Damiana Colley

Damiana Colley

Damiana Colley

Criminology and Criminal Justice / Berlin, MD

What made you decide to enroll at the University of Maryland?
I decided to enroll at the University of Maryland because of its elite programs and welcoming community. My cousin had attended the University of Maryland and had always talked about how he had the best experience here, furthering my interest in it. Additionally, the university is not far from my home and so it made it feel like it would be a second home for me. Lastly, I decided to enroll here because I had done some research on criminal justice programs and the University of Maryland had seemed like the best fit for me.

What major/career path do you plan on pursuing and how did you select that path?
I am currently majoring in criminology and criminal justice, with a prospective major in psychology and a minor in Spanish. I selected the criminal justice and criminology major because I was always interested in working for the FBI. I have seen corruption in the criminal justice system and had wanted to be a figure in correcting it. Additionally, as a young girl, I took many CIA summer camp classes, learning about crime scenes and criminal behavior. Social sciences have been an area of study that has always consumed my interest for as long as I can remember. I decided to double major in psychology because I am interested in the human mind and why humans act the way they do, but also because it pairs well with Criminal Justice. In order to work for the BAU, it is important to have both of these degrees. Lastly, I wanted to minor in Spanish because I took four years of it in high school and wanted to continue my education in it.

Activities I do outside of class or community service/volunteer activities I'm involved with:
When I am not in class, I try to get outside as much as possible and interact with new people in order to build connections. I am currently a member of the Women's Network and try to participate in events they hold as much as possible. Additionally, I am working to obtain a job with the Police Auxiliary on campus in order to expand my experience with issues concerning criminal justice. I enjoy researching and studying current events and looking for ways I can participate in activism for certain issues. I volunteer with recycling and environmental programs off-campus to improve the state our environment is in and to take action against those working to destroy it. I also enjoy volunteering in any aspect, and will devote my time to any community services that ask for help, such as food pantries, petitions, homeless programs, and more.

Which programs are you enrolled in, and what have you gained from your experience in them thus far?
I am currently in the Honors College living and learning program, specifically University Honors. I have gained a ton of knowledge through this program, studying areas of violence, intersectionality, and American history. This program has really expanded my understanding of world issues and past issues and allows me to be more open-minded and aware of myself. Additionally, this program has built new connections for me by being able to become more acquainted with professors than in my other classes. I have met a lot of unique and friendly people with whom I feel comfortable and who have allowed me to be more confident in myself and my abilities. In the future, I hope to continue to expand my knowledge on important issues and subjects and gain new opportunities that enable me to become a leader.

Aside from academics, what else do you hope to take away from your time at Maryland?
Aside from my academics, I hope to make life-long friends and increase my leadership and social skills. I also hope to gain new opportunities and experience new things through various programs at the university. Lastly, I hope to build connections through internships, with professors, and with my other classmates at UMD. Overall, my biggest goal is to use my time at UMD to grow as a person and become someone I always envisioned myself as.

What are your future goals after graduation?
My future goals after graduation are to apply to graduate school or law school in order to become a profiler in the FBI. I want to put my knowledge to practice and use it to help better the community and world as a whole. Additionally, I want to become a leader for those around me, inspiring them to go on the same tough journey I did to graduate college. Eventually, I hope to donate back to the University of Maryland and provide scholarships for other disadvantaged students, giving them the same opportunity as me to pursue their degree of interest.

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