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Class of 2023: Dylan Hughes

Dylan Hughes, Psychology major and Chemistry minor, zeroed in on the pre-med track, taking part in hands-on medical internships and research that have prepared him for medical school. A transfer student, Dylan discovered his strong leadership skills on the Hill as a Writing Center tutor and founder of the Chess Club. He is also a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the NAACP, and a volunteer math tutor at the Lee Arthur Johnson Center.

Class of 2023: Dylan Hughes

Dylan Hughes is a Psychology major and Chemistry minor from Bowie, Maryland.

When I took my first step on the Hill, I was: Excited and determined. I knew I had a lot that I wanted to accomplish. From this, I put a lot of undue pressure on myself to succeed.

The me who will ring the Old Main bell on Commencement Day is: Just as determined, but I have grown to be confident in myself. I still have a lot on my plate, but I feel that I have made a lot of progress toward my goals.

Real world experiences: I was fortunate to have two summer research experiences during my time at McDaniel. The first was the Health Equity Summer Scholar Program with Nemours DuPont Pediatric Hospital, where I grew in the field of public health. The second was the Academy for Research, Clinical, and Health Equity Scholarship Program with Georgetown University Medical School, where I was able to develop as a pre-medical student.

My favorite hands-on experience was through the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center Jan Term. There, I assisted with trauma surgeries by cleaning operating rooms and medical equipment. I also made emergency trips across the hospital to retrieve biomaterials for ongoing surgeries.

I’ve had the privilege of contacting some McDaniel alumni though my fraternity membership. They have been a great resource for me as I transition out of college.

My aha moment: I learned that I excel at leadership. While historically I’ve been a shy person, during my time at McDaniel, I’ve taken on numerous leadership roles.

Footprints I’m leaving on the Hill: I really hope that the Chess Club continues to flourish. I started the Chess Club simply hoping to make friends to play with. I quickly recognized that the club became a way for students to develop confidence in their cognitive abilities. Truly anyone can play chess, so it follows that anyone can be smart!

Faculty or staff member who most influenced who I have become: The faculty member who has influenced me the most is Professor Vanessa Flora-Nakoski. Throughout my life, I have always been interested in helping others with education. Professor Flora-Nakoski’s mentorship has allowed me to develop my interest in education alongside my other professional goals. In fact, I will be graduating with a certification from the Association for the Coaching and Tutoring Profession.

Best class ever: My all-time favorite class was Chemistry of Consumer Products. Going into the class, I was ignorant of the many ways that the manufacturing, distribution, consumption, and disposal of our products are poisoning the poor and littering our planet. I also really appreciated the conversational aspect of the class because it allowed us to connect what we learned to our own experiences. Taking it has made me an improved inhabitant of Earth.

Took me totally by surprise: That I would become a Writing Center peer tutor. I have always felt that my writing wasn’t strong, so being recommended to apply to the Writing Center was an unexpected honor. As of graduation, I will have tutored in the center for four semesters (hopefully I will have improved my writing as well).

My favorite spot on campus: The Writing Center! I have spent countless hours in the center, whether that be talking to friends, working on assignments, or tutoring. The seats are comfy, the tea is yummy, and the vibes are homey.

Most mind-boggling idea I learned at McDaniel: Eye movements can be therapeutic.

My capstone title: “Transitioning to Terror: Parenting Skills for College Success.”

What it’s about in plain talk: The college years are a vital transitionary period for young adults that often come with challenges. The body of psychological research suggests that authoritative parenting is critical to academic adjustment in college. I plan to provide McDaniel parents with ways to implement this science-backed approach to parenting.

Tell us a little about your activities, including sports, during your years at McDaniel: I am the founding president of the McDaniel Chess Club, I am the health and safety officer of McDaniel’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter, I am a Writing Center peer tutor, and I am an active member of the NAACP. Outside of McDaniel, I volunteer through work as a middle-school math tutor at the Lee Arthur Johnson Center.

What’s next: I plan to work as an emergency medical technician until I am accepted into medical school.

If you received financial aid, what did that mean for you and your family? I am a transfer student, and I took two years out of school. My journey back into school was very difficult, in part because of its expense. When I was reapplying to colleges, McDaniel was the only school that was even close to affordable. Still, the initial financial aid package was just out of reach. Fortunately, after an appeal letter, I received even more money. I am super grateful!

How will you stay connected to McDaniel? I plan to remain a resource for other Green Terrors. As I move through my career, I hope to use my experiences to inspire and inform others.

About Dylan

Major: Psychology

Minor: Chemistry

Class of 2023

"I learned that I excel at leadership. While historically I’ve been a shy person, during my time at McDaniel, I’ve taken on numerous leadership roles."