Gene Irvine

Interdisciplinary Studies 2017

Special Recognition: July 2016 Student of the Month

Program of Study:
Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

Semester of anticipated graduation:
June 2017

Career goal:
To continue refining my education by learning the many aspects of management and leadership in order to provide the best mentoring I can to my successors. In addition, I want to help create great leaders for our future. The better we teach those who supersede us, the more confidence we will have in these individuals making decisions based on the knowledge and experience they have obtained.

Tell us a little about yourself and your life:
I am married with two beautiful girls. I think it is important to create memories and spend time with your family. I was raised with honesty and integrity, and taught to work hard. I began working at the age of 13, and I currently have a great career working as a lieutenant with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office as the assistant commander for the security & inspections unit.

What are your hobbies/extracurricular activities?
I am a family man, and my girls are my life. I love spending time with my family just watching movies, playing games, going to parks or just horsing around. I am a “handyman” and like creating and building things, so I am always working on a project or something in the house. I also enjoy MMA (mixed martial arts) and practicing at the gun range in scenario shooting.   

What has been your favorite class at Hodges University?
The entire IDS program is great. In my current field, this program touches on the many aspects of business administration, strategic management, leadership, ethics, organization and communication, which is not only relevant in my field but pertains to overall business leadership.

Who are some of your favorite professors and why?
I would have to select Professor Gail Sabo. Not only does she have a desire to teach, but it is apparent she loves what she does. She is more than a teacher because she provides guidance and attentiveness to her students, showing concern and interest in their education and well-being. Professor Sabo gives much of her personal time to help her students by answering their many questions after hours and on weekends. She is very dedicated to her profession and portrays a great example of leadership.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
One of the most enduring challenges I faced was a divorce. After almost four years of marriage, I was losing my wife and little girl. Both my wife and I probably needed better communication.  Being divorced with shared custody for four years, we attempted to remain cordial and work through our differences. After attending a class at our church, we decided to dedicate our lives to Christ and became Christians. The Lord worked in our hearts and minds, helping us to restore our marriage. We remarried and have been happily married for 19 years now, and have two beautiful daughters.  

What does receiving a degree at Hodges mean to you?
My parents believed in education, but being short on funds, I was raised to work hard. After a short-lived career in the food industry, I worked in construction for nine years and spent almost four years owning my own construction business. Then, I entered into law enforcement and just completed 18 years. As I approach retirement, my degree is not intended for a future job. This has been a personal goal of mine, not only to achieve my degree, but also to gain knowledge and education, and set an example for my children. I am honored to be the first in my family to receive such a degree.

What is one piece of advice you would give to students who are considering Hodges University?
Some of the college courses are required. However, there is much to gain from other courses that can not only be used to gain more credits, but can be applied to everyday life. Obtaining a degree to assist in future employment is great, but once your career comes to an end, it’s the education and knowledge you gained through your endeavor that will be with you forever.

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