Donald Funkhouser, MBA in Project Management, Class of 2019

For Donald Funkhouser, project management is more than just a job.

“Project management is what I have passion for. I truly enjoy it, and will never move into another field.”

The husband, father and retired U.S. Marine decided to seek formal training due to industry demand. He turned to Florida Tech’s MBA in Project Management, which is accredited by the Project Management Institute’s Global Accreditation Center, to earn a credential that demonstrates his knowledge.

“The education I received from Florida Tech provides me with the confidence that I bring a lot of value and benefit to any organization.”

Funkhouser excelled in the program, graduating with a 4.0 GPA and a membership with The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

We spoke with him about his experience in the program and future plans.

Q. Tell us about your background.

I am married to the former Ms. Elizabeth Isabella Caruana, who is from the Island of Malta. I am originally from Omaha, Nebraska – Go Cornhuskers.  We have been married for 31 years. We have a son named Donald who is a lawyer in California.

I joined the United States Marine Corps in 1982, serving as an infantry machine gunner. I retired in 2012 from U.S. Marine Forces Europe. I served in the United States Marine Corps as an Infantryman. The major role and responsibilities I performed as a senior noncommissioned officer were those of an Operations Chief. I served as an Operations Chief from 1998 to 2012.

Q. What were the most important factors in your decision to choose Florida Tech?

Since I have a large amount of passion for project management, I was informed by many, including Bisk representatives Jordan Hasbrook and Jason Carey, that Florida Tech’s MBA in Project Management program is the best. This motivated me to enroll.

Another factor that contributed to my decision was that the industry was screaming for formally trained and certified project managers. Numerous organizations waste a lot of time in scope, cost and time performing business through those who are not qualified to fill project management positions.

Q. Do you have any future plans with your degree?

Eventually, I will enroll in the Doctor of Business Administration program at Florida Tech. As of now, I want to apply what I learned. I want to tutor and mentor others to be the best project manager they can be.

Q. What surprised you most about taking an online program?

The professionalism of the professors, the knowledge of the students, the amount of time needed to perform the work, and the overall support provided to the students to do the best we could.

Q. What was your favorite class and why?

All of them. I am not a person that has a favorite except my wife, son and dogs. I love learning about everything. This is how my life is. I also see the beauty in all I come into contact with.

Q. What was your most valuable takeaway from the program?

The education provided to make our world better.

Q. What advice would you give other students who are considering enrolling in the program?

Set your goals, stay focused on achieving the goals and be resilient. If you fall, get back up. Manage your time on tasks wisely, and when there is a crisis in your life, apply what you are learning to resolve it. There is always a cause and effect to everything you do in life. Lastly, when you learn it, pass it on by teaching others.

Q. Who has been your support system?

My lovely wife, Bella. She is the most beautiful and lovely angel God has provided me. Without her, we would not be having this conversation. She has taught me how to love, be kind, courteous and respectful. She is my world. She is everything I hoped for. Thank you, God.

Q. What was the most challenging part of your student journey?

The Business Statistics course! But I came, I saw, I conquered.

Q. Who or what inspires you to succeed?

I have always said a man takes care of his family. If you have passion for what you do, the rewards will come, which contributes to taking care of the family.

I do believe tutoring and mentoring people is the greatest gift one can provide to help others understand where you believe they need to go. The servant leadership I execute daily gives me goosebumps. I love helping others, but you must be genuine.

Q. What is one fun fact about you?

I bring humor to life. Life is naturally stressful, but if you have humor, that stress is relieved. Besides, it contributes to good team-building. It is a virus in any organization.

Have you completed one of Florida Tech’s online programs? We would love to share your success story in our Student Spotlight series. Contact us at for additional details.

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