A WELL-ROUNDED JOURNEY FOR FIRST-GENERATION GRADUATE PRISCILLA OWUSU ’21
Priscilla Owusu ’21 came to the U.S. from Ghana with her family just eight short years ago and she hasn’t let an opportunity pass her by since. “When I took my first steps on the Hill, I was scared as a first-generation student, but also excited for the road ahead and the new person I was planning to become,” Owusu says. Planning a career as a surgeon, she graduated in May with a major in Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry and a minor in French. “My internship and volunteer work at University of Maryland Medical Center Shock Trauma Center cemented my plan to continue into the medical field,” says Owusu. Over the summer of 2021 and Jan Term 2021, Owusu also participated in student-faculty research with Dr. Dana Ferraris. Along with other students, she researched small molecules to inhibit the lifecycle of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. “The relationships I’ve been able to form with staff and faculty really shocked me,” Owusu says. “Dr. Ferraris totally changed my perspective on professors, and he brought me out of my shell.” But like most liberal arts students, Owusu didn’t limit herself to the classroom. Along the way, she also learned to sign in American Sign Language classes, to compete in track and field, and to dance with Africa’s Legacy and other cultural groups. The winner of the 2021 Mary Ward Lewis Prize for outstanding female graduate, Owusu rang the bell on Commencement Day full of hope for her future.
JULES DOTTERWEICH FOUND HER CALLING IN AN UNEXPECTED PLACE
Jules Dotterweich wasn’t sure what she wanted to study when she was looking for colleges, so a small, community-minded liberal arts college like McDaniel was a perfect fit for her to create connections with professors, explore her options, and keep up with her passion for soccer. She discovered the Hill during the recruiting process and says, “It’s the school I was supposed to be playing soccer at. The coaching staff is one of the most dedicated I’ve ever worked with in my life.” But her course of study was still up in the air until her sophomore year. “I took Principles of Accounting in the fall and that’s when I fell in love with accounting,” Dotterweich says. “I’ve always liked math and knew I was good at numbers, but that class — which I was just taking to fulfill a requirement — was transformative.” She credits Associate Professor Kerry Duvall with that revelation, saying that she created a classroom that Dotterweich was excited to grow and learn in every single day. “Between Interviewing Day and internships like the one I’m completing this summer at KPMG, Professor Duvall is really invested in our lives as students,” she says. “She’s in it for the long haul and makes me want to strive to be successful.” Her Accounting Economics and Business Administration major also led Dotterweich to compete in the 2021 Entrepreneurship Competition, where she worked with alumni mentors to pitch her business idea for a vegan taco truck, for which she and her partner won the top prize of $5,000. She may not have known what she wanted to do when she stepped on the Hill for the first time, but thanks to the support and real-life experiences she found at McDaniel, she’s got her path laid out in front of her going into her senior year.
Jules Dotterweich (left) and Jessie Titus (right), creators of Life Tacos.
A message of thanks...
In my 30-plus years on the Hill, there have been many changes. New buildings, several presidents, new majors, and generations of students. But one constant has been the steadfast commitment of alumni and friends. You shape the life-changing experiences that happen here on the Hill. Because of you, our students experience more, learn more, and achieve more. Thank you.
As I leave the Hill, there is no question it is in the capable hands of so many who love McDaniel as much as I do. I am incredibly grateful to have been part of this community, and McDaniel will always be a part of my life.
Thank you for all you do and will continue to do for the Hill.
Vice President for Institutional Advancement, 2016-2021 Institutional Advancement Staff, 1990-2021