The School of Engineering held its annual School of Engineering Spring Celebration of Achievement on Thursday, April 11. This event honored and celebrated the achievements of a number of engineering students and faculty. One faculty member in particular, however, was greatly celebrated — John Karsnitz.
Karsnitz has served as the chair of the Department of Technological Studies for 24 years, making him the longest standing chair at the College. However, after 35 years, Karsnitz is retiring.
“The amount of influence that he has had goes down from his students to our students,” senior technology education major Julianna Ryan said.
Karsnitz has certainly left a great legacy at the College.
“He was involved on all fronts,” retired professor of technological studies Keith Finkral said. “He made great changes … while our disciplinary changed, he was on the forefront.”
Among his many contributions to the College, Karsnitz is recognized for leading the establishment of the math, science and trechnology major in 1998. Along with this, the technology education major was redesigned to incorporate a pre-engineering component in 2005 under his leadership.
Many faculty members recognized Karsnitz’s great contributions to the department.
“We owe him a debt of gratitude … the program is not only unique to the College, but it is a model for other schools,” associate professor Matthew Cathell said.
While Karsnitz is highly regarded at the College, he is also highly regarded in his field.
“In the field, he is five to 15 years ahead,” current chair of the Department of Technological Studies Steve O’Brien said. “Today, people are doing things he was doing 10 years ago.”
Many faculty members described the department as a family and very social, while as Cathell said, that Karsnitz “is the lynchpin that keeps us all together.”
The true family-like aspect of this department was definitely demonstrated on Thursday night. About 120 people, including current students, faculty members from various departments, and alumni, attended this dinner in order to celebrate Karsnitz and his retirement.
“These are my colleagues. Some of us have been together for 30 years” Karsnitz said while discussing the dinner.
Finally, Karsnitz described the College and his time here as wonderful and said, “My wife and I wanted to give back to the college, so we have started the John and Suzanne Karsnitz Scholarship Endowment Fund, which will be available for a student next year.”