For Danielle Henderson, the university next door offered limitless opportunity and a whole world of new experiences. Now, this top scholar-athlete has her eyes on a particular prize: an Olympic medal.

Power Learner

For Danielle Henderson, who grew up and was homeschooled in Piscataway, Rutgers has been a part of her game plan for as long as she can remember:

“From the time I was little, I thought going to college meant going to Rutgers. In a small school you have to fit in. Rutgers is large and diverse and you can find your own community. You can do anything at Rutgers.”

And Danielle, a student in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers–New Brunswick, should know. She’s made a habit of doing anything—and everything. Having graduated in May with highest honors in her dual major of cultural anthropology and philosophy, she received the Rutgers’ Scholastic Excellence Award in both her freshman and sophomore years, is a gold member and past president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society her junior year.

A member of the Cap and Skull honors society and Dobro Slovo, the national Slavic honors society, she also served as a peer instructor in anthropology for the First-Year Interest Group Seminars program.

Danielle says that her four years at Rutgers have also given her a broad worldview that has helped shape her vision of her own future. “I’ve had so many opportunities here—to try something new, to explore my personality, to reinvent myself,” she says. “Rutgers has given me those tools and resources.”

Next Steps

Danielle says her upbringing influenced both her choice of cultural anthropology as a major and her desire to travel. Throughout her childhood and adolescence, she recalls, her family hosted a series of exchange students from foreign countries and the courses in her major “just naturally addressed the issues that have always been present in my life.”

Accepted into the graduate program of Cambridge University, Danielle is waiting to hear about an opportunity to study international law and legal anthropology at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Wherever she ends up next fall, she will continue to train as a competitive fencer. “At Uppsala, I would be able to train with the Swedish national team,” she says. “In Cambridge, I would train with the British national team.”

And her ultimate goals? They are as impressive as her résumé. “I want to go to the 2012 Olympics and then go to law school.”