Online Undergraduate Student Leadership Award Winner: Joshua Dugal

Our second ever Online Undergraduate Student Leadership Award recipient is Joshua Dugal. Josh completed his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) in August 2017.

Joshua graduated from Webster in August 2017 with a BS in Nursing. He was nominated for the award by his friend and colleague, Patricia Casey. Patricia said of Joshua, “I have worked with Josh in multiple capacities. I have performed pt. care side by side with him on the street, planned educational courses with him and sat at a desk next to him in an office setting. After joining volunteering at his local fire department growing up, he immediately enrolled in EMT and then Paramedic school right after high school. Throughout his career in EMS, Josh was continuously involved in organizing and teaching continuing education programs for his coworkers. After his first child was diagnosed in Autism, he spared no time with self pity and immersed himself in community projects to improve daily living for children with disabilities. While working on the ambulance full time, he single handedly managed the large undertaking of taking the entire ambulance district from hand written patient reports to electronic reporting. He is one that does not simply complete a task in order to move on to the next; each task is given his full attention and performed to the very best of his ability. Josh was the treasurer of Parents Advocating for Developmental Disabilities in his old hometown of Farmington, MO. While serving in that position, he organized support systems for patient’s and families, coordinated specialized education events and assisted in fund raising for a handicapped accessible playground. Josh was my ‘go-to’ guy for research, encouragement, and actual physical assistance with printing proposals and visiting the homes of pediatric patients in the community we served to gain valuable information on how to make the STARS (Special Needs Tracking and Awareness Response System) program function. Josh did this all while serving on his own separate committee for technological improvement. STARS grew into a multi state system that has gained national recognition. He takes on any task that it given to him and continues to attend every school play, parent-teacher meeting, and handles the stresses of everyday life with a child on the autism spectrum with patience and finesse. He has never backed down from a challenge, and acts on any opportunity to assist others without hesitation. I am proud to call him my colleague and friend.”

The Alumni Association and the Online Learning Center believe Joshua exemplifies what it truly means to be a Gorlok. Congratulations, Joshua!

We asked Joshua to answer a few questions to learn more about his program and experience with Webster Online:

Why did you choose to do your degree online?
Nursing is a second career for me and so an online pathway to my undergraduate degree was very appealing and Webster made it easy.

What advice would you give students who are considering getting their degree online?
You must have a self-directed work ethic and be able to budget your time well in order to be successful.

What was the hardest part about doing your coursework remotely?
I would say the first two weeks of each course. I say that only because it took me that long each time to understand where to find all my resources and make a plan to complete the work on time.

We usually recommend that online students set a time and place to “go to” class. Did you do this? Would you give us tips?
When it was time to do course work, I always retreated to my office space which is well lit and has enough room to spread out. I can’t say that I also didn’t attend class via my laptop from a hotel room while traveling. 

How long did it take you to feel comfortable with the fact that you would never see your classmates? 
I’m a person who doesn’t mind working alone, so I wasn’t too worried about not meeting people in person. As I progressed, I did have many friends that I had attended courses with in previous sessions, so that was a nice surprise each time we started a new course.

How did you approach your class on a daily basis – did you have a set pattern for accessing certain tools or parts of the course each day?
I used an online calendar to keep me on schedule with reminders to log in and for important due dates. This was really helpful.

What was your most memorable course and instructor? Can you elaborate why?
My statistics instructor, Linda Woolf,  was amazing. I was most nervous about completing this academic hurdle but she explained it so well and gave realistic goals. This really helped.

What does the Undergraduate Student Leadership Award mean to you?
This award is so very nice to receive. I’ve worked tirelessly to achieve not only my goals of improving my education but to also work to make the community a safer place for our most special children. It makes me incredibly proud to be recognized.