Kevin Monahan
Bachelor of Arts with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies and a concentration in Business Studies

"Everyone has different definitions of success – how much money you have, how popular you are, how beautiful you can make yourself look. I have learned the most simplest of desires and goals, the things people often overlook, are the most rewarding."

Student and recent graduate ('12, BA, Interdisciplinary Studies) Kevin Monahan has traveled an incredible journey in his lifetime. "I have overcome some challenging obstacles but I was able to learn that persistence, dedication, family support and courage would get me through and bring me to the other side."

Turning the page

Kevin is beginning a new chapter in his life. He learned he had been hired by Penn National Gaming, the owners of Hollywood Casino Toledo, in his final semester. Kevin credits his degree for his employability. "Interdisciplinary Studies allowed me to explore the different majors and career options available."

When Ohio voters approved legislation to open casinos in Ohio, Kevin set the goal to work for such a company. "Knowing that the economy was and continues to struggle somewhat, I knew casinos generally are able to overcome these recessions," he adds. "I set my sights on being employed with Penn Gaming and knew my degree would prove beneficial."

As a Blackjack dealer, Kevin is charged with accurately dealing card games, mathematically counting numerous players' cards, effectively distributing multiple payouts based on bets, working with various personalities and entertaining and retaining players and guests.

"It is a multiple needs occupation with the emphasis on accuracy." Kevin is also excited at the prospect for promotion within the company. "There are many opportunities for promotion based on skill, education and dedication. Penn Gaming is not only an equal opportunity employer but an employer that encourages staff with vertical movement within the corporation. They emphasize the desire to maintain staff for a lifetime career."

Overcoming obstacles

In his 20s, Kevin was involved in a work-related accident on a construction site that resulted in his leg being amputated. "I struggled for a few years on how to adjust and continue with my life and what path was meant for me." His inspiration and support for many years has been his wife and fellow alumna Nichole ('05, BA, Sociology).

"She was the reason I began attending Lourdes in 2005. Without her support and motivation, finding the strength and drive to keep moving forward would not have been possible. She would pick me up when I just didn't want to go to class and would tell me 'no one cares if you're in a wheelchair' when I was feeling self conscious about starting classes without my prosthetic leg. Nichole is definitely my support and my better half when I'm not feeling whole."

Becoming a positive role model

Kevin believes his biggest accomplishment in life to date is being sober for three and a half years and finding God. "Being able to devote my life to Christ and to my wife and four children (all under 10 years old) has allowed me to be successful in other endeavors."

Additionally, his education has given him the tools to be successful, well rounded and a positive role model for his children. Today, Kevin is an active member of his church, a Boy Scout leader, baseball coach, employed full-time and finds it all extremely rewarding. Simply put, he says, "My life has come full circle."