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John N & Kay Mandalakas Scholarship Fund

John N & Kay Mandalakas Scholarship Fund

John Mandalakas was born January 9, 1936, in the town of Mesta on the island of Chios, Greece. He immigrated to the United States in 1956, where he attended Ohio University, graduating in 1961. After graduation, he married Kay Papaliodis (beloved wife of 52 years), and together they moved to Southwestern PA where they raised their family and were very active members of several of the Pittsburgh area Greek Orthodox churches (Ypapanti in East Pittsburgh, St. Nicholas Cathedral, and Annunciation in McKeesport). 

John worked as an electrical engineer at the Westinghouse Semi-Conductor Division in Youngwood while also attending Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon) and earning his MS in Electrical Engineering. He later worked at  Westinghouse's Nuclear Division and at the Transportation Division, where he was instrumental in developing control systems for their "People Mover" project. For this seminal work, he was awarded the IEEE US Engineer of the Year award.  In 1977 John left Westinghouse to found Mesta Electronics in North Huntingdon, PA and continued to pursue innovation in electrical engineering.

John also found great satisfaction from his work on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople. In recognition of his tireless dedication to the church at all levels, he was bestowed in 2002 with the title of Archon Depotatos (??p?tat??) - a title bestowed in Byzantine times on those distinguished laymen who closely assisted the Bishops with their pastoral, liturgical, and administrative duties (which was also ceremonially bestowed to Emperors at their coronation).  The title accurately reflected the close relationship and counsel John maintained for years with both Metropolitan Maximos (now retired) and Metropolitan Savas of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh.

John and Kay had a great respect for education, hard work, and commitment to the faith, and were very proud of the educational and professional accomplishments and church involvement of their family and friends.  In honor of their mutual love and dedication to the Greek Orthodox faith and education, and in the interest of perpetuating the spirit of inventorship via education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), the John & Kay Mandalakas Scholarship Fund has been established to recognize and reward graduating high school seniors who are actively involved in their parish and are interested in further pursuing a STEM education (associates degree or higher). 

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