Tyler O’Donnell started with ECC 2016 as an academic advisor. At the beginning of the 2023-23 academic year, he made the move to associate dean of the Sustainability, Business & Career Technologies division.
O’Donnell grew up in Burbank, Illinois, and graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2013. O’Donnell entered work in the field of education right away, beginning his career at the high school level in a program called the Illinois College Advising Corps which was designed to help seniors access post-secondary opportunities.
Take five and learn more about O’Donnell’s new role in the SBCT division and how he’s connected to both pizza and Poland:
What should your colleagues know about your position at ECC? My job is to support the dean, my fellow associate dean, and the faculty of the SBCT division, which spans 19 different academic programs. Right now, I am working on equipment fulfillment; our programs have many moving pieces to upgrade or replace, along with program reviews.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled, or where is somewhere you dream of going, and why? My family is really into tracking our ancestry; we are all history buffs. We were able to trace our roots back to the 1700s in Poland. In 2010, I traveled there for a family wedding, and it was a really neat experience to connect with my history like that.
What was your first ever job? I worked the phones and made pizza at a small mom-and-pop shop called Little Franks. I still make a killer pizza.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why? My dad passed when I was just out of college. I would love to update him on all the big life events: getting married, buying a house, career accomplishments, and his grandson. My parents were so influential regarding the importance of education, and I would like the chance to thank him because that support led me to a career that I love in higher education.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I think I always knew that education would be a good fit for me, but like so many, I changed my mind many times. Before I began working in higher education, I originally planned to go to law school at John Marshall.