Student Spotlight: Chris Dearnley
Although Chris Dearnley attended high school in Australia, his birthplace, his education did not transfer to the U.S.
"This meant I had to get my GED," he said. "So College of DuPage was not only a smart way to earn college credits for a more affordable cost but was also something I could do to get my GED."
COD was also a flexible option, which was something Dearnley needed after he and his girlfriend nearly died in a severe car accident. Until he fully recovered and could attend classes in person, Dearnley enrolled in online courses.
"After receiving severe brain damage, I think I'm a good example of how hard work pays off no matter how difficult your situation might be," he said. "One can always overcome obstacles and achieve greatness."
Dearnley will finish his associate's degree in Business by the end of 2014. While at COD, he received the Carter Carroll Excellence in History award for outstanding work in the field of history writing. This award was created by Carter D. Carroll, one of the original faculty members of COD who taught History for more than two decades.
Dearnley was surprised he won with his paper on Mao Zedong.
"The paper was not what many would expect to be reading about Mao, as people believe he was this mass-murdering dictator, when through intensive research I gave facts about how Mao was beneficial to China despite what Modern China wants its citizens to believe or Western historians want to believe," he said. "My professor, Birgit Noodt, who I can give a lot of credit, said she wasn't surprised I won."
Dearnley plans to transfer to the University of Illinois-Chicago and obtain a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He hopes to find a career in the green industry.
"I believe green energy is the future of this nation," he said. "Solar power and wind power provide better, more reliable energy for the future. I see no possible way of continuing on the road of using oil which only causes war and will quickly run out.
"College of DuPage is helping me reach my associate's degree in Business, which is my first step in going into the career I desire. Despite what some might say about teachers at a community college, I have met a lot of excellent teachers here and I am very grateful for the staff here at COD."
2014 College of DuPage