Featured Torero Archives
Kevin Dooley '93
1: What have you been up to since graduation?
Since I graduated in 1993, I have worked in some pretty diverse industries. Whether it was a hotel (1993-1996), or semiconductor (1996-2000), or software (2000-2002) and landscape maintenance industries (2002-2008), I have always been in sales. In 2010, I joined CCS Fundraising as a consultant helping non-profits structure multimillion-dollar campaigns, conducting feasibility studies and organizational assessments. As a consultant I have been fortunate to help non-profit organizations in Missouri, Montana and in various locations throughout Southern California. Not only do I get to make new friends and professional relationships at each stop, I have been able to explore some amazing national parks and historical locations along the way.
2: What is your fondest memory of USD?
Orientation week (now Torero Days) is still the most memorable experience for me. It was from that first week of activities that I met those who are still my closest friends today. And as a transfer student, I really appreciated the attention given toward the needs of students who were not college freshman, but were “fresh” to San Diego.
3. What is your favorite place on campus, why?
Although there are many places (Founder’s Chapel, The University Center, The Vistas, West Point Field), there are two that come to mind immediately. The first is the Career Services Center. It was Linda Scales who helped me earn my first “real” job working for Maxim Integrated Products. Using the resources in Career Services Center helped me narrow down three or four career paths that would take advantage of my natural talents and gifts. The second would be the Degheri Alumni Center (DAC). The USD Wine Classic was created in the conference rooms of the DAC in early 2008 while I was a member of the Alumni Board. Having a place for Alumni to call “their own” when returning to campus allows Toreros to come together to reflect on the past. However, and more importantly, it allows for new ideas to start and gain traction under the guidance and leadership of the alumni office staff.
4. Who was your favorite USD professor or class?
I enjoyed many of my professors at USD, but the one that comes to the front of the line is Professor Emeritus, Dr. John W. Swanke in the Philosophy Department. He taught a variety of philosophy courses, but the two that were the most fascinating were Philosophy of Human Nature and Philosophy of Love. Both offered opportunities to not only understand how to think critically, but also to help me grow personally. Dr. Swanke played an important role in my personal growth at a young age; I am grateful for his authentic personality and his willingness to take the time with me as an individual.
5: How have you remained involved with USD since graduation?
Upon graduation, I remained involved as a volunteer for Homecoming Weekends and attended Alumni Honors since its inception. Sometime in the late 1990’s, I was asked by then Director of Alumni Relations, John Trifiletti ’78, to join the Alumni Association Board of Directors. As a student, I had worked with John on the Student Alumni Association. While on the Alumni Board, I made some of the strongest connections with my fellow Toreros. In 2006, fellow Board member, Shannon Smith ’86, established the Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund (AESF), and I found myself asking, ‘How are we going to make the AESF standout amongst the various scholarship funds?” After some research and working with fellow Board members, in early 2008, I offered the idea of the USD Wine Classic. We are now in our 4th year and I am proud to say that the small idea of bringing fellow alumni together in support of student scholarships has resulted in over $150,000 toward the $1 million goal of the AESF. As Founder of the Wine Classic, I am extremely proud of how the university’s administration, the Board of Trustees, the alumni office, our amazing faculty, and of course my fellow alumni have been supportive of the event and its goals. This is my final year on the Alumni Board, but I will always remain connected to USD and certainly the USD Wine Classic. USD is a part of my foundation that can’t be removed.
6: If you could offer a current USD student advice, what would it be?
I would offer two pieces of advice. First – study abroad. One of the most impactful experiences I had as a student was taking my Spanish classes through the Guadalajara program. I certainly learned to speak Spanish and have used it more in the past few years working as a consultant. However, growing up in Lake Havasu City, AZ (yes, I actually grew up there), I was not truly exposed to how diverse our world is. Attending class abroad opened my eyes at the age of twenty to how global our economy is and how we are all connected through some of the most simple ideas and experiences. Second – I would suggest to any student to take advantage of Campus Ministry. Not only can they offer a place to learn more about one’s faith outside the classroom; they can provide a warm and loving community that a student can lean on in times of need. Most importantly – get involved! The college experience is a short window of opportunity, so take advantage of the time no matter what you think the cost will be.
Sonya Sparks '05
Sonya graduated from USD in 2005 with a degree in Business Administration. Since her days in Alcala Park, she opened an art gallery in downtown San Diego representing contemporary artwork to support the local art community.