Kevin W. LeclaireBy Matthew Winston
Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 27 - April 6, 1995
"I am a philosopher and a poet caught in an engineer's body," says Kevin W. Leclaire, Virginia Tech's 1995 Man of the Year. "I like movies, books, and classes that force you to think. That's the only way to deal the problems of the world."
Leclaire says he is driven by his desire to be a problem-solver. "That's why I chose the field of engineering. My major best fits my career base, and best provides me with the opportunity to engage in problem-solving." Leclaire is also a double major in economics.
"Since I've been at Virginia Tech," Leclaire adds, "I have learned many new ways--multi-disciplinary ways--to solve problems."
His involvement in other activities on campus has provided him an opportunity to exercise leadership skills in a variety of roles. He currently serves as the student representative to the university's Board of Visitors. He has represented his college as a senator in the Student Government Association and has served as business manager and interim general manager of WUVT, Tech's student-run radio station. Leclaire is a member of both the Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi national honor societies, as well as a member of the University Honors Program. He is also a National Merit Scholar and a recipient of the T. Marshall Hahn Engineering Scholarship.
Several classes at Virginia Tech have significantly influenced Leclaire. One such class was a Theory of Organization class taught by President Paul Torgersen. Leclaire says that he learned a lot about the history of the university and its decision making processes in that class. "Dr. Torgersen would use historical examples and anecdotes to illustrate the theories and concepts we were studying," Leclaire said.
He also said that a Management Systems Engineering class taught by Harold Kurstedt coupled with Torgersen's lectures have been his most useful academic lessons. Leclaire uses these lessons in his activities and in his professional work experiences.
He plans to carry the knowledge gained from his experiences at Virginia Tech to the job waiting for him after graduation. Leclaire will work at GE Motors in Salem in the Technical Leadership Program. He learned of the program during his internships with GE Information Services in Rockville, Md., where he was a software engineer.
Leclaire wants to return to school and eventually become a professor and a writer. "My primary desire is to just make a difference," Leclaire said. "I'd like to be able to look back at my time here at Tech and anyplace else I have been and be able to say that I have made some type of significant impact. The only way to successfully do so is to continue to learn."