March 07, 2018

As a first-semester senior, Joe Villari ’15 already had a job lined up with the Department of Defense—and he’s worked there ever since.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work on an aircraft carrier, visit naval bases, travel, and most importantly, learn more about physics, mathematics and computer science,” says Villari, who is a software designer and analyst for the Navy.

At Susquehanna, Villari majored in physics and minored in mathematics, computer science and philosophy.

“Susquehanna helped me in my career tremendously, but it also, unexpectedly, helped me in my personal life. That, I think, is the beauty of a liberal arts education,” Villari says.

“The physics and mathematics and computer science departments at SU outfitted me with the right tools to do my job and to contribute to the safety of our nation. Personally, the philosophy department gave me the tools to question and challenge myself and others so that I do not become complacent in everyday life,” he adds.

A natural problem solver, Villari gravitated toward mathematics before falling in love with physics in 10th grade. Choosing it as his major was the obvious choice. Adding a math minor was easy, too, because many requirements overlapped with his major.

While doing research on the CERN Tier 3 Computing Cluster, Villari had to learn Linux and found another interest-and another minor-in computer science.

He discovered philosophy while fulfilling Susquehanna’s liberal arts requirements.

“I learned where my love for physics stemmed from-my love of wisdom (philosophy) or knowledge,” Villari says.

He tried to take as many philosophy classes as he could and soon added it as his last minor.

“I was fortunate enough to have planned out my college career so that I could focus on these four subjects. In choosing them, I found that my life had been enriched,” Villari says.