Senior Profile: Alyssa Swartz

Photo courtesy of Alyssa Swartz.

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

Environmental biology with concentrations in biology and policy and management.

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

SASS tutor, SASS note taker, resident assistant, ENV lab assistant, first year student advisory board member, first year student peer mentor.

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

Women’s lacrosse team, captain 2019-2020, Green Life.

Have you enjoyed your time at McDaniel? If so, what did you enjoy the most?

I really enjoyed my time at McDaniel. I enjoyed being a part of the environmental department. I truly appreciated finding a place to call home as it gave me many friends and opportunities both personally and professionally. Through the assistance of Dr. Scullion and Dr. Engle, I was able to invest my time to enrich my resume with two outside internships and two study abroad semesters. I received a gracious grant offered to environmental department members that ultimately provided me with an additional 12 credits and a field based study. Many weekends were spent at the forest property owned by McDaniel, the McDaniel Environmental Center, drinking hot cider and planting trees (two of my favorite things). This McDaniel owned property in New Windsor even gave me the opportunity to complete my dream capstone, a carbon storage measurement plan for the forest stand. No doubt that my favorite part of McDaniel was being McDaniel ENV.

Who do you think was/is your best mentor?

My best mentor is Azhar Ali. He was my supervisor while I was an RA on campus. He not only inspired me through his own life, but also challenged me to get out of my comfort zone and pursue my dreams.

Describe your favorite memory at McDaniel.

My best memories come from spending time outside on the Hill. Everything from football games and tailgating to hammocking and hanging out in Red Square.

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

It was always a challenge to juggle my academics, work, and being a part of the lacrosse team. Luckily, I worked with amazing supervisors and coaches that were always willing to find a way to make my crazy plans fit. I guess that is part of the small, close-knit family of McDaniel.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I’m working as an orchard assistant this summer, and then plan to find a career in the field of forestry.

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

First-year Alyssa, when things get crazy: take a breath and enjoy the opportunities you get. You aren’t going to be able to work all the hours, you won’t play every minute of every game, you might cut it real close with Spanish 2, but don’t worry. These four years are going to fly by and nothing will go as planned (just wait for the ending HA) but some of your sweetest moments are about to happen!