Ferris State Alumni Association
420 Oak Street, Big Rapids
I am not a new retiree, as I have been enjoying retirement life for over three years. First, a bit about my background – I was born and raised in a then small city of Gardez, about 80 miles south of the Capital, Kabul, Afghanistan. As the capital of the Paktiya Province, Gardez then only had one junior high school as its highest learning institution up to the mid-1960s. After completing my ninth grade education in my hometown, I enrolled in Cadastral Surveying High School in Kandahar, then known as Cadastral Survey of Afghanistan (CSA). After graduating from CSA High School in 1966, I was fortunate to be one of the five students who received a two-year fully paid expense scholarship to attend Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT), known then as Oregon Tech. At the conclusion of our two-year residency at OIT, I received my associate degree in Civil Engineering Technology with a surveying focus. I returned to Afghanistan in 1968 and taught at CSA High School for six months. Following this short term teaching stint, I enrolled at Kabul University's College of Engineering, majoring in Civil Engineering. I had been at the University for only three months when the political revolution initiated by the students caused the University to be closed down by the Ministry of Education. The closing of the University led me to return to the US, this time totally at my own expense, to complete my education.
I finished my baccalaureate degree in Civil Engineering Technology from OIT, and my master’s degree in Geodesy from Purdue University. Upon completion of my graduate work at Purdue University, I joined the Ferris Surveying Program in 1975 for a one-year temporary assignment. I left Ferris at the conclusion of my one year contract and rejoined the University in 1978 in a tenure track position.
I immensely enjoyed being a part of the Surveying Engineering Program for 31 years. Over 20 years of my involvement have been either as Program Director, Program Coordinator and Chair of the Surveying Engineering Department. One of my many accomplishments in the program was bringing Engineering accreditation to the Surveying Program. This brought additional recognition to the already recognized Surveying Program within and beyond Michigan. My association with the University has provided me many opportunities to travel and serve the surveying and mapping community in various capacities. For example, I was appointed by Governor Engler to serve two full terms as a member of the Board of Licensing and Regulation for Surveying. I have served as member, vice chair and chair of that board. I have also volunteered to serve, as a subject matter expert, on the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Examination Committee for over 20 years.
My professional technical experience outside the University spanned five years period working for Blair Associates, a surveying and engineering firm, in New Haven, CT, and Gilbert Commonwealth Associates, a large electrical and power plant design firm, in Jackson, MI.
I am often asked how I occupy my time in retirement and whether I like it. To that end, my second baccalaureate degree from Ferris, in Computer Information Systems, has served me well not only in my teaching, but now in my retirement where I write technical computer programs and some website design development. I also stay very active with my twin daughters (currently high school freshmen), schooling and traveling in the motor home with my family when we can. So, yes, I like the retirement life and highly recommend it!