Danielle Smith, who is majoring in psychology with a minor in religion at Eastern New Mexico University, hopes to become a licensed counselor.
"I just want to help people. I really mean that," she shares. "The reality is that there are a lot of heartbreaking statistics out there, and I think counselors are a crucial part of processing trauma."
She chose her field of study because she is "fascinated with the brain, and it's response to daily life and trauma. It feels like I was born to study psychology. I am very religious as well, which is why I chose religion as my minor. Being passionate about the topics I study is extremely important to me."
The Zeta Tau Alpha alumna is married, helps with children's church at Trinity in Portales, is a foster parent, and volunteers with A21, an organization that seeks to abolish slavery and trafficking.
Danielle was born in San Antonio and went to high school in Littlefield, Texas. She has five brothers and four sisters, and her mother is a math teacher at Dimmitt Middle School in Texas.
She chose to attend Eastern because it was close to home and affordable.
The Dean's List honoree's mentor is Dr. Gary Bond, a professor of psychology at ENMU. "Dr. Bond has been wonderful," she explains. "He is always so helpful and has taught me more than I expected to learn in any of his classes."
She advises students interested in her major to try out a psychology course. When asked about her favorite class, Danielle replies, "I can't pick a favorite. I have seriously fallen in love with every single psychology class I have taken. The professors are fantastic and, in my opinion, it is the most interesting subject ever."
Her go-to spot at ENMU is the Campus Union: "You can walk in there during busy times of the day and almost always see one of your friends."
Danielle's favorite part of being a Greyhound is "all of the other Greyhounds I get to surround myself with!"
Her hobbies include reading, writing, playing video games and running. Her dream is to write a book someday.