Senior Profile: Lacey Utz

Lacey Utz and mentor Azhar Ali. (Photo courtesy of Lacey Utz).

What is your major and minor? What other academic programs were you a part of?

Psychology and elementary education majors.

What are some of the jobs you held while at McDaniel?

Resident assistant (McDaniel Hall); head resident assistant (ANW, McDaniel Hall, DMC, Forlines, and Blanche); tutor at the Boys and Girls Club.

What organizations were you a part of at McDaniel? What positions did you hold?

Alpha Phi Omega (fellowship vice president); Heroes Helping Hopkins; Psi Chi (psychology honors society); Kappa Delta Pi (education honors society); Alpha Lambda Delta; Pi Gamma Mu (social sciences honors society).

Did you enjoy your time at McDaniel? How?

I loved my time at McDaniel. In the last four years, McDaniel has become my second home and I can’t even imagine what life would be like if I didn’t go here. I gained so many friendships that are going to last a lifetime. I have so many memories and stories that I will take with me after graduation. I gained a lot of mentors on campus. McDaniel gave me amazing opportunities to connect with the campus and the community and to be a student leader on campus.

Who do you think was/is your best mentor?

I think my best mentors were the ones I had in [the Office of] Residence Life. All of my area coordinators and supervisors helped me get to where I am today. One of my best mentors was Azhar Ali. He always believed in me and has been my biggest supporter for the past two years. He helped me find confidence in myself and taught me how to be an effective leader. He helped me to achieve my goals and find my place at McDaniel. Being an RA was one of the best opportunities I have ever had, and I gained many inspirational mentors and lifelong friends because of it.

What is your best memory at McDaniel?

This is a tough question! There are so many memories to choose from. I think one of my best memories from McDaniel was probably when I was nominated as a Maryland Teacher of Promise this year. I knew since I was seven that I wanted to be a teacher and make a difference in my students’ lives. I came to McDaniel knowing exactly what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be when I graduated. This nomination proved to me that all my hard work and dedication had paid off and that I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing. It made me even more excited about being a teacher and finding even more ways to be a leader, not only in a classroom, but back on campus as well.

What are some of the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges I faced was during my last semester while student teaching because it took up a lot of time and energy. I had to find a balance between teaching and having a life in addition to completing all of my responsibilities as an RA. I overcame that by practicing time management and taking time for myself.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I plan to spend the summer in Massachusetts and teach elementary school in Maryland but I’m hoping to stay in Carroll County.

What would you tell yourself as a first-year at McDaniel?

I would tell myself that everything happens for a reason and not to worry about the little things.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the McDaniel community?

I’m really excited to see what happens after graduation! I think McDaniel does a great job to prepare us for life outside of campus and I can’t wait to see what comes next!