O’Connell receives 40 Under Forty award
Published on: August 20, 2019
Danielle O’Connell, Becker College’s dean of admissions, has been named as one of the recipients of Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty awards. The awards celebrate outstanding local business leaders who work in Central Massachusetts, live in Massachusetts and are under 40 years old.
“I am honored to be selected for this distinction, and to represent Becker College at the 40 Under 40 awards,” said O’Connell. “In addition to my roles at Becker, I am committed to engagement with the community and its citizens through volunteer opportunities that further connect me to our neighbors and friends.”
O’Connell first came to Becker College in 2012 to take on the newly created position of associate director of Campus Activities and Student Leadership. She was charged with providing students with a wide range of activities, leadership development, civic engagement, and to connect them to campus life, all for the purpose of increasing retention and graduation rates for the college. In this role, she unified and infused energy into student programming and leadership education for the campus culture.
O’Connell was then promoted to director of Campus Activities, where she oversaw and developed orientation programs, admissions events, and engagement initiatives that were in partnership with the Worcester community. One of the signature initiatives during her time as director was assisting in strengthening the Chandler Elementary School Holiday Celebration and Giving Tree events.
In 2018, she was promoted to dean of admissions, where she has strengthened recruitment initiatives, including a Student Ambassador program for tour guides. She is a key spokesperson about the benefits of attending Becker College and the great learning, living, and working possibilities in Worcester and Leicester.
O’Connell’s efforts beyond Becker include volunteering with UMass Memorial Medical Center in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which assisted her family after her son was born prematurely. Through her volunteer role in the NICU, she works with the parent-patient council and the March of Dimes to discuss and review policies that affect people in the unit, to plan programs and events that directly benefit the families and babies, and to serve as a resource to families currently experiencing a NICU stay. O’Connell also has talked with medical students about her experiences, to provide them with a better understanding of the patient’s perspective. In addition, she and her family participate in the Annual March for Babies Walk in Worcester.
O’Connell, 34, was born in Springfield and now lives in Auburn. She received her undergraduate degree at Assumption College and went on to earn a master’s degree in higher education administration from Syracuse University. Before coming to Becker, she worked as a residence director at two New York schools, Le Moyne College and Siena College, and then in the campus activities & student leadership office at Siena College.