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Senior Spotlight: Allison Peters

Meet Allison Peters! Allison is a standout woman on campus who is doing amazing things! She is a senior history major currently serving as President of the Residence Hall Association.  She is also heavily involved with the Maryland Lead program, the Leadership and Community Service Program, and Omicron Delta Kappa.  Before she graduates and no longer graces this campus with her bubbly presence, I sat down with her to talk about leadership and her time at this university.

How has being a woman affected your experiences as a campus leader?

I think it definitely has affected my leadership style.  There is the idea that women are nicer and more forgiving.  As a result, you have to have a certain finesse to be aggressive as a female leader, whereas you don’t have that as a man.  I have had to learn that you can act forcefully, but without invoking [negative female] stereotypes in followers.  I think that it has also helped me to identify with other underrepresented groups, and that has been incredibly valuable and helpful.

What lessons would you like to teach others about leadership?

The most important thing is to know yourself before you know other people.  Then you need congruence to effectively reach goals.  You have to understand the necessity of working with community.  Leaders work for the improvement of a community, so you need to be involved and believe you have the agency to make a change.

What has been your greatest accomplishment during your time in RHA?

I am so glad and am the most proud that people see issues and they finally know who to come to.  When residents see problems and things they don’t like, they speak up at town halls and to their hall councils and that’s fantastic.  I think students finally know what we can do.  RHA has sometimes been viewed as like the baby brother to SGA, but now I feel like we can work together effectively.  We have shared goals and there is no competition.

What was your most memorable UMD experience?

That would definitely be co-hosting Welcome to the B1G Show and looking at 5000 incoming freshmen.  It was exhilarating and certainly not something I ever saw myself getting to do.

Do you have any regrets from the past four years?

No, I don’t have any regrets.  Well maybe my work life balance, but honestly I enjoy what I do.

What are your plans post-graduation?

They’re still up in the air, but I will probably be volunteering with Americorp doing leadership development in a Boys and Girls Club in Denver.

After that, I hope to one day get my PhD in history.

Have your experiences at UMD affected the kind of professor you’d like to be?

Definitely! My experience has been in student affairs, but there needs to not be a gap between student affairs and academics.  Sometimes in the classroom, students feel like they are lesser, but they need to be more involved in the classroom.  Hopefully I can do that one day.

Courtney Steininger is a senior English major, who is currently serving as the Profile's Editor for HerCampus-University of Maryland Chapter.  She firmly believes in the power of the written word to empower women and help them to become better versions of themselves.
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