It is a shame Donald Lant had to get hit by a truck to go to college, but that is exactly what precipitated his higher education journey. In 2008, he was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident that ended his nearly 30-year career and placed his life in limbo for the next five years. He underwent 29 surgeries to reconstruct his body.
“In 2014, at 53 years old, I found myself standing at the big blue doors of Paradise Valley Community College. Terrified and willing to lean into the discomfort of the abyss before me, I opened the doors and started becoming Don again. A new version, aka Don 2.0, started to emerge through the discomfort.”
Don credits a number of his professors--Tony Craig (math), Dr. Doss Powell (anthropology), and Dr. Kelly Burton (philosophy)--with having a lasting impact on the person he is becoming. Additionally, Rowdy Duncan and Mike Ho were instrumental in his choice to be an actively engaged student leader. Dr. Diane Chapman encouraged Don to “dive in deep” and these words of advice continue to resonate with Don as a Sun Devil. Don is taking the student leadership and community-building skills he learned at PVCC and is utilizing them to establish a visible community of nontraditional students at ASU West.
Upon completing his bachelor’s degree, Donald plans to pursue graduate school and teach at the post secondary level. Don credits his PVVC community college experience with teaching him how to succeed. His advice to incoming students, “Just do it! Take a step in the direction, find your path, desire and passion – as long as you follow that passion you will find joy.”