Spotlight Interview: On Marc T. Apter, 2013 IEEE-USA President

BY Georgia C. Stelluto Posted: 1 Dec 2012

Q:  Tell us a little about yourself and your family, Marc.

A:   Together, my wife Rose and I have three boys and two girls, as well as six grandchildren-- and almost six great-grandchildren.  My wife and I are both retired, and we both do volunteer work, mine being IEEE.

Q:  Best thing about growing up in New Jersey?

A:      Most of my family was a short drive away, and the bus to New York City, that I caught two blocks from my house, only took an hour then.

Q:  What misconceptions do people have about engineers?

 A:   Most of us have hobbies and interests that are different than our work, but often, people don’t think we do.

Q: What's the best thing about living in Northern Virginia?

A:  I have lived in Northern Virginia for 39 years--in our current house for 27 of them.  Being in this area has allowed me to visit places I have previously only read about.

Q:  What makes you happy?

 A:   Traveling with my wife, and visiting an historic place or a museum.

Q:  Describe your greatest adventure or journey.

 A:   I have had the opportunity to travel many places around the United States and the world over the years, but I think my first trip to Europe-- between my junior and senior year of college--was my first trip that was not planned in detail in advance, and it was a fun adventure.  I was in Europe for my Navy ROTC Training, and I had 10 days to get from Frankfurt, Germany to Livorno Italy, carrying 80 pounds of luggage, and not much money.  By riding trains between cities at night, so I didn’t need a place to stay; and when necessary, staying in very low cost places, I got to see Paris, Zurich, Venice, Florence, and climb up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Q: Who is your favorite author, and why?  And what's on your reading pile?

 A: I have had various favorite authors over the years, but right now it’s David McCullough, and his biographies of our great leaders. 

On my reading pile is The Very First Light, by John C. Mather (autographed); Triumvirate, by Bruce Chadwick; Common Sense, by Thomas Paine; 1215 by Danny Danziger and John Gillingham; The Name of War, by Jill Lepore; George Washington’s Leadership Lessons, by James C. Rees; and The Disappearing Spoon, by Sam Kean.

Q:  What is always with you?

A:  A book--you never know when you have to be standing in line.

Q:  What's your favorite food, and why?

 A:   My wife’s meat loaf, with mashed potatoes and peas.  It’s great comfort food!

Q: What's your newest gadget?

 A: In August, it was a new Smart Phone, but the time you read this in December…?

Q: Why do you volunteer for IEEE-USA and IEEE?

 A:  I was brought up to give back and volunteer. I first volunteered to develop an updated IEEE Code of Conduct in the early 70s, and somehow, my involvement over the years has grown.

Q:  What's your greatest hope for your year as IEEE-USA President in 2013?

 A:   I would like to see IEEE-USA start some initial humanitarian efforts here in the United States.

Q:  Anything else you'd like to tell our members?

 A:   Be proud of the things our members and their workmates are accomplishing.

 

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Georgia C. Stelluto is IEEE-USA’s publishing manager, editor and manager of IEEE-USA E-Books, and editor-in-chief of IEEE-USA in ACTION.

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