B.A., Political Science; B.A., Asian Studies
Magna Cum Laude
Hometown: Columbia, Maryland
Plans: U.S. Department of Defense
During orientation, all incoming students were encouraged to be involved on campus…in civic agency as students who could have an impact on the direction of UMBC’s culture and policies…[and] in research and conferences, even at the undergraduate level. This all sounded too good to be true at the time. Yet my experiences at UMBC proved it to be true.
As both a student veteran and the first in her family to go to college, Danielle Allison wanted to pursue her education in a place where she was confident her experience and perspective would be valued. At UMBC, she not only found that place, she was also able to advocate to make that place better for students like her.
Allison has served as project manager for the Veteran Peer Mentors program, regularly working with staff, faculty, and administrators across UMBC to expand and streamline supports for veterans. Initiatives included everything from reviewing and improving services available to student veterans to increasing their visibility and recognition on campus.
Reflecting on her time at UMBC, Allison shares her gratitude for the supportive faculty and staff she found on campus from the very beginning. She says:
When I was deciding whether I wanted to transfer to UMBC I made an appointment with a professor in the political science department and the director of Asian studies to get some advice. The fact that they both made time for me impressed me a great deal on how UMBC prioritizes its students. They listened to my concerns patiently and gave me honest opinions. I knew then that UMBC was the place for me.
Allison is a recipient of both the Outstanding Scholar-Leader Award in political science and the Academic Excellence Award in Asian studies. Her academic excellence has also been recognized through induction into multiple honors societies, including Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Omicron Delta.
Portrait by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.