When Dr. McGrath attended San José State University , graduating in Mechanical Engineering in 1965, he not only excelled academically but was also involved in many extracurricular organizations that honed his leadership skills. He served as Sophomore Class President, Junior and Senior Class Representative to the Student Council, and as a member on several student-faculty committees. He was also a member of several leadership fraternities and an officer and member of Sigma Phi Epsilon.
Another invaluable resource Dr. McGrath credits are the mentors he had at San José State . There were three influential people, whom he vividly remembers to this day: Rod Diridon was his roommate of several years; his "advice and active pushing helped bring a raging introvert like me out of my shell."
Dean of Students Stanley Benz, whom Dr. McGrath got to know well through his involvement in student government, taught him how to negotiate non-technical problems, or, as Dr. McGrath puts it, "real-world problems."
Finally, Professor Robert Clothier went beyond his classroom responsibilities by encouraging Dr. McGrath to attend graduate school, helping locate financial support, and steering him to the field of nuclear engineering. His influence was profound, and Dr. McGrath earned his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1969. "It was the friendship, advice and encouragement I received from these three people that prepared me for my career. To these people I am forever indebted."
Having earned numerous awards, Dr. McGrath is the former Senior Vice President of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). During his career, he has also worked at Sandia National Laboratories and the Environmental Protection Agency, and has served on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Dr. McGrath's international technical and business expertise put him in an ideal position to assess the future. He believes the actions of individuals still matter and can have major impacts. "In hindsight, yesterday's problem or issue appears to have been easier to address, while those we are currently facing appear to be insurmountable. Either you set yourself to effect change or someone else or event will do it for you. I, personally, prefer to strive to influence my future rather than simply accept what comes along."