By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Dave Kaylor, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs
Commander, Regional Maintenance Centers and the Navy's flag ambassador for Sacramento Navy Week engaged an engineering class at , on March 12.
Rear Adm. John Clarke Orzalli, commander, Regional Maintenance Centers visited the university to talk about his lifelong passion in engineering and problem solving.
"Something happens and we need to figure out why and develop solution models so it doesn't happen again," said Orzalli. "I hope that's why you are all doing this, because there are plenty of problems out there for you to seek solutions to make this world better."
Students in the Thermodynamics class found out early on that having a guest speaker was not going to be a free period. The admiral wasted no time immersing the entire class in science and engineering theory that made the majority of them sit up and engage the him for over an hour.
One such student, Matthew Demianew, a native working for Sacramento County Managed Services Agency Sanitation District, and senior civil engineering major appreciated the advice.
Demianew, a former Navy electronics technician who wanted to pursue an engineering degree in his hometown plans to use his education to advance in his current position, but does not rule anything out.
"We really appreciate this," said Demianew. "He has a tremendous amount of knowledge and wants to share it. Anytime we can ask questions like that and get great answers, it's a good day."
Orzalli shared an analogy with the class about his current role and his position as a flag officer.
"I feel like the football coach on the sidelines with the red challenge flag," said Orzalli. "The Navy invested all this time and money in my education and then put me in a position of management so that I can not only coach the game, but they gave me all that knowledge so I could throw out the red flag when something is not right."
"I wanted to talk to engineering students because that's my passion," said Orzalli to the class. "Science is just an understanding of the world around us. If we don't keep the edge, we'll lose it. I'm excited about where you are."
Sacramento Navy Week is just one of 21 planned across the nation in 2008 to show Americans the investment they made in their Navy and to increase awareness in cities without a significant Navy presence.