Adam Tatusko '00
Just call Adam Tatusko ’00 a jack of all trades. Trust us, he’s earned the title.
Since graduating from Clarkson with a degree in chemical engineering, Adam has done more in a decade than many people do in a lifetime. From helping to create one of the first social networking sites and working for a Fortune 500 company, to enlisting in the U.S. Army and starting his own software company, he’s tried his hand at a bit of everything.
And to top it all off, he is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in chemical engineering at one of the most prestigious engineering schools in the nation – MIT.
“There’s no doubt I’ve led a very exciting and diverse life after Clarkson,” he says. “But it’s all led me to where I am today. For the past decade I’ve had an intense desire to return to academia and earn my Ph.D. in chemical engineering, and now I’m doing it.”
Procter & Gamble (P&G) was the first stop for Adam after graduation, where he worked as a process engineer on popular products such as Head & Shoulders and Pantene shampoos. In 2002, he left P&G to start his own Internet development business, the aptly named Tatusko Inc.
That same year, Adam and his business partners created QuizYourFriends.com, a popular site where users can create quizzes about themselves for friends and family and then post them on their social networking pages. In 2003, Adam sold Tatusko Inc. to his business partners, and QuizYourFriends.com continues to be a successful internet site today.
Despite selling his first company, Adam’s entrepreneurial spirit continued as he started a software company in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. During this time, he co-wrote and published a patent for the company’s main software product. He also earned 30 certifications in nearly every information technology field, from Cisco networking and Oracle database design, to Microsoft software development and Linux server administration.
At this point, many people would probably rest on their laurels and let the good times roll. But instead, Adam decided to join the United States Army. “I wanted to give back to the country that had given me so many great opportunities,” he explains.
Adam’s four-year military experience included a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq, which he calls “an unforgettable and life-changing experience.” While there, he managed over 700 supply and recovery convoy missions in the northern area of operations from the Syrian to the Iranian borders and his unit of almost 1,000 troops suffered no fatal casualties.
Returning from Iraq, Adam decided that it was time to pursue his academic interests for a second time. After studying for the GRE and working on his graduate school applications in Iraq, he was accepted to his dream graduate school, MIT.
He gives credit to the “inimitable dedication” of a few professors he had at Clarkson for his acceptance into MIT, notably Profs. Ross Taylor, R. Shankar Subramanian and David Craig, who wrote letters of recommendation 10 years after having him as a student.
“Here at MIT, I’m working hard to live up to the high academic standards I set for myself at Clarkson over a decade ago,” he says. While currently taking courses on core chemical engineering subjects, Adam will soon begin his thesis research project on continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Adam first started performing research at Clarkson though the Honors Program with Kodak Distinguished Professor Ross Taylor. He says, “I believe the research work and collaboration with Prof. Taylor will be invaluable experiences to aid in my success at MIT.”
And once he earns his Ph.D., Adam is looking forward to starting a new adventure - becoming a chemical engineering professor - especially the teaching aspects of the job.
“Much of my teaching skills were honed at Clarkson, where I was a tutor, a fluid mechanics teaching assistant and a leader of countless class review sessions, which most of my classmates would attend,” he says. “Also, my studies at Clarkson gave me the confidence that I could pursue any career path in industry or academia and that I would be well-equipped to perform at a very high level.”
Let’s hope Adam’s next 10 years are even a fraction as exciting and successful as the last 10.
Clarkson's chemical engineering department not only rigorously develops one's technical abilities, but also hones one's teamwork and leadership skills. My studies at Clarkson gave me the confidence that I could pursue any career path in industry or academia and that I would be well-equipped to perform at a very high level.