|Daniel Kimmel '14: The Road Less Traveled
An auto-shop boy, traffic flagger, freight unloader, promotional caller, manager of information systems, and a warehouse returns associate. These were the occupations of Daniel Kimmel ’14 before he arrived at LVC.
“I didn’t go to college right out of high school,” Kimmel said. “Instead, after graduating from Northern Lebanon High School in 2006, I went to a two-year Christian leadership internship in Texas. After that, I sojourned for a while in Oklahoma and Oregon before finally arriving back home to Pennsylvania in the summer of 2009, where I worked for a year and attended Orientation at LVC in August of 2010.”
Growing up in Lebanon, the LVC campus was always familiar and the place he dreamed of attending. After making his journey around the country, he decided it was time to settle down and make something of himself. Kimmel earned acceptance and a Vickroy scholarship and began classes in the fall of 2010 as the first member of his family to go to college.
From day one, Kimmel had his sights set on a Ph.D.
“I decided that I wanted to go all the way to the top and nothing less would satisfy me,” Kimmel said. “Right from the beginning, I set goals for myself, both short-term and long-term, and had a clear vision of what I wanted for myself every step of the way.”
Beginning in the fall of 2011, Kimmel joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a multi-channel transmission system operator and maintainer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Needing help with his education and living expenses, while also being one for adventure, he took his friend up on a referral offer and gained a deeper sense of professionalism and possibility in the process.
“It was the most fun I never want to have again,” Kimmel said. “I found that the military values espoused by the Army melded well with the values that my mother and father tried to instill in me as a child. If nothing else, my involvement with the Reserves has only added to my drive for personal success.”
On the academic side, Kimmel came to LVC with the idea in mind of being an English literature and History double major. However, after taking an introductory course on religious method and theory, he was hooked.
“As quickly as I could, I signed up for a double-major in Religion,” Kimmel said. “I have been contending with the likes of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud ever since and, as a result, I have recently been awarded a philosophy of religion specialization.”
During his time in Annville, Kimmel has also taken Greek with Chaplain Paul Fullmer, Sanskrit with Dr. Matthew R. Sayers, and Anglo-Saxon with Dr. Mary Pettice, making him a prime candidate to become LVC’s first-ever World Classics minor.
Having a few hours in the day that were not yet filled with academic pursuits, Kimmel pledged Alpha Phi Omega, an international service fraternity, in the fall of his sophomore year.
“I wanted to give back to my campus and community and, as a commuting student, needed a group of people on campus that I could depend on,” Kimmel said. “APO’s values of leadership, friendship, and service not only provided me with the opportunity to give back, but also with a family away from home.”
While on campus, Kimmel was an active member of the Lebanon Valley Education Partnership and Student Government as a commuter representative, and was a student conference planner in bringing the 2014 North American Undergraduate Conference in Religion and Philosophy to LVC.
Following graduation, Kimmel will attend Lehigh University to earn a master’s in English, specifically with a literature and social justice concentration. He has also been offered a Teaching Fellowship and will be teaching Undergraduate Composition during his time there. After that, he plans to apply to the University of Pennsylvania among others to pursue his Ph.D.
“Never give up learning,” Kimmel stated as advice to his fellow graduates. “Never become too comfortable or proud in the knowledge that you have gained and always question your assumptions in order to see if there is somewhere you can grow and improve.”
Kimmel also had this to say to prospective students interested in Lebanon Valley College.
“Be a dedicated and driven student and your professors will be there for you in ways that you do not yet comprehend. Be involved on campus and the campus will give you those honors that land you a spot in graduate school or get you a job you’ve always wanted. Set goals from the beginning and do not give up on those goals.”
Settled down for the past four years, Kimmel is on the move again to bigger and better things. His ultimate goal is to be a professor where he can focus on his own research, while giving back to a few dedicated students.
“I spent some of the greatest years of my life at LVC,” Kimmel concluded. “I am fully confident that my time here has prepared me for what is to come. I will miss LVC and all of the people that have made my life so meaningful over the past four years.”
An auto-shop boy, traffic flagger, freight unloader, promotional caller, manager of information systems, warehouse returns associate, multi-channel transmission system operator and maintainer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, and graduate of Lebanon Valley College. Whatever the future holds, Kimmel is certainly prepared.
Kimmel will graduate Saturday, May 10, with 560 other LVC students at the College’s 145th Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies. For information, visit www.lvc.edu/commencement.