The David Szyszkoski Memorial Scholarship will provide financial support for students to not only further their education, but also honor the life of a Michigan Technological University student.
When David M. Szyszkoski passed away at the age of 35 his employer, TKDA, created a scholarship in his memory. A 2004 Michigan Tech graduate, Szyszkoski earned a bachelor’s in surveying. He had worked for TKDA since 2008 as a professional surveyor. He sustained injuries from an accident and passed away July 26, 2016.
"David’s love of his profession was something that we are very proud to honor so future students can follow in his footsteps," says William Deitner, president and CEO at TKDA, a Minnesota-based full-service engineering, architecture, and planning firm that has been serving clients across the country for more than 107 years.
Deitner says they created the scholarship to provide funds for current students pursuing a degree in the College of Engineering, studying mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering, or survey engineering in the School of Technology.
"David was an exceptional person and very well thought of by his colleagues and his clients," Deitner says. "He was extremely dedicated and very enthusiastic about his profession."
Sam Talarico, a senior mechanical engineer at Husky Energy in Superior, Wisconsin, knew Szyszkoski for about five years, working with him on surveying and pipeline drawings for the refinery.
Talarico says Szyszkoski provided excellent, accurate, and quick service for all his projects. "I would explain what I would like him to do, he would walk me through it and demonstrate that he was almost done with my task: exactly the way I wanted it to be completed," he says. "We communicated so well on work projects that we would have time to talk about his home projects, the livestock, the old motorcycle, his sawmill."
Working in the surveying field is a part of David’s family. His father, Stephan Szyszkoski, graduated from Michigan Tech in 1982 with a bachelor’s in surveying. And, David’s brother, Karl Szyszkoski, graduated from Tech in 2016 with a bachelor’s in surveying engineering. David is survived by his wife, Kirsten (Schroeder) Szyszkoski and their daughter Clara Mae as well as several family members.
"We wanted to honor David through a scholarship to his alma mater, Michigan Tech, so future generations of students will have a connection to his legacy of good work," Deitner said.
"The alumni take care of the students and with my good fortune I plan to give back someday. I can never say thanks enough for the financial generosity I’ve received."