Dani Villa '15

Danielle VillaA Political Science major who graduated in 2015, Dani Villa is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at Emory University. Her research investigates peacekeeping, sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings, and gender and conflict.

Ms. Villa first gained an appreciation and ability for research as an undergraduate at Marist. "I had the opportunity to work closely with faculty to develop and hone my research interests. The small class size and commitment of the faculty to personalized education made that possible," she explains. Ms. Villa was able to spend summers serving as a research assistant for various faculty members, "which confirmed that I could envision myself continuing to develop research skills to answer my own research questions."

These experiences proved particularly useful in a graduate-school setting. Students in Ph.D. programs are largely expected to come in with independent research interests and plans. Fortunately, Ms. Villa was well-prepared for this requirement: "My education at Marist made me a very self-sufficient learner. That skill has helped me more than anything else at Emory. Having the tools and confidence to take a hands-on approach to my research has allowed me to do well in my program."