Academic Excellence Award: Keven Halloran

Keven Halloran
Industrial Engineering Technology
Simi Valley, California

Keven Halloran was looking for more than just a job in life – he wanted a career. While serving in the Army, he found himself stuck in a cycle of deploying and then working random jobs when he returned home. He wanted a change and knew he needed an education to make that possible.

His father-in-law is a Dunwoody alum and suggested Halloran visit the school.

“Jim (Marold) had attended Dunwoody, and I knew how well that turned out for him,” Halloran said. “Asking around I heard time and again how well respected this school is in the community.”

Halloran liked the focus and direction he found at Dunwoody.

“I saw a very clear path that took me from point A to B,” he said. “Obtaining a degree in a technical field would result in having the opportunity to obtain jobs that are very in-demand and well paying. I found some ambiguity when looking at where some other non-technical degrees might take me. But I knew where a Machine Tool Technology degree would take me. After receiving that degree from Dunwoody, it was an easy choice to stay another two years and obtain my bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering Technology.”

Earlier in life, Halloran had taken a few classes at a college in the Los Angeles area, but the experience hadn’t been what he was looking for. His time at Dunwoody has been different.

“When I arrived at Dunwoody, I was given a clear sense of what my possibilities were and how exactly I could accomplish my goals,” Halloran said. “From day one, the school’s entire focus felt like it was about what was best for me.”

The hands-on projects and experiential learning wasn’t only the right fit – it was also fun.

“I never thought I would have a chance to do the variety of things we did during my courses here,” he said. “I felt like a kid in a candy store being able to weld, machine materials, wire-up electronics, design parts, program machines – so many things.”

The dedicated instructors and an educational journey designed with an end result in mind were also great motivators during Halloran’s time at Dunwoody.

“I always had the impression that this school’s main goal was to make me highly successful in my professional career,” he said. “The way classes are designed, the equipment, curriculum, instructor experience – everything felt geared toward this goal. This constant sense of why I am here and what is at stake was what motivated me.”

With graduation now in front of him, Halloran said he is excited to begin his professional career in the engineering field. He plans to continue learning as well and has already thought about earning a master’s degree.

“I want to keep progressing, always be learning and getting better,” Halloran said. “I want to make education a staple of my professional career and hopefully impart that desire onto others. I am very open to the field and type of working environment I will end up in, as long as I can continue to improve and make a real difference.”

His time at Dunwoody has also taught him to keep asking “why” and not accept the status quo. “This is what leads to innovation and continuous improvement,” he said.

Halloran said he was humbled to receive the Academic Excellence Award, pointing to the high caliber of his fellow students.

“I see the caliber of my fellow students and sometimes cannot even imagine being compared favorably to them,” he said. “I see myself as only a reflection of all the hard work others have put into me; be it group work with fellow students, personal investment from instructors, or the love of my family.”