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William Smith Leaders

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William Smith Leaders

Danielle Vallas ’99
Physical Education and Health Teacher and Director of Health and Wellness, Nichols School in Buffalo N.Y.; coaches lacrosse, soccer and ice hockey

Major: Individual major–psychological and physical health and well-being with minors in psychology and peer education in human relations

Leadership roles: Congress Representative and Secretary; Student Trustee; Student Activities board member; first year acquaintance rape prevention workshop facilitator; William Smith Representative for alcohol notification committee; Orientation SIB and Orientation leader

Extracurricular activities: Lacrosse, Club Ice Hockey, coached varsity lacrosse at DeSales High school, senior intern at Admissions Office, reading tutor at local elementary school

Favorite professor: Betty Bayer

Further education: I received a master's in education in physical education and health education from Canisius College.

First job after college: After graduation, I moved to Aspen Colorado to work as a nanny, teach snowboarding and work for a women’s non-profit organization.

Accomplishments at William Smith
As a student trustee I was part of the change to move from trimesters to semesters and was involved in hiring President Gearan. We held open forums and coffee talks which allowed fellow students a chance to voice their issues and concerns which I and the Hobart student trustee brought to the board. After attending my first year acquaintance rape prevention workshop which was led by an “adult” and included out-dated videos, and very little dialog, a group of students and I formed a committee to re-vamp the workshop. The new intimate workshops were created and run by upper class students and were based on real HWS scenarios. I later used this experience when working as a community educator of domestic violence and rape prevention in Aspen Colorado.

On leadership
William Smith truly shaped me as an individual and leader. I do not think I would have had the courage at a co-educational school to run for a major leadership position at the end of my first year. As a student leader I had the ability to be part of major changes on campus, which gave me confidence to enter and make change in the real world

On the coordinate system
Having a man and woman in leadership positions really allowed my voice and other female voices to be heard. As a first year student is was empowering to work with so many strong and confident women. The support I received from the William Smith community was amazing. The coordinate system taught me the power of an individual and the strength of a community.

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