Student Spotlight: Samantha Dando
Hometown: Villa Park
Samantha Dando's love of all things mechanical started with her father.
"Growing up, I was surrounded by cars, as that is my Dad's passion," he said. "He owns a 1970 Dodge Challenger and has been working on its restoration longer than I have been around. He would put a car seat in the car -- as I was still too small for a simple seat belt -- and take it out on summer nights. I remember loving the rumbling and power of the engine and I still do. I took after him in that aspect, and although I do not have a fraction of the knowledge he has about cars, I'm working on that thanks to COD!"
Dando applied to 15 colleges before deciding upon College of DuPage. In fact, she made that decision before applying for and being named a Presidential Scholar, an impressive award that includes a full-tuition scholarship and enrollment in COD's Honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.
So far she is pleased with her decision and the high quality of the Engineering program, including the faculty.
"David Smith could not be more helpful, relatable and knowledgeable whether it comes to colleges, courses or the different majors," she said. "The path to engineering is extremely difficult, but I am so glad I chose this and am excited to continue the program to earn my degree. The course offerings are great, and it's almost overwhelming because of how many opportunities and classes are available each semester -- the possibilities are endless!"
Dando also participated in Service Learning, and while she is focusing on her studies, she hopes to become more involved with student life at COD. Her goal is to earn a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and perhaps her master's degree after that.
It seems fitting that Dando would like to work with industrial/car engines and related equipment. And College of DuPage is helping her reach that goal.
"When I think of College of DuPage, the word that consistently comes to mind is 'opportunity,' " she said. "I would just like to say thank you to everyone at COD for the great education I am receiving and for all of the opportunities that are open to me. I absolutely love the campus, the professors and the difficulty College of DuPage offers. It honestly is the education of a lifetime."
2014 College of DuPage