Skip to main

Class of 2022: Tracey Ackah

Tracey Ackah found many things to love in her first year at McDaniel, starting with a great roommate. From there, the Kinesiology major formed connections on the cheerleading team, McDaniel Gospel Choir, Africa’s Legacy, and at the Boys and Girls Club of Westminster. Tracey honed her skills in classes like Developmental Psychology and as a student teacher at Robert Moton Elementary School for an Adapted Physical Education course. Skills she'll take with her when she graduates and pursues her plan to become an occupational therapist.

Tracey Ackah holding two gold pompoms.

Tracey Ackah is a Kinesiology major with a minor in Psychology from Gaithersburg, Maryland.

When I took my first step on the Hill, I was: Super nervous! I was really sad about leaving my friends and family, coming in not knowing anyone. Fortunately, my roommate was very welcoming (she’s literally the best; been rooming with her since freshman year). I also, through a weird connection, met my now college best friend!

The me who will ring the Old Main bell on Commencement Day is: Excited but also very sad because it means I am officially finished.

Real world experiences: The college has connected me to the Boys and Girls Club of Westminster, which I love and will be sad to leave as well. I’ve made so many relationships with the kids there. I also had the opportunity to volunteer at Robert Moton Elementary School through my Adapted Physical Education class here at McDaniel. Loved it!

My aha moment: I learned how deeply I care for people. I am an empath, so I hurt when someone else is hurting and just want the best for everyone. I love helping people.

Footprints I’m leaving on the Hill: The culture and faith that I have! These are a huge part of me that I want everyone to embrace and experience in their lives.

Faculty or staff member who most influenced who I have become: Shelley Ensor! She is my Gospel Choir director and has pushed me to go outside of my comfort zone!

Best class ever: I have a handful of favorite classes, but my favorite class would probably be Developmental Psychology. The class taught the development of children as they age, and it was interesting to see the different changes they experienced and the thoughts that occur as well. It was taught by Sarah Lippy! She’s amazing. The sweetest.

My favorite spot on campus: The basement of Hill Hall is my favorite spot because my friends and I have made many, many, many memories. It’s always pretty quiet down there and a great place for homework. We also hosted many dance practices there for Africa’s Legacy whenever the dance studio was not available and held some of our Africa’s Legacy general board meetings there as well.

Most mind-boggling idea I learned at McDaniel: There were more people of color than I thought! And each year it got even better. It was really comforting to know there were people like me.

My capstone title: “The Effect of Cognitive Fatigue on College Athletic and Academic Performance.”

What it’s about in plain talk: In my capstone, I am trying to see if there is a relationship between cognitively fatigued college students and the way they perform academically and athletically. It’s interesting to see that relationship and see where changes need to be made.

Tell us a little about your activities, including sports, during your years at McDaniel: I joined many clubs my freshman year up until now. I attended and danced with the Hispano-Latinx Alliance and dance company, I was on the executive board for two years for Africa’s Legacy and their dance team. I also have been a part of InterVarsity’s (Christian faith-based organization) leadership, leading Bible study, and lastly been a part of McDaniel’s cheerleading team. These clubs and sports have definitely shaped who I am today and have made me so many friends along the way.

What’s next: My next stop is interning and working in fields related to special education, occupational therapy, and behavioral conditions in kids! Then, in the next year, I want to be able to go to occupational therapy school and work as an occupational therapist in the future.

How will you stay connected to McDaniel? I am definitely going to visit because I still have so much family here! There is also faculty that I will miss dearly: Ann Mathias in Residence Life; Jennifer McKenzie and Jessica Ford from the Kinesiology department; Shelley Ensor, my Gospel Choir director; Amanda Thiell, my cheer coach; and Debbie Colbert from the American Sign Language department. These people were all there for me in the best ways, making me a better student and athlete, so I will definitely stay connected.

About Tracey

Name: Tracey Ackah

Major: Kinesiology

Minor: Psychology

Class of 2022

"Clubs and sports have definitely shaped who I am today and have made me so many friends along the way."