April 25, 2024
MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Donzelli, APR, 954-201-7010 | jdonzelli@broward.edu

David Strickland wants others to know that it’s never too late to do anything in life. The 42-year-old recently graduated with honors from Broward College with an associate degree in biology.

Strickland grew up in a volatile home where he said that his academic goals weren’t encouraged, but rather discouraged, and physical strength was valued more than intelligence.

As an adult, he also faced other challenges including overcoming career changes, cross-country moves, a 10-year relationship that ended in a violent suicide, and being caught in Hurricane Dorian, but there is one motto that helped him overcome tough times: “We are not defined by the things that happen to us; we are defined by how we handle the things that happen to us.”

“And I try to take everything, no matter how devastating, as something I can grow from, not hide from,” he said.

Strickland credits the human connection he’s had with some of his professors and the in-class atmosphere as the most meaningful experiences during his time at Broward College.

“Having professors who foster an environment where students can learn, grow, and feel comfortable, as well as create an atmosphere for their students to build relationships with each other, really makes for a fantastic and enjoyable learning experience. In 20 years, that’s what I will be reflecting on and remembering,” he said.

Strickland was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Kappa honor societies and won first place in the Monsters of the Deep Film Festival put on by the North Campus Science Department and won first place in the North Campus Earth Day Poetry Contest with his poem, “Everything is Fine,” about environmental justice.

After graduation, he will be attending Florida Atlantic University (FAU) to complete a bachelor’s degree in biology, and he plans on continuing his education to earn an M.D. or Ph.D. in molecular biology or genetics. His passion is to contribute to making the world a better place through science and discovery.

“The experience that I have had at Broward College has been really rewarding and a lot more than just dipping my toe in academically, so I feel really prepared for the next step in my academic career as I pursue additional degrees.”


Serving approximately 56,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees, and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the College is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit www.broward.edu.

Spring 2024 Graduate Commencement