Danielle Scheer is in her second year at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, but she’s been through more than just a couple of years of intensive study and rigorous curriculum.
Scheer’s path in higher education started in upstate New York at Colgate University. Colgate is a small school with a big reputation as the second-oldest neuroscience program in the country.
While at Colgate, Scheer double-majored in cellular neuroscience and classical studies with a focus on ancient Greek language and translation, yet she still found the time to become a part of the community.
In addition to babysitting for professors (some professors even paying her in eggs that their chickens had laid), Scheer was also actively involved in the Classics Society, the Lampert Institute for Civic Affairs, Greek Life and student government.
Hamilton, New York, itself has a sweet tradition as well – an annual “Great Chocolate Train Festival” takes place where chocolate can be found around every corner in celebration of the 1995 train wreck that occurred in this town. This accident harmed no people, but derailed multiple cars carrying Nestle chocolate and spilled candy into the streets.
“It [Colgate] was a magical place,” Scheer said.
Eventually, it was time to move on though, as Scheer received the opportunity to live in Greece for the summer to accompany a past professor on an archeological tour, visiting excavations and aiding in the translation of writings left amongst the ruins.
After Greece, Scheer moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked at the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. She was part of the Immunology Core in the Vaccine Research Center, working to develop vaccines for HIV and influenza.
Scheer recognized that her resume up to this point seemed far removed from the field of law.
“I certainly did not take a direct path,” Scheer admitted. “I was actually planning on going straight into med school, but I would have had to take a gap year, so instead I decided to get [a] Master of Public Health Management and Policy at the University of Florida.”
While working towards her master’s, Scheer served as the assistant manager for Florida’s Disability and Health program.
“I enjoyed the policy work that I was doing and realized that maybe being a physician was not for me after all,” she said.
Scheer found that she did not like her perceived lack of autonomy in a traditional healthcare job. She wanted to work in a field where she could still help people, but where she would have more independence.
It was at this point that the notion of being a law student struck. This led Scheer to become a student at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
While Scheer does not know what exactly her future holds, she takes advantage of as many opportunities as she can – from serving as president of UF Law’s Health Care Law Society to spending a summer working for Judge Paul C. Huck, senior judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
“I was meant to switch every other year between the two programs, but I loved my 1L year so much that I’ve come to a turning point,” Scheer said. “Law might be enough for me.”
In what little spare time she has, Scheer and her family help train service dogs. You may even spot her with one of these dogs on campus as part of their training!