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John '73 and Roberta Wasenko

In this Section
Clarkson Provided a Foundation for Success
Summer 2006

Dr. John J. Wasenko ’73, a diagnostic and interventional neuroradiologist specializing in imaging of the central nervous system, credits Clarkson with providing the basis for his later achievements in life.

In gratitude, he and his wife, Roberta, and family have made a bequest in their estate plans to establish the Dr. John ’73 and Roberta Wasenko and Family Endowed Professorship in Mechanical Engineering. Professorships are permanent funds, invested to produce income awarded to the named professor as a salary supplement and/or discretionary fund for research. "I hope this gift will help Clarkson attract faculty who will further strengthen the School of Engineering," said John.

Goodarz Ahmadi, dean of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering at Clarkson, added, "John's bequest to establish a professorship is tremendously appreciated. A university's reputation rests on its faculty. Ours is superb, but we're competing with peers who have more endowed faculty positions. We need more professorships to recruit and retain exceptional faculty and remain competitive." Ahmadi emphasized, "A professorship enables Clarkson to acknowledge in a tangible way that we appreciate extraordinary teaching, service and research."

Our faculty’s reputation originally prompted the Cohoes, N.Y., native to choose Clarkson. "I had a cousin and two friends who attended Clarkson, all of whom had great things to say about the University, so I visited Clarkson and fell in love with the place," said John, the first in his immediate family to attend college. "Clarkson professors knew you by name, and courses were not taught by teaching assistants or graduate students."

After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering, John studied nuclear engineering at MIT. Watching physicians use first generation CAT scanners as part of his graduate work, he realized that his technical knowledge of the physics behind these instruments, coupled with medical training as a physician, would be a powerful combination. He finished his graduate studies, attended medical school, and now deals primarily with imaging of the brain and spine in his work at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. "I am in an exciting field, as most new applications in Magnetic Resonance Imaging are applied first to the central nervous system," John said.

John’s generosity through this bequest reflects a broader interest and involvement with Clarkson. As a member of Clarkson’s Arts & Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council, John is assisting in the development of an ongoing review of the School's long-term planning and special initiatives. He enjoys visiting campus, whether it is for council meetings, to watch the Golden Knights on the ice, or to speak to pre-med students about careers in medicine.

In addition to the professorship, the Wasenkos have endowed two scholarships, the Dr. John '73 and Roberta Wasenko and Family School of Engineering Endowed Scholarship and the Dr. John '73 and Roberta Wasenko and Family Health Sciences Endowed Scholarship Fund.

"I thoroughly enjoy my involvement with and support for Clarkson. Ultimately, I would not be where I am today if not for Clarkson," John said. "My bequest for Clarkson is another way of saying thanks."