Clinton New Jersey

EDUCATION and CAREER

John Richard Vollaro


    John received his elementary education at PS-217 in Brooklyn NY from 1946 – 1955. During these years he acquired a General Class Amateur Radio License. In 1959 he received a High School diploma from Midwood High School, a regional public school, in Brooklyn. He attended New York City Community College in Manhattan and received an Associates Degree in 1962. During these school years, John had three significant work experiences. He began working at the neighborhood drug store when he was 11 years old and continued this work through high school. He began working summers at Lakeview Equipment Co. when he was 15 and began work at Economy Electronics when he was 17. These activities ended when he enlisted in the US Navy in February of 1962.  He completed several training courses in Radar and communications while in the Navy and acquired a First Class Radio License from the FCC. He  received an Honorable Discharge from the Navy in June of 1966. On June 29 of the same year he was hired by Bell Telephone Laboratories and worked as a laboratory technician at their Murray Hill location in Berkley Heights New Jersey. A number of undergraduate and graduate courses in computer science were completed while at Bell Labs but these did not culminate in a degree. In January of 1984 John began work at Bell Communications Research as a Member of Technical Staff. He was granted 2 patents during his tenure. He worked there until January of 1997 when he retired.

    John was intrigued with electricity at an early age and was wiring simple circuits when he was 10 years old. When he was 11 he successfully constructed an oscilloscope, (an electrical test instrument), which he purchased as a kit. By the time he was 15 he had acquired an armature radio operators license and was operating a radio station that he had constructed from a number of electrical kits.

    In spite of his enthusiasm for electronics, he was barely an average student through high school and not likely to succeed in a traditional engineering curriculum. Instead, he enrolled in a 2-year course in Electrical Technology at a local Community College. He graduated with higher than average grades and was immediately qualified for employment as a technician. He applied for several jobs and was offered a job at IBM. John was not happy with the corporate culture at IBM however and did not accept the position. Instead he decided to fulfill his military obligation. He joined the US Navy where he was well qualified to be an Electronics Technician.

    He served his 4-year enlistment aboard the USS Lake Champlain as a radar technician. “The Champ” was a medium sized aircraft carrier assigned to antisubmarine duty in the Atlantic Fleet. It was also used to retrieve space capsules that landed in the Atlantic during the earliest days of the US space program. These included the first manned sub-orbital flight (flown by Allan Shepard), and two of the Gemini (2 man ) orbital missions. Other significant events that occurred during his tour of duty were the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the beginning of the Vietnam War. Although John did not see action in the war, his enlistment was extended and he was classified as a Vietnam veteran. Another significant event was his marriage to Alice Quartermaine and the birth of two children (Daniel and Jennifer) before his discharge in June of 1966.

    A job search after discharge from the Navy focused on laboratory technician positions preferably in research facilities. The search was limited to the northern New York area by choice. That choice was swayed in the end by an opportunity to work at  Bell Telephone Laboratories located in New Jersey. This  position was the beginning of a career in communications research which lasted from 1966 until 1997 when John retired from Bell Communications Research.

More Documents
Early Inspiration
Working while in Brooklyn
Working for Uncle Sam
Working for the Phone Company
Being Self Employed

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