Barry McNamara  |   Published August 17, 2022

Alumni/Faculty Profile: Daniel Kane

2013 Monmouth grad entering his ‘senior year’ as a member of his alma mater’s faculty.

DANIEL KANE: The member of Monmouth's Class of 2013 has also been a member of the College DANIEL KANE: The member of Monmouth's Class of 2013 has also been a member of the College's faculty since 2019.MONMOUTH, Ill. – Sitting in a Pueblo High School classroom on the south side of Tucson, Arizona, the last thing on Daniel Kane’s mind might have been being a professor at Monmouth College.

But a series of events transpired to bring Kane to Monmouth, first as a student and, for the past three years, as a visiting lecturer of economics. A member of Monmouth’s Class of 2013, Kane will start his fourth year of teaching at his alma mater in just a few days.

None of the events on his journey are unbelievable when taken individually, but collectively, it’s quite a tale.

For starters, Monmouth is almost 2,000 miles from that Pueblo High classroom, and Kane had never heard of the College or the town. Also, no one in his family had attended college, let alone aspired to teach at one.

If Kane was going to be a trailblazer as a first-generation college student, the logical choice was the University of Arizona in Tucson. But one snafu after another pushed him farther and farther from that logical choice.

“Along with many of my senior classmates, I applied to Arizona in late August, and most of them got their acceptance letters by the end of September,” said Kane. “But I hadn’t. It’s such a huge university, and so many things went wrong. I could spend all day on that story.”

‘That caught my attention’

In the meantime – for extra credit that would help him get an A in a class, guaranteeing his name being on the chalkboard for a full year – Kane had attended a college fair and picked up a pamphlet from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, of which Monmouth is a member. He then signed up to be on the ACM mailing list to receive information from ACM schools.

“By November, I still hadn’t heard from Arizona, so on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I applied to Monmouth,” he said. “It was a free application, no fee. I thought, ‘What do I have to lose?’”

Monmouth’s response was prompt. By early December, Kane had the green light of a college acceptance.

“That caught my attention,” he said.

Enough for him to attend a Monmouth College event in Arizona, where he remembers meeting alumni such as Fred Wackerle ’61 and Andrew Kerr ’73. That, in turn, led him to fly to the Midwest to check out Monmouth.

“If I was going to go to college, this was the place I was going to go. … The College looked at my background more holistically. They took a chance on me.” Daniel Kane

“One big thing I’ve always done is say ‘Yes’ to new things,” said Kane, whose visit was in the spring. “When I got to campus, I had never seen so much green in my entire life.”

Eventually, after weighing the “stark contrast” of the personal attention he received at Monmouth with being lost in the system at the University of Arizona, Kane decided: “If I was going to go to college, this was the place I was going to go. … The College looked at my background more holistically. They took a chance on me.”

The ‘aha moment’

Kane had two game plans for how the next four years might unfold. He’d enjoyed his advanced placement economics class at Pueblo – with a teacher who’d heard of Monmouth – and he also considered engineering, even though the College didn’t offer it as a major as it does today. Then came an “aha moment.”

“The big, big turning point was taking ‘Econometrics’ with Wendi (Bolon),” said Kane. “That’s when I saw the application of economics. That turned on a light for me. It was a game-changer.”

“The big, big turning point was taking ‘Econometrics’ with Wendi (Bolon). That’s when I saw the application of economics. That turned on a light for me. It was a game-changer.” Daniel Kane

“Econometrics” flipped his academic switch, and another transformation came through his involvement with Phi Delta Theta fraternity, which he said “gave me a lot of access to other people that I just wouldn’t have met otherwise. It helped me get out of my shell.”

Kane also served as a resident assistant in two halls before graduating a semester early in December 2012.

‘Some kind of wizard’

With a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration in hand, the idea of Kane as a professor was more believable, but there were still a lot of hurdles to clear. In Tucson, he sold insurance, made great friends while working at Arby’s and held a few accounts receivable positions – including one at Mr. Car Wash.

At a temp position, his employer looked at him like “I was some kind of a wizard,” after he used his Monmouth training in Excel to complete in the span of one morning a task that had been taking two weeks.

In the meantime, Kane had landed a position as a remedial math tutor at Pima Community College, which has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 students. It eventually resulted in him teaching the subject there.

“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “That’s what got it in my head to get my master’s. It was a pivotal step for me.”

To do so, he came back to the area, studying at Western Illinois University and completing his degree in 2016.

Kane ultimately made his second connection with Monmouth in 2019 after seeing a posting for an economics professor on the College website. He reached out to Bolon and secured a one-year adjunct position.

Since joining the faculty, the COVID pandemic and Kane’s willingness to stay on during what has become a difficult time for hiring in education has helped him turn that original one-year gig into four. As he likes to say, he’s entering his senior year of teaching at Monmouth.

What comes next after his second experience as a Monmouth senior? Pursuing his doctorate is a possibility, but so is staying in Monmouth, along with his new bride, Erin. The couple was married in June.

“I don’t know what the future holds,” said Kane, “but I’ve loved working here, helping out my alma mater.”

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p><strong>Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Pi Beta Phi, the first such collegiate women’s organization, was founded at Monmouth in 1867. It was followed three years later by Kappa Kappa Gamma. The two pioneering organizations today boast a total of 275 active chapters nationwide.</strong></p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Preparation</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>