David “DJ” Dickinson — Outstanding Undergraduate
B.S. in Technological Entrepreneurship and Management
Graduated from Kennewick High School in Kennewick, Washington
Originally from Seattle, Washington
DJ Dickinson spent 15 years in corporate America, after being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1994, working his way up from warehouse supervisor to executive management, without a degree, when the opportunity to attend ASU arose.
“I seized the opportunity to master the field of entrepreneurship because, as a successful business executive, I am keenly aware of the incredible ‘drought of creativity’ that exists within organizations across this great nation,” Dickinson says.
“I felt that applying a razor’s edge, that is the most cutting-edge academic information and theory, to my real-world experience in business would offer incredible opportunity in the form of consulting, ‘intrapreneurship’ as well as leadership and non-fictional writing in the fields of operations and organizational efficiency.”
Growing up, public speaking terrified him. He later learned to be a master-presenter after many years as a leader in the business world. As a sophomore, he was inspired to design an app for students that helps alleviate the symptoms of glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. Glossophobia affects 76 percent of Americans including many millions of junior high, high school and university students.
“This powerful app combines the comprehensive set of tools I acquired throughout 10 years of professional presenting in the palm of one hand. Once funded, our goal is to equip millions of American students and professionals to to find their voices and to enter the workforce empowered with the priceless ability to articulate opinions in any setting without fear or anxiety,” says Dickinson. “A better world indeed, using technology…all attributable to the Fulton Schools Technological Entrepreneurship and Management (TEM) program at the Polytechnic campus.”
A disabled veteran, Dickinson chose to attend ASU due to its nationally recognized culture of welcoming veterans with open arms. “When I realized I was welcome, no, encouraged, at ASU to fall deeply, passionately in love with learning it changed my life. A culture of diversity, acceptance, openness and inspiration like that at the Polytechnic School is truly the fountain of youth.”
Dickinson, a self-taught cook in Mexican, Italian and French cuisine, next plans to partner with Aram Chavez, a Fulton Schools lecturer and venture capitalist, on an entrepreneurial text. He aims to compile, organize and commentate on Chavez’s extensive body of work so that generations of students can have access to his wisdom and real-world experience. “Writing a book with someone of Aram’s ability is humbling and intimidating…I can’t wait.”
As for the future, Dickinson has just been accepted into ASU’s Master of Liberal Studies (MLSt) program with concentration in science, culture and creative non-fiction writing. He also has a dream of applying technology to drive America’s youth to be involved in voting and politics as soon as they are of voting age. “It is so important for me to personally get the generation that will have to pay for our mistakes involved in their future now. It drives me every day.”