Exerpt: Who is he?
Nervitt was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., the eldest child of Albert, an Electrolux salesman, and Helen, who worked in a sewing factory. Albert had been a Breaker Boy in the coal mines of Pennsylvania, quitting school after the third-grade to separate rocks and sulfur from the valuable chunks of coal for about 10 hours each day.If you have yet to submit a nomination and you deem him worthy, please show your support for someone who I think can better the PSU Board of Trustees. If you can't locate your form, please request one from firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-865-2521.
To leave Wilkes-Barre, Nervitt said kids could get a sports scholarship to attend a university, pay to go to college or go into the military. Nervitt chose the Air Force.
After four years with the Air Force, Nervitt turned his sights toward baseball with dreams of playing in the Major Leagues. But an injury halted his semi-pro ball career, and he enrolled at Pennsylvania State University to earn a degree in electrical engineering. While in college he met his wife, Lois, who was majoring in administration with an emphasis in finance at nearby Wilkes College. Dates for the two consisted of studying because Nervitt paid his way through college by working on the production side of a newspaper and didn't have much time for socializing.
After graduation, the National Security Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense offered Nervitt a job as a test engineer for security systems.
Over the next 17 years, he worked on several projects, but the one he's most proud of was building a secure voice system that would keep a third party from intercepting telephone conversations. "It's still in use today. Well, a more updated unit,'' Nervitt says.
One year, Nervitt says, the bean counters in Washington said they weren't going to keep funding the department's efforts on the secure voice system. Nervitt and his co-workers lent a unit to the budget director to demonstrate the importance of the system. The money for the project was included in next year's budget.
He credits his experience at the National Security Agency with teaching him how to analyze problems. He uses the lessons learned then and applies it to the job he does today. "I never brought up an issue without having a solution,'' he says.
Throughout the years, he held executive level positions in other federal departments in the Washington, D.C., area while earning a second undergraduate degree in physics from American University in Washington and a master's in space technology from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.