Students of the Week

(Fall 2018 and Spring 2019)

Danielle Hoffman

October 15,  2018

Our fourth Ambassador of the Week for Fall of 2018 is Danielle Hoffman


Danielle is a second year double major in biology and public health on the pre-medical track. “I wanted to combine my studies in biology with public health to be able to learn about health and disease from a more focused biological point of view and from a broader public health standpoint”. Currently, she is working in Dr. Muller’s microbiology lab studying Kaposi’s sarcoma herpes virus. She is working on a research project aimed at characterizing the function, subcellular localization and interaction network of the viral gene ORF20.


Danielle became a member of the STEM Ambassadors Program because she felt how overwhelming it is to navigate STEM but that STEM AP provides a support system and a community that, “You can fall back on when you need help.” She also added that it has been a great way for her to get to know other STEM AP students and that overall it “is an encouraging environment to belong to.”

So far, middle school mentoring has been her favorite part of the program. “Middle School mentoring has been so much fun because it is a great way to get involved in the community outside of UMass while building mentor-mentee relationships with these younger students.”


After graduation, Danielle plans to obtain a medical degree and doctorate degree (MD/PhD) to become a medical scientist. “I am interested in studying the broad research areas of virology, pathology, and infectious diseases while still hoping to conduct clinical research”. An MD-PhD program is no small thing, and we applaud Danielle’s ambition and drive to follow through with it.


Outside of academia, Danielle is the fundraising coordinator for Habitat for Humanity; she waitresses for work; and she volunteers at a nursing home and at a homeless shelter in Shrewsbury.


You are doing great, Danielle! Keep up the excellent work, we are so proud of you!



STEM Ambassadors Program