The Catholic University of America

Ron Bonenfant

Project Manager
Class of 1991

Other areas of study/degrees:
Minor in Philosophy


Education

Project Management Professional (Villanova), Business Process Management (University of San Francisco)

Current job 

Project Manager at Automatic Data Processing (ADP)

Other jobs, awards, honors since graduation

Business Analyst, Business Writer, Consultant


Why did you major in English?

I was determined to graduate college. I’m not exactly sure why but it seemed like a lofty goal at the time and I would become the first in my family to do so. Also, I went to a college prep high school so it was mandatory to actually attend college right? I had no particular vocation in mind for my post college years.

I did have a love of literature. It was a great way to escape my confused and often sad teenage life. When I began to read the great classic works anything became possible. I was in awe of the worlds and times that were exposed to me and my universe seemed to expand limitlessly. So I chose English as my major and dreamed my college years away with pride and a sense of self-worth that I had previously never experienced. So in a sense I feel that literature saved my life.

Tell us about a skill you learned/developed as an English major that has helped you out in the “real world.”

Perspective. When you experience many great works of literature you have a sense of history, beauty, and perspective such that as you experience things in the so called ‘real world’ you can relate to the human experience throughout the ages. This often times makes things seem absurd and temporary. This gives you a certain sense of freedom and allows you to sit on the edges of life and to not be too caught up in any particular moment in the temporal world.

From a more practical standpoint, you will become a better communicator. This is a very valuable commodity in the business world and rarer than one might think. More importantly, as a good communicator you will perhaps have deeper relationships in your private life.

What was the best English class you took at CUA and why?

20th Century American Drama with Dr. Chris Wheatley; I met my wife in the class so I have to say this. But seriously, the two classes that I took with Dr. Wheatley were my favorites. I love the way he challenged the class to think independently encouraging us to say whatever we felt. He would crush our bland and predictable comments and push to get something real out of us. He was a colorful figure with and odd sense of humor (and may still be).

If you could give one piece of advice to current students, what would it be?

Never stop searching for self-fulfillment and be a great observer and listener.

Which text was your favorite to read while you were a student at CUA? In which class did you read it?

Crime and Punishment (though I read it on my spare time during college).

What’s next for you?

Who can say? I am a project manager in the corporate world. I would never have thought that I would end up doing what I’m doing to make a living. My real happiness comes from my family and my life experiences: travel, love of reading, golf, the great outdoors . . . .

Profile date: May 2013