ISL's First Graduate - Interview
Posted 18/12/2018 12:30

ISL's First Graduate -
Graduation Class 1980 

Where are you living now?
Euless, Texas (in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area)

What did you do after you left ISL?

I ended up using a Computer Science minor as a stepping stone to a successful I.T. career, married, had a son, became a part-time actor and ended up looking after many rescue dogs and cats.

What did you study at University?
I majored in Military History, and minored in French and Computer Science

Do you feel your ISL education prepared you well for University?

Absolutely. I received an education that far surpassed many of my contemporaries. I was fully grounded in both liberal arts, science and math.

What are you doing now?

I’m a Principal Business Systems Analyst/Product Owner at SiriusXM Connected Vehicle (Translation: I act as an intermediary between our customers and our engineers in software development for “smart” cars). I also am raising 2 extraordinarily large, fluffy, stubborn dogs who are not spoiled at all. Not at all.

Do you think that your time at ISL helped you pursue this? If yes, how?

While my excellent education was of no help at all in dealing with stubborn canines, it absolutely helped me in my professional career – both academically and socially preparing me for the “real world”. 

What advantages has studying at ISL given you?

I feel that the primary advantages include an awareness, comfort and understanding of people from other cultures and countries. This, combined with a familiarity of languages fostered in ISL’s international environment have really helped prepare me for working in a global economy, as well as making me a more understanding person.

What advice would you give students to help them make the most of their time at ISL?

Listen more than you talk, be patient with and understanding of others who are different from yourself, and take advantage of all of ISL’s unique opportunities. You’ll miss it when you’ve moved on.

Were you involved in any clubs/activities at ISL? What did you enjoy about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?

In the late 70’s we were too small to offer many of today’s activities, but I was enthusiastically involved in our school plays and musicals (Oliver!, Pirates of Penzance, etc.), and was the DJ at the school dances. Both of these helped to bring me out of my somewhat introverted shell and helped prepare me for my future roles as a performer.

Describe some of the things that ISL does above and beyond teaching and learning?

It provides an environment that takes young people from many nations and cultures and puts them together in a wonderfully supportive environment that ensures that they will learn from each other as much as from their excellent teachers. This, in turn, cannot help but make them into successful and well-rounded human beings.

How did your time at ISL help shape you as a person?

Dedicated, talented teachers made sure I received an excellent education. An international environment ensured that I grew up with an awareness that there are always other perspectives to my own. I felt supported and cared for by all the faculty and students. As a result, I went out into the world with confidence and skills I would not have possessed had I not spent my formative years at ISL. I cannot overemphasize how much ISL is responsible for setting me up for success in life.

What do you think is unique about ISL?

Please see the question re: ISL uniqueness, above

Describe ISL in 5 words

The best place to learn.