Participant Testimonials

Adam Hoyt Community Member

"As a member of the community, I jumped at the opportunity to take Chris Palmer's 3-week workshop at American University. What an incredible opportunity to evaluate my priorities and passions in life, write them down, and outline an action plan. This served as the beginning of a lifelong journey of personal fulfillment and purpose.

Chris takes an honest, no-nonsense approach to actively crafting the life you want to live, rather than being a passive bystander. The workshop's structure of lecture, group discussion, and Q&A was conducive to a productive, engaging, and interactive learning environment where all attendees felt comfortable growing individually and collectively."

Allie Erenbaum Undergraduate Student

"Professor Palmer's zero-credit course, "Design Your Life for Success," should be a required class for all students at American University. Although the class only met three times, I was floored by Professor Palmer's enthusiasm and drive to help students from a wide variety of background succeed. His wide breath of knowledge helped him speak to several aspects of both professional and personal development. He is extremely approachable and his empathy is infectious.

The course material was digestible and straightforward. The tips and advice Professor Palmer discussed could easily be applied to any individual's daily life -- he had options/ ideas/ inspirations that could be altered to fit any student's preferences or situation."

David Gerber Community Member

"When I learned of Professor Chris Palmer's Design Your Life for Success workshop, I signed up immediately. It was a nice surprise that it was open to members of the general public, like myself, and free of charge. As an older adult who has faced some adversity in recent years, I found myself at a crossroads and uncertain which way to turn. This class helped compel me, in a challenging but fun way, to do more self-reflection than comes naturally, and to impose more structure to my thinking and planning. I especially enjoyed the time spent in class interacting with others and learning about their own personal challenges.

The main ingredient to the success of this workshop was Professor Palmer himself. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious. He is passionate about what he does and truly cares about making a positive impact on his students. He openly invites suggestions and criticism and makes a point to get to know everyone in the class -- a very large and diverse class, at that. He has a wonderful sense of humor and keeps things lively. Chris Palmer is an inspiration!"

Mary ZoorobAU Alum

"Professor Palmer is one of the best professors I have ever met. He has a unique and unmatched set of skills and is extremely talented. He is the most inspirational, energetic, organized, and goes above and beyond to motivate and support his students. In the classroom, he masters the art of capturing his students’ attention constantly and outside the classroom, he is always reachable and available to help them and give them excellent feedback.

Design Your Life for Success is a great course which helps students achieve success and self-satisfaction. It helps them discover ways to live wisely, be productive and happy."

Molly DoyleAU Alum

"Professor Palmer’s Design Your Life for Success class is an incredibly valuable experience for any soon-to-be graduate, recent college grad, young professional, and even for seasoned professionals looking to ensure they are on the right path or make a course correction. I have been out of college for several years and only wish I had access to this course around the time I graduated from AU. Anyone who participates in this course will benefit from Professor’s Palmer’s enthusiasm, high energy, ability to be both pragmatic and audacious, and most of all, his generosity in sharing his wisdom on achieving fulfillment – insights that often take a lifetime to come by.

The course teaches students the importance of planning actionable steps for a happy, successful, content life based on each individual’s unique goals, dreams and desires – from career planning and beyond, ultimately identifying elements of 360-degree well-lived life. I’m excited for AU’s current students and the rest of the AU community that there is a course like this available. I hope many will take advantage of the opportunity to cut through traditional concepts of success and achievement, and get a head start on discovering and working toward is truly meaningful to them."

Sorángel Rodríguez-VelázquezAU Faculty

"After taking the “Design your life for success course” I feel inspired to write about life, beliefs and plans. The energy in the classroom was amazing. Sharing my thoughts with my classmates felt great. Writing a personal mission statement was a liberating experience that allowed me to articulate a tangible plan for my life. One of the best experiences that I had in this class was writing about my desire to create a mentoring program for students in low-income communities at my hometown. I wrote about it in the discussion section on Blackboard and Prof.

Palmer encouraged me to write about the goals and vision for the program. His words made me feel inspired, empowered and ready to start working on the project. There are no words to describe how I felt after seeing my ideas on paper. Not only I wrote about the mentoring program, I also felt so inspired that I started writing about my story and the motivation behind my desire to help others. Now, I am developing a workshop to share my experiences about how education changed my life and hopefully inspire others to follow their dreams. I also started to write a book about my journey. Thank you Prof. Palmer for inspiring me to design my life for success."

Tippi PoloAU Staff

"I commend Professor Chris Palmer for his approach to personal and professional development. His course successfully achieves the delicate but important balance that is often missing from similar programs. Specifically, he advises students on practical matters and he provides meaningful guidance for achieving the more intangible qualities that lead to success. We learned, for example, clever tactics for setting up informational interviews and getting more done.

Professor Palmer is also a master at using the power of personal relationships to motivate students and to reinforce concepts. He uses social media and trust-building activities to facilitate discussion and to promote bonding. He openly invites students to share their experiences and their strategies, which demonstrates respect. And, perhaps most importantly, he initiates and maintains genuine relationships with those he mentors.

Finally, Professor Palmer has created an environment in which students can learn as much as they want at the pace they want. Indeed, he openly acknowledges that personal discovery is never done and that motivation must begin from within. Consider this course if you are looking for direction. It will be well worth the effort."

Registration is Now Open

Three Thursday Sessions

October 19-November 2
Thursday Evenings, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Each class will employ a number of pedagogical approaches, such as writing, role playing, small group work, mini-lectures, peer reviews, one-on-one coaching, discussion, student presentations, interviews, and think/pair/share.

Register Now