Kevin Dalina ’08 was in a panic. He had just failed calculus and his grade point average was perilously close to dipping below 3.0. If it fell any further, he would be eliminated from the Dual Degree Program with Rutgers and would not be able to transfer there.
But Kevin Dalina is nothing if not persistent. He took the class again with Don Groninger, worked hard, and got a B plus.
Kevin Dalina, who is now Doctor Kevin Dalina, said, “I tell my students, no matter what, you can fail a class and still become successful.”
Indeed. The 28-year-old’s story is not untypical of many MCC students.
He grew up in Fords, graduated from Woodbridge High School after playing football, basketball and golf, and wanted to go to Rutgers. He enrolled in the Dual Degree Program, and came to MCC with the goal of transferring to Rutgers after his MCC graduation.
“Starting at MCC was one of the best decisions I ever made,” he said. “I had some great professors here. For example, Brian DeUriarte really influenced my desire to study economics. I really flourished at MCC.”
Dr. Dalina majored in Liberal Arts/Business at MCC and was a dual major in Economics and Sports Management at Rutgers. He aspired to become the general manager of a sports team before discovering that the road there started with selling tickets and sponsorships for 80 hours a week.
At about the same time, he was also discovering he really liked helping people academically. He worked in New Student Orientation and for a time was program coordinator in Athletics, before joining Student Activities for six years. He learned from colleagues Pat Daly and Kasey Drennen, and started to enjoy planning and coordinating events. Last year, the College created the events management position with plans to expand off-campus groups’ use of College facilities.
“My goal is to expand the number of events we have from outside organizations by marketing our facilities to the community,” he said. He also handles room reservations for administrative departments and off-campus groups; academic departments work with Registration for their classroom needs and student groups work with student activities.
Dr. Dalina also teaches history, sociology and the Student Success course where he uses his experience as motivation for his charges.
“I tell my students you don’t have to be the smartest person in the world to become successful,” he said. “Motivation and persistence are more important. Somehow we find that motivation. I found mine here.”