Daniel Cardwell was initiated at the University of South Florida in April 2015 while completing a Master of Arts degree in library and information sciences. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in English from Northern Arizona University.
Currently pursuing a law degree at Western Michigan University's Cooley Law School, Daniel is part of the adjunct English faculty at Hillsborough Community College and is an active member of the American Library Association, the American Association of Law Libraries and the National Council of Teachers of English.
Daniel’s passion for higher education has influenced his desire to pursue a career that allows him to teach others, serve his professional community and fully employ his skills as a writer and academic.
Get to know Daniel!
- How did you hear about Phi Kappa Phi?
I learned about Phi Kappa Phi during my university’s “Week of Welcome.” It is a major event where all of the student organizations are featured and advertised. At that time, I was interested in learning more about on-campus activities, and Phi Kappa Phi caught my attention.
- Why did you accept the Society’s invitation to membership?
I wanted to join because Phi Kappa Phi has benefits that continue after graduation. The Society works hard to connect with its members, and it is a place to give back to others.
- What is your personal motto?
Be your best, not the best.
- What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Do not let what you want and how you want it stand in the way of having something just as good or better. It is important to be flexible and search for value in both positive and negative experiences. Searching for value is the best way to capitalize on good times, and it has been my trustworthy strategy for working my way through disappointing experiences from a bad grade to the inevitable rejection letter from a dream job, grad program or scholarship. Everyone faces disappointment, but it is not the end of the road.
- If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
I think it would be fantastic to see Clint Eastwood as an actor in my life. I am not like Eastwood, and I think it would be great to see a movie where I was represented by a personality so different from my own.
- What did you want to be when growing up?
I was surrounded by parents and grandparents who always worked for themselves. My grandfather repaired and traded radios for airplanes. My grandmother had a restaurant, and my parents always had a business venture going from a laundromat to a business park café. Growing up, I wanted to have that kind of responsibility to grow and manage a business.
- What does a typical day look like for you?
My days have become very routine-driven. On my teaching days, I wake up at 5 a.m., and I arrive at my office by 6:15 a.m. I take that time to lesson plan, grade assignments or prepare for my own schoolwork. From 9 to 9:30 a.m., I have official office hours before teaching my classes from 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Then I go to my law school, and I have time to prepare for classes, which goes from 2 until 5 p.m. I typically end my days logging all of the odd records like transferring attendance quizzes to an attendance spread sheet or reorganizing my law school notes into a binder. My typical day is focused on staying dedicated to all of the little tasks that need to get done and maximizing small gaps in time to complete work.
- If you could interview one person—dead or alive—who would it be?
In my spare time, I love reading biographies. I read Robert Massie’s "Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman." Massie portrayed Catherine as a hard worker with strict routines and organization to her day. This biography influenced how I approach my work, so I would pick Catherine the Great as a person I would want to interview.
- What is the best book you have ever read?
The best book I have ever read is "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave." I think Douglass is hands down one of the best writers, and his work is timeless.
- What is your favorite number and why?
Seven is my favorite number. It’s known as a lucky number, and I like symbolism.
To learn more about Daniel and connect, visit his member profile within the Phi Kappa Phi online community here
The ΦΚΦ Member Spotlight gives members the opportunity to share more about themselves and how they have benefited from membership in the Society. The spotlight is a great way for members to learn about each other and connect with others who have common interests and goals.
Would you like to be featured, or is there someone you would like see in the spotlight? If so, email Jamie Chapman, membership director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include basic information for the nomination.