STEMM Idol Speaker John Grismer

Guest speaker John Grismer, ’70, presented to CJ students Tuesday, Jan. 10 as the first STEMM Idol speaker of the New Year; however, the focus of discussion centered not on the present, but rather what the future holds for the world in the coming five years as predicted by IBM’s annual “Next 5 in 5” list.

The Chaminade alumnus, who began his career as a social studies teacher and actually taught some of our CJ faculty and staff, including President Dan Meixner, began by asking students to visualize their future aspirations, then challenged the teens as to what each could do now in high school to achieve their goals.

“All the things you’re learning, and the extracurricular activities you participate, in serve as building blocks for your future,” Grismer explained. He advised students to learn transferable skills in order to be prepared for the ever-changing landscape of the workforce as it is influenced by advances in technology.

Grismer, who currently manages support and training for technologies including radio frequency identification (RFID) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), admitted that as a high school senior 40 years prior he never would have imagined such technology could even exist.

His message to students included keeping an open mind and becoming a lifelong learner, and reflected his personal motto “docendo disciumus,” translated to mean, “we learn by teaching.”

The list encompasses the tech company’s annual predictions of the ways in which the top five innovations will influence people’s lives within the coming five years. According to a release at, predictions include advances in harnessing kinetic energy for renewable purposes; replacing the need for password protection with identity recognition systems; utilizing human brainpower to control and manipulate electronic devices; a narrowing of the “digital divide” with more powerful mobile technology; and the end of spam mail.

“The next IBM 5 in 5 is based on market and societal trends as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s research labs around the world that can make these transformations possible,” according to the company’s Web site. Watch the video below for in depth explanations of each projection.

John Grismer, ’70 has worked for more than 25 years in the technology industry as a Web developer, training specialist and business analyst with companies including Reynolds & Reynolds and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), his current employer.

Not only does the Chaminade alum have extensive experience building internet-based training systems and working with radio frequency identification (RFID) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology for branches of the military, but Grismer has also served as a Dayton-area middle school teacher for 10 years at both public and private institutions. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Teaching from Wright State University, where he has also served as an adjunct science instructor.

In 1994, John received the CSC’s Award of Excellence in addition to a commendation from the United States Marine Corps. When away from work, he enjoys staying involved with his alma mater as a member of the alumni choir and distinguished alumni selection committee; coaching CYO sports including track, basketball and volleyball; and being a dad. His daughter, an eighth grader, will attend CJ in the fall of 2012.