Alumnus Used Tech Ed to Build Multiple Careers

If you live in New York City, Raymond Dennis Harquail ’71 might have something to do with where you live.

Raymond is the founding chief of the city’s Building Inspector and Plan Examiner Training Academy, which has more than 300 inspectors studying 17 different categories at any given time.

Raymond Dennis Harquail '71

Raymond Dennis Harquail ’71 is the founding chief of the city’s Building Inspector and Plan Examiner Training Academy.

It’s the most recent of a number of careers Raymond has taken on, going all the way back to his days as a student and young shop teacher when he would do electrical, carpentry and plumbing work in the summers.

“I started with my hands and I’m still working with my hands,” says Raymond, who took a lot of cues from his grandfather, one of the first union plumbers in New York City.

The training academy is designed to keep building inspectors current and knowledgeable. His role developing the curriculum is actually his encore as a city government employee.

From 1987 to 2003, Raymond was training director for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where he oversaw development of some of the first bus simulators in the country.

“From my 20s to my mid-60s there was always room to learn,” says Raymond, whose careers have been notably varied.

After graduating with a master’s in instructional technology from Indiana University, he headed to the SUNY College of Optometry, where he put together a learning resource center serving doctors, medical students and more than 100,000 clinic patients a year. Earlier in his career he worked as an engineer for EBASCO, travelling the world to train more than 20,000 nuclear power plant managers, supervisors and construction trade workers. He went to the Rochester Institute of Technology to become a biomedical photographer performing diagnostic imagery of patients prior to eye surgery.

The common ground? His instructional designs follow principles he learned at Oswego, Raymond says.

“I couldn’t do it without Oswego.”

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