Danielle Gunderman cordially refers to herself as a “late bloomer” and didn’t start college until the age of 22, after taking a few years to figure out what she actually wanted to pursue. Danielle attended the University of Rhode Island (URI), double majoring in Wildlife Conservation Biology and Marine Affairs. During her time at URI, Danielle sought unorthodox field experiences to earn credit in her Wildlife Conservation Biology curriculum. One field experience included a summer in Ecuador, working and living on an organic farm and volunteering at a local school to build a playground from rubber tires that littered the perimeter of the school. Another field experience included a fall semester on national exchange to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF). During her four months in Alaska, Danielle took advantage of wildlife courses that were not offered at URI, such as mammalogy, large mammal management, and large wildlife techniques. Much of her work focused on producing a species account of Hoary Marmot (Marmota caligata), an alpine rodent. This species account is published online, and can be found here: http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Marmota_caligata/
Danielle graduated from URI in December 2009, and enlisted in the active duty component of the U.S. Coast Guard. From 2010-2014, Danielle did everything from drive 175′ ships, to climb buoys, to serve as a legal technician for Coast Guard Legal, located in Boston, MA. At her first unit in New York City, Danielle took advantage of the nearby CUNY College of Staten Island (CSI), and pursued her M.S. in Environmental Science, concentrating on brownfield remediation and urban planning. She graduated from CSI in June of 2012, and was released from active duty in April of 2014. Danielle immediately moved back home to Connecticut, where she excitingly began her career change through Avery Point’s TCPCG program in June of 2014. This was not the only career change she balanced, however. In July of 2014, Danielle was selected for Reserve Officer Candidate School, and attended the three week course at the Coast Guard Academy in New London. After earning her commission in the Coast Guard Reserve, Danielle began her new tour of duty at the Sector Boston Inspections Division, where she completes her drill requirements.
Danielle is very excited to begin her new teaching career, and will be certified in Biology, cross-endorsed with General Science and Earth Science. She loves the enthusiasm of working with students and embraces the challenges! One of Danielle’s favorite aspects of teaching is building relationships outside of the classroom, which she discovered during her student teaching experience. When the Lady Tigers at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School did not have a soccer coach, Danielle stepped in and found that, not only did coaching help build better rapport with her own students who were on the team, but it also helped her to build relationships with students across grade levels, often hearing, “hi, coach!” as she walked through the hallways. Danielle is looking forward to pursuing opportunities like this wherever she ends up teaching.
Outside of completing her teaching requirements and her Coast Guard Reserve duties, Danielle is an avid martial artist and holds a black belt in Muay Thai kickboxing and a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She also enjoys intramural sports, and, at 5’3″ and 120 lbs., was the smallest girl on the URI Lady Rams rugby team. Danielle is also very fond of 1980s arcade games, and proudly holds the top score on many Galaga machines around New London county and the Block Island Ferry…just look for the “DNG.”