• YEAR: Freshman
  • MAJOR: Math
  • HOMETOWN: Livonia, Michigan

Dana Smith

Since her first sewing lesson in fourth grade, this creative spirit has stitched her way into a bright future. She has designed her own dresses for Homecoming and prom, and even made herself a costume as an ice cream sundae for a school pep assembly. She loves sewing and fashion design, but math is her thing. She sees the two as the same, but different; both involve figuring out patterns. She adores making cupcakes, but her super sweet career would be code breaking for a government agency. Most of all, she thrives on being a positive - and well-dressed - role model.

Who am I?

This one is no slouch. She skips into the room, enthusiastic, happy, exuding spirit. She takes in the scene in the apparel design studio and her eyes glow. She has seen paradise and it is rows of sewing machines and armies of dress forms.

Passion for fashion; mania for math

She loves math and fashion design, fields that she says are opposite but the same - "Where math is really structured and there is always a right answer, sewing lets me be a little more creative," she says. "I love math, and envision myself having a happy and rewarding career related to it, but I would consider my life unfulfilled if I could not pursue my other passions." And what a loss it would be for the world of fun and fashion, if she didn't.

The perils of being class president

During her high school's spring pep assembly, the president of each class is turned into an ice cream sundae and, literally, covered with toppings. As class president, she knew she couldn't escape but had some fun with it by making herself into a sundae with a costume: a brown poncho with scalloped edges to look like chocolate sauce and ribbon sprinkles. "I borrowed a red swim cap from my brother to be the cherry on top," she says. "I still got stuff poured on me."

Leading by example
She was president of her class, a four-year member of the high school Quiz Bowl team, a stellar scholar, a member of the golf team. "One of the things I was really into in high school was student leadership," she says. "I really believe that this is one of the biggest ways you can immediately make a difference - leading by example, being a positive role model, and making the community a better place for everyone with your leadership position."