John DeYoung understands the value of a fundamentally sound design. A senior manager for noise and vibrations testing at the Nissan Technical Center in Stanfield, Ariz., he credits the strong fundamentals and balance in his undergraduate experience in the School of Engineering and Applied Science as a foundation for much of his success.
The demands of the mechanical engineering program often pushed him out of his comfort zone. He recalled that working with Eric Maslen, former professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, on his senior thesis and presenting a paper to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers were “nerve-wracking” but rewarding experiences. “Day-to-day, a huge part of my job is giving presentations to VPs, so those opportunities seem invaluable now,” he said.
DeYoung emphasized the University’s openness towards taking classes in other schools became an asset in meeting the demands of the business side of his industry. “I have noticed a lot of more ‘hardcore’ programs don’t encourage getting the broader education I got from taking classes in the College or Comm School,” he said. “I’ve been able to build on communication and oral skills through industry experience.”
A native of Herndon, DeYoung benefitted from the relatively low in-state tuition that helps make a U.Va. education possible for many students. As he learned more about declining state support, he felt the timing was right to consider making a gift. “I’d like to be a part of insuring the U.Va. tradition of providing a world-class undergraduate education at an affordable price lives on for years to come,” he said.