As 2020 creates ample challenges for our 2020 graduates, GeneTomek recalls that 1970 was a difficult and complicated time, as well. The Vietnam War was in full swing and a recession was taking hold of the nation. When asked to look back at his graduation experience Tomek remembers he had quite a few interviews lined up, but as the reality sank in of an economic downturn, most interviews were canceled. Tomek and many of our other Golden Graduates can relate to those who are now entering the workforce.

Tomek was lucky though, after graduating in 1970 with his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, Tomek landed a position with Bechtel Power in San Francisco.

“Back then, engineering was different,” says Tomek. “Now, engineers work in teams whereas, in my day, an engineer was given a project and had to make it work.”

He later returned to Phoenix to work for many years with SRP. Now retired, Tomek is enjoying his free time. One of Tomek’s passions is large-scale model planes. Whenever he can, he joins fellow enthusiasts at the local airfield in Prescott, AZ (pictured).

Tomek stays connected to the Fulton Schools of Engineering in many ways but E2 is a favorite. E2 connects incoming freshmen with their peers, faculty and alumni in a fun and welcoming setting. Students learn about teamwork and successful study skills through a variety of hands-on exercises.

Tomek has been generous with his time over the years at E2, interacting with the incoming students, encouraging future electrical engineers and welcoming their enthusiastic energy. Tomek looks forward to the time when he’ll be able to join students in person again.