Featured Alumni: Patrick Young ’80

Patrick Young ’80


  • Named as inventor on six United States patents with five other patents pending
  •  1984 Ohio University’s Donald F. Clippinger Award (for superior research by a graduate student)
  • 1992 Ohio University’s Outstanding Technical Assistant Award
  • 1997 Dupont’s Marketing Excellence Award
  •  2017 University of Rio Grande Distinguished Alumni Award

1.     What made you choose to pursue a college education at Rio Grande?

I chose the University of Rio Grande because of the Chemistry Department and the Chemistry teaching philosophy. I met Ron Tucceri and said, “He is who I want to teach me chemistry.”

2.     How were you involved on Rio’s campus?

I played baseball my sophomore year, and other many intramural sports. I also tutored in Chemistry and Math, and proctored all Chemistry labs in my junior and senior years.

3.     What did Rio offer you besides an education?

A small intimate environment. The smaller class size allowed for a more direct interaction with the professors. Professors concentrated on a knowledge foundation and developing critical thinking skills.

4.     What are some of your favorite Rio memories?

My Special Topics in Chemistry class final exam lasted eight hours. My answer to the first question required eight pages of essay. The bonus question on a Charles Withee multivariable calculus test was, “What is the average length of the horns on a Black Angus bull?” I answered it correctly.

5.     Was there any teacher, advisor, coach, etc. that made an impact on your life? How?

Ron Tucceri because of his fundamental knowledge of Chemistry, his warped sense of humor, his teaching and learning philosophy, and his genuine care for his students.

Michael Rhodes taught a class on the History of Math where the primary subject matter was the invention of calculus by both Issac Newton and/or Gottfriend Leibniz. I remember to this day how Dr. Rhodes expertly detailed the differences between an invention by an academic researcher (Leibniz) compared to an invention by industrial research (Newton). I have used this anecdotal example many times.

6.     What did you learn about yourself during college?

You will change, so plan on it. The real measure of success is not your accomplishments but what you do next after you get knocked down. There are only two ways to guarantee you will never fail. One is to be a deity. The other is to never do anything at all. Your greatest fear should not be of failure, but to be successful at things which do not matter.

7.     Tell us about life after Rio.

I went to graduate school at Ohio University and obtained a Ph.D. in Chemistry. I got married, and went to work for one of the top five diversified chemical companies in the world, where I concentrated on research and product development. I also traveled to about a dozen different counties, and was able to lecture and develop new products all over the world. I also lectured, debated, and published peer reviewed articles on Biblical creation, Intelligent design, and evolution. Additionally, I was a featured story in Creation Ex Nilo Magazine in 2001.

8.     How did Rio prepare you for your career?

Rio gave me a firm foundation in Chemistry and Math. I stood on that foundation to get accepted into graduate school. And Ron Tucceri gave me the initial skills to get my hands around a complex problem.

9.     Why are you proud to be a Rio Alumnus?

The intimate environment has not changed. The science foundation that was given to me, I will never forget.

10.  Do you have any advice for current students?

This is where you will get your educational foundation, so stay focused. Stay true to your God, and stay true to yourself in that order. Prepare yourself to do something you love and insure that choice will make you a living. Also, choose your role models wisely. Erma Bombeck said, “Don’t confuse fame with success.” Most people with fame are total flops as human beings. There’s the world that is, and the world that you desire it to be. Learn to live in the former, while you dream for the latter.

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