Distinguished Scholar-Leader: Danielle Duguid
Rockefeller College’s Danielle Duguid was selected as the recipient of the University at Albany’s President’s Award for Leadership: Distinguished Scholar-Leader Award. The award recognizes and honors one graduating undergraduate senior who best exemplifies the scholar‐leader‐service ideal. Danielle has demonstrated academic excellence, effective leadership in the University community, and a commitment to serving others. This award is among the highest conferred upon undergraduates. Learn more about Danielle’s accomplishments and what’s next after graduation.
Name: Danielle Alyse Duguid
Hometown: Rexford, N.Y.
Majors: Political Science and Anthropology (Honors Program in Political Science)
Awards: President’s Award for Leadership: The Distinguished Scholar Leader Award, Anthropology Department Purple Trowel Award (May 2020), Mary and Peter J. Brusoe Washington Semester Fund (2020), Lewis S. Weiner ’84 Scholarship (2019-2020), Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society (April 2019)
What activities were you involved in during your time at UAlbany and Rockefeller College?
During my time at UAlbany I have tried to keep busy. I’ve worked at a local restaurant, been a coach for a local high school rowing team, and done research for professors throughout my time here. Since Fall 2016, I have been an active member of Friends of Albany Crew, an off-campus rowing team that has taught me so much about leadership and has given me great friendships and experiences. I was a member of Presidential Honors Society, and a project coordinator, organizing community service projects for the members of the organization. During the summers, I’ve been a coach for a local Special Olympics team, teaching athletes how to play golf and have fun. I also worked as a coder for Professor Victor Asal’s Big, Allied, and Dangerous project, helping gather information to track pattern of terrorist organizations around the world. Additionally, I’ve worked in the labs of Christopher Wolff and Marilyn Masson in the Anthropology Department, and this past semester, I was part of Rockefeller College’s Semester in Washington Program down in D.C.
What were some highlight experiences of your undergraduate career?
Some of my favorite experiences while I was at UAlbany are the different opportunities that I’ve had while here. During the spring semester of my freshmen year, I studied abroad in Costa Rica for six weeks, which was an amazing opportunity to get so early in college. I learned all about archaeological field work and fell in love with the discipline, while being able to work in the rainforest. Another highlight was getting accepted to a National Science Foundation funded research program for the summer of 2019 and presenting my findings at a national conference in Minnesota this past fall. In all of these places, building relationships with other professionals and students from across the country has made these experiences even more special. Other highlights include relaxing by the fountains and making memories throughout the last four years with my friends.
What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
I think that the accomplishment I am most proud of is working at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History as an intern this past semester with one of their top anthropology curators. I had wanted an internship at the Smithsonian for a long time and being able to have that opportunity was great, even though the physical internship was cut short by COVID-19. This accomplishment was made even better when I learned that I was the first undergraduate intern that my office accepted. I am now currently working with my mentor to publish an article and will hopefully be able to return to D.C. to finish up some research when things settle down.
What is next for you after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on taking a gap year and will apply this fall to different PhD programs in Anthropology. I am considering also pursuing a master’s in international relations. I’ve remained interested in both fields throughout my studies and have seen the benefit one can get from combining both perspectives. In the meantime, I plan on working around Albany and will attempt to publish a couple of articles for past and ongoing research that I have been working on this year in both political science and anthropology.
What does it mean to you to receive the Distinguished Scholar-Leader Award?
To me, receiving this award means that my efforts these last four years have been noticed, which is really special. I want to continue to thrive as a scholar-leader throughout my future studies and I hope that I can take these recognitions and further embody their ideals as I move onwards in life.