Student Spotlight: Diane Kirk
Major: Construction Management
Excitement builds every time Diane Kirk passes a construction site.
"There's nothing more beautiful than being up on a 28-story building after they've finished a concrete pour and you see a snowstorm coming in," she said. "Knowing that you can walk on this concrete one hour after it's being poured -- I'm telling you it's amazing.
"Being a project manager in the construction industry, you're like a conductor of a symphony. You got your HVAC over here, your carpenters over there, your electricians, your plumbers. You've got to get all of these people working together as a cohesive team."
Kirk planned to take a class or two to do something "constructive" following a job layoff. Kirk studied architecture in college, got married her senior year and spent the next several years raising her family. Going back to college to finish what she started was never her intention.
But Kirk got an A in her first class at COD -- one she almost dropped -- and her big picture changed. Kirk increased her course load each semester, taking two, three, four, even five classes at a time, finishing at the top of her class in the Construction Management program at College of DuPage.
"Next to my kids and my grandson being born, it is one of the happiest times of my life," she said. "When I think of COD, I was inducted into two different honor societies and an international organization; all the accolades, I was so proud. I cannot say enough about the College."
After graduation, Kirk got a job with Gilbane Building Company and worked on two major campus projects -- the Health and Science Center and the Technical Education Center -- coming full circle at COD.
"One of my teachers said you don't find many 50-year-olds looking to be outside climbing ladders on construction sites, but I loved it," she said.