Under the Big Top

Normandale's fifth-annual success day proves to be a huge success.

Last February, Normandale hosted the fifth-annual Success Day. Titled “Under the Big Top,” the event attracted more than 800 student, faculty, staff, and community attendees. They could choose from 65 different workshops on personal and professional development, including a roundtable forum with successful Normandale alumni, a health fair, and much more.

Returning alums spotlighted Alex Della Polla and Callistus Ditah were two of the featured alumni at the roundtable. Both alums talked about their experiences at Normandale, how to apply for scholarships, and how to use them effectively to get through college.

Della Polla came to Normandale as an undocumented student and graduated with associate's degrees in liberal arts and computer science. He then moved on to the University of Minnesota, graduated with a computer science degree, and landed a job as a software developer with General Motors' Global Brands division in Detroit.

Ditah came to the United States from Cameroon and decided to pursue a career in the medical field after a tragedy cost his brother his life. While at Normandale, he was a member of the Academy of Math and Science and a recipient of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship.

He transferred to the University of Minnesota, earned a bachelor's degree in biology, and is now at the University of Michigan Medical School.