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Junior Communication major awarded national scholarship

Erin Giles
July 23, 2013

Academic excellence and community service earned Communication major Erin Giles one of only 35 national Jo Anne J. Trow Scholarships from the Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) National Honor Society for First Year Students.

Giles was chosen for one of the 10 top awards based on her academic record and participation in ALD activities as well as campus and community activities. Membership in the honor society has been an integral part of her McDaniel experience. 

“ALD has introduced me to fellow members who share my enthusiasm for academics, and it has been the impetus behind my participation in service acts in my community,” the junior from Lavale, Md., says. “ALD has inspired me to exemplify a positive attitude while being a role model for those around me.”

Among the beneficiaries of one of Giles’ favorite ALD activities are her fellow students studying for finals in McDaniel’s Hoover library. Each semester, ALD members assemble bags of candy and hand them out to give the students an energy boost or perhaps some stress relief during this hectic time of year, she says.

“I feel like this epitomizes ALD: showcasing our desire for academic excellence while helping others and having fun,” says Giles, who is also a Peer Mentor, tour guide for prospective students, co-editor of the college yearbook, vice president of the Student Alumni Council and was recently selected to serve on the college’s Honor and Conduct Board.
Typically, she shares credit for the national award with those who have provided her with extra support along the way: First-year dean Karen Violanti, Art History professor Gretchen McKay, Academic and Government Grants director Robin Dewey and Admissions assistant director Dawn Gold.

“As the McDaniel College chapter advisor, I have had the great opportunity to work closely with Erin through chapter work and events,” Violanti says, adding that she also has worked with Giles in the McDaniel Peer Mentor program she oversees. “In both venues, she is an amazing team member, advocate for others and is incredibly dedicated to her work and service to others in the community.”

Although Giles isn’t quite sure of a career course, classes with Communication professors Robert Trader and Deborah Vance convinced her that a Communication major is a perfect fit.

“I love the course material in my classes, I love that I can apply what I learn in real world situations, and I love that a degree in Communication will give me a basis for a variety of graduate school and career opportunities,” she says.