New Faculty Lend Industry Expertise at WPI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/September 14, 1999
Contact: Arlie Corday, WPI Media & Community Relations

WORCESTER, Mass. - Three new faculty members at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have begun teaching after holding leadership positions in business and industry. These professors of practice and affiliate professors bring valuable experience and expertise to the university.

The Professorship of Practice, created in 1997, breaks the mold of the traditional tenure track teaching position. It is designed to attract distinguished professionals to WPI, allowing the university to tap their experience.

"You could say it's a talent bridge to connect proven leaders in industry and government with academia," said WPI Provost John F. Carney III. Here are some of the latest contributors to WPI's theory-and-practice educational plan:

Professors of practice:

  • Michael J. Ciaraldi of Acton, Mass., professor of practice in computer science, has been an adjunct professor at Clark University, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester. Senior software engineer at Lucent Technologies and president of Ciaraldi Cybernetics, he received 1983 and 1979 M.S. degrees in computer science from the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology respectively and a 1973 B.A. in physics from Cornell University.

  • Leonard Polizzotto of Stow, Mass., professor of practice in electrical and computer engineering, has been corporate vice president of new business development at Polaroid Corp. He has earned a 1982 Ph.D. in visual sciences from Tufts University and 1972 M.S. and 1970 B.S. with distinction degrees in electrical engineering from WPI.

Affiliate professor:

  • Allen H. Levesque of Chelmsford, Mass., an affiliate professor of electrical and computer engineering, comes to WPI after 35 years in communications research and development. Most recently senior staff scientist at GTE Laboratories Inc., he earned a 1965 doctor of engineering and a 1960 M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Yale University and a 1959 B.S. with high distinction in electrical engineering from WPI. He has taken graduate courses at Harvard and MIT and received WPI's 1994 Herbert F. Taylor Alumni Award for Distinguished Service.

WPI, founded in 1865, is renowned for its project-based curriculum. Under the WPI Plan, students integrate classroom studies with research projects conducted on campus and around the world.