Professor teaching class at the School of Engineering.

Photo courtesy of UW Archives

Thank You, Professor: College of Engineering

By Badger Insider Readers

Thank you, Professor Villemonte. Dr. James Villemonte was my major professor for the 4 years (1948–52) required to earn my PhD degree, majoring in civil engineering and minoring in mechanical engineering. He was a wonderful inspiration to me, always available to discuss the advancement of my progress to fulfill the requirements. He was a master of the Socratic method — always free for open discussion to explore the various alternatives to take the steps needed for succeeding with my thesis project. Listened to my questions and suggestions with an open mind. Gave me the feeling of ownership.
Jack Slater ’48, MS’50, PhD’52
Milwaukee, WI

By the end of my sophomore year, I had yet to declare a major, though I was leaning toward something “spacey.” I called up the aero/astro engineering department office and the chair was (literally) out to lunch. I called up the astronomy department office and spoke with Dr. Christopher Anderson. Within an hour, I had a job at the Space Astronomy Lab (and telescope at Pine Bluff Observatory), a major, and an advisor (Chris). Little did I know at that time that I would also have some of the best experiences of my life and a career that I absolutely love. People usually ask me how I got into doing what I do and this is the story I always tell. Chris and I are still friends and I thank him for answering that phone call!
Nicolle Zellner ’93
Holt, Michigan