Spotlight Interview: Donovan J. Driscoll
We had the privilege of interviewing Donovan Driscoll, a former ADEP student that graduated this year with a BS in Organizational Leadership. Mr. Driscoll was recognized for his accomplishment of having the most improved GPA out of the graduating class. He took the time to answer a few questions we had for him on his accomplishments and why he chose to attend CLU.
How did you find out about the ADEP program?
I started with a Google search and found that US News and World Report had ranked CLU within the top 20 in the West for the last 20 years. I also asked several friends, including a Pepperdine professor. I made the decision to attend CLU after an ADEP information session.
What was your favorite class? Why?
I can’t name just one. My favorites included the study of leadership, change management and I enjoyed the study of psychology. My favorite teachers included; Dr. Gilles, Karen Hanen, Tim Weaver, Cynthia Counter and George Corbin.
How were you able to retain a high GPA?
I have two teenage sons and I wanted to provide a positive college-student role model. I found good grades to be like a successful diet. The longer a person strings together a series of good little decisions, the more successful the overall outcome. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wife Kathleen and my sons Trevor and Riley.
What was the difference at CLU versus your transfer GPA?
Focus, determination, maturity and hard work all would have come in handy when I first attended college in the 1980’s. With a GPA of just 2.21, I was a lousy student but an excellent beer drinker and an above-average dancer. Twenty-four years later when I enrolled at CLU, my goals had changed. I was in school to learn and develop as a person. The good grades (3.94 GPA at CLU) were more of a byproduct of the right intentions and behaviors.
How were you able to balance school, work, and family life?
It was rarely a case of all three getting a third of my time and energy. It was more a case of “read and react” to the biggest need at any given time. I also had to treat my time as a precious resource. I’ve done a lot of homework while at airport or on airplanes. During the last winter break, I took my oldest son to a basketball tournament in Palm Springs. I watched nine hours of basketball and completed twelve hours of homework in the hotel room between games.
What were the biggest hurdles you faced?
Managing my work travel and classroom (sometimes online) time was a big challenge. I had an eleven week online class that I attended twice from London, twice from Columbus, OH and twice from Houston, TX. On another occasion, I left class at 9:30 PM and drove to LAX so I could take a “red-eye” flight to St. Louis. I walked straight into a meeting when I arrived.
Now that you’ve graduated, what do you plan to do?
Apply what I’ve learned, both academically and as a person, to be more effective. I don’t intend to change career or employer; however, the landscape of opportunities has expanded.
In a few words, define being a successful ADEP student.
Considering, my family loves me as much as the day I enrolled in ADEP, my employer continues to reward and promote me and I won the “Outstanding Graduate Award” for 2012…. LIFE IS GOOD!
I believe a successful ADEP student finds a way to be proud of the little victories while managing family, work and school. I am so appreciative that my family, friends, employer and teachers all worked so hard to help me reach this milestone. The emotion of the commencement ceremony was the cherry on top of a fabulous CLU experience.
I highly recommend California Lutheran University and the ADEP program to any adult who is looking to achieve his/her degree.
Thank you Mr. Driscoll for taking the time to answer these questions. Congratulations on your accomplishments, and best of luck to you in the future.