About Me

[Introduction] [My Family] [High School] [College] [Graduate School] [Current]


I was born on May 19, 1968 in Derby, Connecticut, where I lived until I was eighteen. I had a wonderful childhood and adolescence, thanks mostly to my devoted parents. They are responsible for who I am today, although at times they would probably like to deny such dubious distinction. Brief descriptions of my extracurricular activities in high school, college, and graduate school are provided below. But first let me tell you a little about my family.

[Top of Page (Table of Contents)]

My Family

My father has worked at Sikorsky Aircraft Company, in Stratford, CT, (a division of United Technologies Corporation) for the past thirty-plus years, and my mother has been a homemaker for the same duration. My selfless parents (picture of them with my fourth brother Spike), were married on June 24, 1967. They have completely dedicated their lives to my three brothers and me, to the point of spoiling us in almost every way. I hope that soon they will begin to re-direct some of their energy and resources to themselves instead, although they do seem to derive pleasure by providing for us. I will strive to be as good a parent someday, but theyíve set a very high standard.

My brother Michael, born in 1969 (a year after me), attended Derby High School where he played football and wrestled. He then attended the University of Connecticut (UCONN), where he was a marketing major. There he met his wife Sonja, also a marketing major, on a ski trip to Vermont. (Picture of Michael and Sonja on their wedding day.) He is now a regional manager for the Invisible Fencing Company, which installs invisible electric fences to contain pets within designated areas. Sonja works at a marketing firm and creates promotional strategies for companies.

My brother Steve (picture) was born in 1976 (eight years after me). He too was a Derby High School Red Raider, and played football (starting varsity quarterback for three years and team captain), baseball (centerfield), and basketball. He earned various all-league and all-state honors his junior and senior years, and several scholar-athlete awards. He is now a third year education major at UCONN, and plans to teach at the elementary level after graduation.

My brother Mark (picture) was born in 1982 (almost fourteen years after me), and is currently a junior at Derby High School. He too excels academically and participates in a variety of extracurricular activities. He is the most athletic of us, which we attribute to having had three older brothers constantly chase and beat him as a child :-). As a sophomore he started on the varsity baseball and football teams, and was the Class S State Championship wrestler in his weight class. Now in his junior year, he is expanding on his academic and athletic successes. I'll post the details here as each semester and sports season finishes...

My grandparents on my fatherís side, John and Jean Tilki (picture), have been married since October 5, 1933. They give some credit to the local golf course, which enticed him out of the house three or four times a week since the late 1930ís. My father is their only child. My grandparents on my motherís side, Robert and Georgia Blake (picture), have been married since November 15, 1941. They attribute some of their marital success to having six children, which consumed most of their time.

[Top of Page (Table of Contents)]

High School

Now, about me: I attended Derby High School from 1982 to 1986, and was involved in a variety of extracurricular pursuits. Reviewing my high school activities now it becomes painfully evident that I possessed much more energy in my younger days :-). It sucks getting old! The athletic me was an outside linebacker and a tight end on the football team (the Red Raiders), and we won the Class S State championship my senior year. I also was a catcher on the baseball team, which never fared as well. The geeky me was a member of the Math Team, Computer Club, National Honor Society, and Spanish National Honor Society. I also was class president all four years, student body president my senior year, editor of the school newspaper, and a participant in the 1985 Boyís State program. The artistic me was an untalented guitarist in an amateur rock and roll band. The other original members of the band (Flying Meat) have stayed together and added some talent, and now occasionally perform in local bars and clubs, and have also cut two CDs.

[Top of Page (Table of Contents)]


I attended Worcester Polytechnic Intitute (WPI) , in Worcester, Massachusetts from 1986-1990. There I was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity (a.k.a. the "Apes", since we consisted mostly of current and former football players), and was the social chairman for two years. In those days kegs were permitted in the fraternities, and the parties were much larger and more riotous. Given the high volume of beer consumed in our fraternity (on average about 45 kegs per week), we dealt directly with Budweiser ís and Miller ís local distributors. Every Thursday the keg trucks would pull into our driveway, unload our weekly supply, and collect our empties. They also would provide jackets, hats, tee-shirts, banners, posters, neon signs, and other marketing paraphernalia for free. Such fond memories..., actually, I guess I donít remember much of my college weekends :-) (just kidding). Although I now brew my own beer at home, I have more work to do and drinking hurts too much the next day. Thus I only partake in the occasional one or two quality beers in social settings. I guess I should mention that I was also very active in the other (non-social) activities of the fraternity, especially its philanthropies.

While at WPI I also played a variety of intramural sports, and learned to scuba dive. Here is a picture of several friends and me drinking beer and doing shots with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones during one of our scuba diving trips to Antigua. Since Worcester, MA and Pushkin, USSR were sister cities, I also participated in the Sister City Exchange Program and visited Russia in the spring of 1988. (Pictures from that and other trips.)

[Top of Page (Table of Contents)]

Graduate School (Current)

Currently I am in graduate school at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia (home of the Blacksburg Electronic Village). I obtained my Masterís degree in Electrical Engineering here, and am hoping to finish my Ph.D., also in EE, in 1999. I really enjoy the Blacksburg area, and have discovered many activities to consume my time. But instead of repeating my current interests and hobbies here, I will re-direct you to a dedicated page that contains a comprehensive list.

[Top of Page (Table of Contents)]


Author: John F. Tilki (tilki@vt.edu)
URL: http://www.ee.vt.edu/~jntilki
Date of last revision: November 28, 1998