Asst. Dean McDonald to leave for USF

Assistant Dean and Director of Student Involvement Danielle McDonald has announced that she will depart from her post at Tech on July 15. McDonald has accepted a position at the University of South Florida at Tampa, where she will serve as the Associate Dean for Students.

“I’ve greatly enjoyed working with our students and staff at Tech. Tech students are just as high achieving in their extracurricular activities [as they are in their academic pursuits]. The students at Tech should realize how empowered they are and [understand] the responsibility that comes with this empowerment,” McDonald said.

Dean of Students John Stein, who has worked with McDonald closely for the past nine years, expressed that McDonald will be sorely missed.

“Dean McDonald has been a pleasure to work with. She is in one of the few positions where she works with so many students. Her presence and familiarity with Tech students and the life at Tech will be missed. She has dedicated her work of the last thirteen years to making this a place where students can really find their niche, and to learn to give back both to Tech and the greater Atlanta community,” Stein said.

McDonald started working for Tech in 1998, specifically with Residence Life in the Freshman Experience program. In 1999, she became the Student Organizations advisor, and then, in Jan. 2004, she was promoted to her current post.

The Office of Student Involvement, for which McDonald acts as the director, houses a number of divisions and student-oriented programs.

The office is responsible of overseeing community service, student organizations and student media. It also hosts a number of programs such as LeaderShape, the Student Leader Retreat and the ACC Leadership Conference. These programs are primarily aimed at developing leadership skills through student organizations and activities.

The Office of Student Involvement has grown considerably under McDonald’s tenure, expanding from an office of one person within the Student Services Building to a fully staffed office housed within the Student Center Commons.

As it has grown over time, the office has also taken on more responsibilities within the realm of student community service.

In this regard, the office and McDonald have been responsible for organizing a more cohesive Tech response for disaster relief efforts, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and, more recently, the TechCares response to the March 2011 earthquakes in Japan.

Along with these service responsibilities, McDonald worked directly with students seeking to get involved on campus and crafting student leaders, with her involvement in organizing leadership conferences and retreats throughout the year.

“[McDonald] was wonderful, a great resource and very focused on empowering students. That’s also how the Student Involvement Office at Tech is in general. They want students to grow as leaders, and to grow as people. This is definitely true for Danielle, and her dedication and focus on students will be missed and difficult to replace,” said Elle Creel, Undergraduate Student Body President.

“Danielle has always been a resource for students in the past that goes above and beyond. She is the strongest advocate for students and has fought tirelessly to make sure that students get the value added experience through student activities, and student organizations here at Georgia Tech,” said Austen Edwards, Undergraduate Executive Vice President.

As parting advice to the students at Tech, McDonald wishes that students continue to be involved in extracurricular activities.

“[Being involved] is what will make your college experience; it will also prepare you for the real world. It’s a leadership laboratory that gives you an opportunity to stretch yourself, to try new things, and to succeed beautifully and fail beautifully and learn from both,” McDonald said.

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