Dan Alpert ’21 is a Maryland Smith marketing major, a member of the Undergraduate Dean’s Student Advisory Council and – beginning next fall – student body president of the University of Maryland’s Student Government Association.
Alpert, who is also the College Park City Council’s current student liaison and is minoring in Jewish studies, and in international development and conflict management, ran for the top student government position on a platform that was “student-centered, action-oriented, data-driven and empathy-led,” and secured 57% of the 4,384 votes cast in the three-day election, according to the university’s Diamondback student newspaper.
The Potomac, Md., native also is a research assistant for the marketing department at Maryland Smith.
During his campaign for the top student government spot, he highlighted several priorities for the 2020-21 school year, including: making UMD a leader in Big 10 policy changes, specifically changing NCAA athlete transfer policy in relation to ongoing sexual misconduct cases; expanding outreach efforts through enhanced town halls to ensure student representation, and leading with empathy and honesty to ensure everyone at UMD has the resources they need to succeed.
We asked Alpert what fueled his desire to run for student government and what he plans to do with his marketing degree. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: What inspired you to run for student government?
Alpert: One of the reasons is my mentors – including Smith 2020 graduate Doron Tadmor, who was the reason I joined SGA my freshmen year. Overall though, in being involved in SGA for the past three years – along with several leadership roles across campus – I saw areas that needed improvement. Specifically, ensuring that we’re creating policy-oriented changes that are student-centered by using data to back up our claim.
This year, while serving as the student liaison to the City Council, I’ve had the opportunity to represent our 30,000 undergads and have built many great relationships with community and university leaders that I plan to continue next year.
Q: What are the three things you want UMD students to know about you?
Alpert: My office is located in the Student Involvement Suite in Stamp and I’m always happy to talk with students to ensure that what they want is getting done, no matter how big or small. We don’t pretend that we can do this alone, so if you want to be involved in creating change on campus or in specific areas, let me know. Let’s build a strong coalition to do it together.
Being involved in Smith has allowed me to build skills and connections on a micro level, and the relationships you build will always be beside you. I had several people in my Strategic Design & Innovation Fellows cohort along with DSAC help me throughout the campaign
Q: What leadership skills do you value most in government and in business?
Alpert: Leading with honesty and empathy along with being customer-centric is so important to me. Whether the customer is a consumer or a constituent, it’s important to think about the individual at the end of the day.
It’s a good thing Professor Nicole Coomber taught us how to lead teams and be good leaders in both business and government roles!
Q: What do you hope to do when you graduate from Maryland Smith?
I want to do some sort of development based work in another country, specifically in relation to development of Jewish communities. To me, this looks like doing some sort of fellowship that enables me to work on this while also using my marketing skills as well. After doing that for a year or two, I want to go to law school.