15 to Finish: Organization Helps NKU’s Dempsey Stay on Track

“Graduating in four years should be every freshman's goal. Although it may be tough to keep up with 15 credit hours a semester, in the end it saves time, money, and stress..."

By Ryan Clark
NKU Marketing + Communications

Danny Dempsey knows the blueprint to graduating in four years, and he is following it to the letter.

“I schedule my classes early and make sure I schedule my core classes before I schedule electives,” says Dempsey, a 20-year-old junior middle grades education major from Anderson Township, Ohio. “I try to schedule my classes when I am with my adviser and I always check with her before I switch any of my classes. I also try to schedule my classes far in advance.”

15 to Finish

For Dempsey, it’s all part of the plan – the individual graduation plan that he developed as a sophomore with academic adviser Patsy Fisk.

“Patsy has been my main go-to person as far as scheduling classes properly goes,” he says. “My freshman year I did not reach out to my adviser, but when I officially declared my major in middle grades education, I established a personal relationship with (her).”

Part of the plan is taking 15 hours per semester – or averaging 30 credits per year. That allows you to graduate in four years. Or, to put it another way, the idea is “15 to Finish.”

“College is not only about studying your major to get a job, it is also about expanding your knowledge and improving yourself as a person,” he says. “I take 15 credit hours a semester so I can learn things that will help me with my profession and also help me develop as a person.”

Students can find out more at Norse Advising’s “Reg Fest,” a registration festival October 1 and 2 in the Student Success Center. The event will include cake, popcorn, music, and Priority Registration information.

Danny Dempsey Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko, NKU

Danny Dempsey knows the blueprint to graduating in four years, and he is following it to the letter with his individual graduation plan that he developed as a sophomore with academic adviser Patsy Fisk.

Danny Dempsey Profile

AGE: 20
HOMETOWN: Anderson Township, Ohio
HIGH SCHOOL: Turpin
MAJOR: Middle Grades Education
YEAR: Junior

“Graduating in four years should be every freshman's goal,” Dempsey says. “Although it may be tough to keep up with 15 credit hours a semester, in the end it saves time, money, and stress. After a while you will get into a routine and get used to the course load.”

Dempsey also must remain organized to stay on track. Aside from his studies, he serves as the vice president of internal relations for Norse Leadership Society, the philanthropy chair for Alpha Tau Omega (a Greek life organization on campus devoted to leadership development), and he works as a waiter at a local restaurant. At any given time he could be organizing events, running retreats and planning socials.

“This year we held our first annual ‘Mardi Tau’ event, a festival-themed event that included: carnival games, a live jazz band, a campus-wide penny wars, a baking competition, and over $1,000 in prizes,” he says. “The event raised over $15,000 for St. Elizabeth Center for Breast Health. These organizations help me stay on top of my studies, my extracurricular activities, and work.”

While school comes first, Dempsey says joining these organizations, which have strict grade requirements, keeps him motivated to stay on top of his schoolwork.

“I feel that juggling school, work and extra-curriculars has helped me to stay on successful track in college,” he says.

In high school, Dempsey says his life was surrounded only by sports. But after seeing the many opportunities NKU offered, he says his priorities changed.

“I started to focus on school, primarily, followed by extra-curriculars, leadership and Greek life – and lastly work,” he says. “If you choose to get involved in NKU and really pursue your passions, anything is possible. I never expected that I would be able to put on a philanthropy event that raised over $15,000, but with the support I received from ATO and the campus community, I was able to achieve my goals.”