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Strong Stories: Daniela Salas O’Connell

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HometownDecatur, Ga. Degree Class of 2005
B.A. in Psychology

Daniela Salas O’Connell

Project Manager, The Taskforce for Global Health

What did you love most about Armstrong and why? 
Armstrong always felt like a friendly, small, tight knit community where professors and staff knew your name and were genuinely interested in your success.

How did Armstrong help you succeed in your field? 
The psychology program at Armstrong puts a strong emphasis on research methods and statistics. I felt very prepared for my master’s program in public health.

Who was your favorite professor and why? 
Dr. Jill Miller was my favorite professor because she encouraged her students to think outside of the box. Her lectures and class assignments were unlike any other professor. 
I also enjoyed Dr. Michael Hall’s energetic lectures. To this day, I remember the stories he told in his Latin American history classes.

Why did you decide to attend Armstrong? 
I obtained a Rotary Scholarship, and I was sponsored by the Savannah South Rotary Club. The one-year full scholarship I received was for the purpose of attending Armstrong.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Armstrong? 
I was part of the Campus Union Board and was a student worker for the Office of Student Activities. In 2004 and 2005, we helped bring some great events to Armstrong, including a Maroon 5 concert and the cast of the Dave Chappelle show. 
I feel like that was a transformative moment in the history of the school because the student body started participating more in on-campus events and activities. I got to witness the school slowly move away from being a commuter campus to a campus full of students hanging out at the dorms and participating in on-campus activities.

Did you do any extracurricular activities and/or internships that were particularly memorable? 

I took a class in health ethics during the summer of my junior year. As part of the class, we visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. This visit sparked my interest in the field of public health. Shortly thereafter, I decided not to pursue an advanced degree in psychology and apply to master of public health programs instead. 
Ten years later, I am proud to be working at The Taskforce for Global Health, an organization that reaches some of the most vulnerable populations around the world.

What is your best advice to current Armstrong students? 
Spend a semester or summer abroad! Armstrong offers a number of great study abroad programs.

Why are you proud to be an Armstrong alum? 
I am proud to be an alum of a university that keeps growing and thriving and offers a good educational foundation to its students.