The entire Physical Sciences
Department would like to congratulate technician Richard Crapuchettes
for being awarded the “Classified Employee of the Year” award for 2005.
This award is given each year to the non-faculty employee at SCC who
makes a special contribution to the college.
As most of you know, Richard is a technician in the Physical Sciences
Department, where he supports the physics, engineering, geology and
astronomy staff. Richard’s background is in chemistry, and he has been
at SCC since 1986. Due to the fact that the Chemistry Department has
often been left without a technician, Richard has frequently helped out
Richard grew up with a father who was a prominent engineer, and who
helped him develop a very intuitive insight into all sorts of technical
issues. He has a deep knowledge of all aspects of physics, chemistry and
engineering, and his advice and insight has been a tremendous asset to
the department. Without him, the laboratories would surely grind to a
halt. Richard has the knowledge and expertise with equipment to provide
the hands-on experience that community college students desperately
Richard continuously contributes far beyond the job description for his
position. For example, he has designed his own machine to test the
work-hardening of metals. Last fall, he worked all semester to develop a
new astronomy lab for our school, often purchasing needed equipment out
of his own pocket. Outside of work, Richard volunteers as a tutor in
mathematics to high school students, where he puts his great ability to
explain difficult concepts to very good use.
Last fall on Flex Day, other staff members were treated to Richard’s
entertaining and informative lecturing style. He gave a demonstration on
the biomechanics of the human ear, and showed how sounds that are too
loud can break the fine hairs in the ear, causing permanent hearing
loss. To show this, he constructed an apparatus that oscillated
spaghetti strands at different frequencies and amplitudes. When the
amplitude becomes too large, the strands break. The point of the
demonstration was that not only are loud noises temporarily annoying,
they can have permanent consequences! This is but one example of
Richard’s ability to build experiments that help students gain a real
feeling for the importance of physical science in our lives.
So, congratulations again to Richard, and let’s hope that he will be
with us for another 20 years!
-Article and Photo
by Melanie Lutz