John Wenskovitch Jr, ’09
John graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering, selecting an Application Domain in Multimedia for his major, and also acquiring a minor in Mathematics. While at Gannon, John served in almost every officer position in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) student chapter, served for two years as the President of the Environmental Club and was Co-Editor of the Honors College newsletter, The Excalibur. He was also a recipient of the Engineering Design Scholarship throughout his time at Gannon.
He continued his education at the University of Pittsburgh, obtaining a Master of Science in Computer Science in 2011 in the field of human-computer interaction. After a brief interlude to teach as a Visiting Professor at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, John returned to graduate school at Virginia Tech, where he is currently in the process of finishing his Computer Science Ph.D., this time contributing to the information visualization and visual analytics fields. His research has included papers and presentations in multiple countries, conferences and journals.
John is an active member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, and he regularly volunteers at Wagman Observatory at Deer Lakes Park in the Pittsburgh suburbs, both assisting in the operation of the 21-inch Manka Memorial Telescope as well as showing off the night sky with his own telescope collection. He is also a freelance artist in his spare time, contributing to a number of new media artistic endeavors. One of his collaborative works, TWEET_SHOT, will soon be included in a “Disobedient Electronics” compilation.
John credits his time at Gannon with many of the accomplishments that he has made, both personally and professionally. The strong educational foundation that he received in the Computer and Information Sciences Department helped him to succeed in graduate school and beyond. Advice from several of his professors at Gannon pushed him into his developing career in higher education, and he credits three trips to Quebec to compete in the CS Games with friends and classmates as key character-building events. Courses that he took in discrete mathematics and statistics also enabled him to teach as a mathematics adjunct at Chatham University in Pittsburgh for two years.
Maintaining close contact with many friends and roommates from his Gannon years is important to John. They frequently reminisce about the Slab of Erie, the brisk wind blowing across Lake Erie from Canada, playing Killer Bunnies in Kenilworth and a variety of other shenanigans from his four enjoyable years at Gannon.
(published June 2017)