that I found a model for how I want to live my life. That experience, that three or four years at Cal Poly and particularly working at KCPR, if you augment what you learned in class with what you can learn by doing hands-on and learn by doing thing – it’s not just a cliché. It actually works.
Where do you currently work and what do you do?
I retired in 2016. I recommend retirement. You should do it.
How did, if at all, KCPR help or prepare you for your career trajectory?
In 1973, I went to work at KATY Radio. It was a big stepping-stone because it got me a job in commercial radio where I had real responsibilities. KCPR gave me the opportunity to meet more people and led to me getting a job at KCOY TV and get hands-on experience at a television station, while I was still [in] my fourth year at Cal Poly.
Later I got this incredible job working at General Instrument, the company in San Diego that invented digital television. I worked on the development of products for HDTV and digital television first via satellite, then via cable and finally direct to home until 2013. For 21 years I stayed involved in the development of digital television products, thanks to these little stepping-stones I took on the way to get to San Diego.