Graduate Student Spotlight: Don Powell MA '18

Don Powell Former United States Marine Staff Sergeant, Don Powell MA ‘18, completed his bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport Management from Saint Mary's College of California in 2016, and was ready to take his sport management career to the next level.

Don followed his passion, thanks to the support of the United States Veterans Administration, and enrolled in the Saint Mary's College - Graduate Kinesiology program. With the hopes of one day becoming a Director of Parks and Recreation, Don knew that SMC would give him the skills and training he needed to successful after graduation.

“SMC has an excellent reputation for producing exceptional candidates in the sport management field. Also, the quality of the professors was a deciding factor. For example, professors Claire Williams, Steve Miller, Craig Johnson, Bill Manning, and Deane Lamont, among others, were the driving force that contributed to my success in the program.”

Along with his background in management and recreation, Don has been able to directly apply lessons in leadership and administration to his current position as the After School Recreation Coordinator for the Moraga School District.

“The program has helped me understand [that] the sports world is very competitive and it takes a wide range of knowledge to be successful in managing recreational or professional sports programs.”

Don’s words of wisdom are to, “Get to know your classmates by initiating study groups and take advantage of professors office hours to ask questions.”

When not working or studying, Don serves his community by volunteering with the American Red Cross. As a long-time volunteer of the world’s largest humanitarian network, Don provides relief and hope when people have lost everything. It’s rare that you won’t find him spending his spare time teaching Red Cross classes like water safety instruction and emergency first aid.