STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Get acquainted with and inspired by these upstanding undergrads | Danielle Vermeer


Danielle Vermeer is a junior at ASU’s Barrett Honor’s College with a double major in sustainability and urban planning. Vermeer is an aspiring change agent at ASU and she is involved in clubs and organizations that help make the world a better place. One of her greatest opportunities has been her involvement as a Peace Corps Events and Outreach Ambassador. This position has given her the opportunity to organize a schoolwide service project to fund literacy initiatives both locally and globally. Their project has helped establish libraries in Nigeria and India and has benefited local nonprofits like Refugee Focus and A New Leaf.

Vermeer’s passion for education and literacy also inspires her to tutor on a weekly basis for Community Outreach and Advocacy for Refugees (COAR). She enjoys having the opportunity to foster relationships with the hardworking refugees in this program and help them work toward their dreams.

In order to help cultivate a community of sustainability activists on campus, Vermeer also takes great pleasure in being the vice president of the Honors Society for Sustainability (HSS). As a leader on the executive board, she gets to plan events on important sustainability issues the world faces while also building the next generation of sustainability professionals, innovators and agents of change.

Vermeer’s involvement in ASU’s Happy Lab gives her a place to explore sustainability in relation to human happiness. Last semester, she got to participate in a research project that studied regenerative design and its ability to enhance human well-being.

Learn more about Danielle Vermeer below.

What is your favorite part about your school?

“I love the supportive and loving environment ASU’s School of Sustainability has created. I appreciate that my school not only gives me endless opportunities to grow academically, but also to build meaningful and genuine relationships with my peers and professors. I have had the honor of meeting lifelong friends at this university that help build me up, keep me rooted and fuel my passion to follow my dreams. I love that I have personal relationships with my professors and that I get the pleasure of knowing everyone in my classes.”

If you could only eat one thing for breakfast for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“I would absolutely eat a bagel for breakfast for the rest of my life. I adore bagels so much that I could eat one for every meal of the day!”

What’s your favorite book?

“My favorite book is How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness That Helps the World by Colin Beaven. I love this book because it was incredibly inspiring and helped me explore my purpose in life. Most importantly, this book taught me that I can change the world while finding my own happiness.”

What annoys you the most? 

“I undoubtedly cannot stand how expensive textbooks are. It frustrates me that I can end up spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on textbooks that I only get to use for one semester.”

What is your go-to show for Netflix binge-watching?

“I like to binge-watch The Office because it is a light show that makes me laugh and helps me escape reality.”

If your life was a book, what would it be called?

Feed Your Soul! I have learned that life is too short to settle and be comfortable; fighting for my dreams and chasing my passions is the best way to feed my soul and find my happiness.”

What’s No. 1 on your bucket list?

“I am passionate about teaching and would love to have the opportunity to teach environmental education in another country. Because I am bilingual, I want to utilize my Spanish skills to teach in Latin America one day and inspire a new generation of sustainability leaders.”

What college advice do you have for incoming freshmen?

“Take time to take care of yourself. College is an exciting time that is full of amazing opportunities and it is tempting to want to jump in and get involved with anything that will help you grow personally, professionally and academically. However, balance is key and it is important to make time to do something that makes you happy every day.”


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