Beyond These Towers: Alumni Couple Chris Jeznach ’10 and Lillian Jeznach ’11 Give Back to their Alma Mater



Chris and Lily Jeznach

WPI has long offered students additional value beyond the world-class education they earn at the university, but the unexpected value of finding your future spouse is by far one of the more life changing benefits of time spent on the Hill. Chris Jeznach ’10 and Lillian Jeznach ’11 stand as one of many examples of WPI couples.

Chris, who majored in mechanical engineering and minored in business, is currently a Sr. Director of Product Marketing with software company aPriori Technologies. And Lillian, who majored in environmental engineering and minored in music, is an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at Roger Williams University (RWU) in Bristol, RI.

The couple took very different paths to WPI, but both describe meaningful and impactful university experiences which helped to form them as individuals and as a couple.

“I always liked math and science and wanted to set myself up with a challenging and successful career path. One of my high-school math teachers suggested looking into engineering as a career path and mentioned WPI. When I went to tour the WPI campus for the first time it just felt right; the students were happy, the campus seemed cozy, and the project-based approach was unique. So, I decided to attend, and I'm glad I did! Some of my fondest memories and closest friends were made through the extracurricular activities I was involved with,” says Chris.

Acknowledging the vital role WPI played in his career, Chris says, “I've always enjoyed being in business-generating and customer-facing roles, so product marketing was an area I sought out for my career. WPI’s blend of mechanical engineering and business was a great combination that helped prepare me for the marketing, sales, and product strategy type roles with manufacturing and tech firms.” He adds, “Ultimately, the engineering knowledge and leadership skills I learned at WPI helped me succeed first at SPIROL and then Sensata Technologies as a leader in product marketing.” 

“I've always been a strong believer in giving back to places that have helped me and are making a big impact in the world. WPI is one of those places, and I want to help future students attain similar experiences to those I had at WPI.”

Chris Jeznach ‘10

As a trumpeter, Lillian’s path to WPI was one of music; she wanted to earn a STEM degree, but she also wanted to play music in a strong university music program. Growing up, Lillian attended rehearsals and concerts in Alden Memorial Hall with her musician parents and other local Worcester musicians and engineers. In high school, she joined with the WPI musicians on a trip abroad, and the experience solidified her choice to attend WPI to study both engineering and music.

“When I started at WPI, I was unsure what STEM field I was interested in, but after an upper-class student suggested I take the course ‘Introduction to Environmental Engineering’ I was hooked! My current research at RWU focuses on the analysis of water quality and quantity in the natural and built environment. In addition to my faculty position at RWU, I do some part-time hydrology work with the US Geological Survey.” 

WPI’s project-based learning curriculum and Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) prepared Lillian for more than just her varied professional roles. “At WPI I had to learn how to adapt my skills to a new environment with teammates of different disciplines, and those experiences inspired me to pursue a career not only in Environmental Engineering, but specifically undergraduate engineering education.”

Like her husband Chris, Lillian also acknowledges the valuable role WPI played in her career. “My WPI education not only taught me the technical skills I needed for my career, but it also gave me skills like project and team management, leadership skills, and how to think creatively during the design process through the project-based curriculum.”

With thriving careers, the couple shows gratitude to their alma mater by giving back to the school through donor philanthropy, giving annually since 2010. “WPI has a community of faculty and students like no other and it will always feel like home. I loved my time at WPI (the education I received, the people I met) and it feels right to pay it forward so that other students can have the same experience. The world needs more WPI engineers!” says Lillian.