Academics, HEOP

Dashawn Peterson ’17, a psychology major from New York, N.Y., is this year’s recipient of the $5,000 Lonnstrom HEOP Excellence Award.

After graduation, Peterson plans to become a certified kemetic yoga instructor and was recently granted the opportunity to open a juice bar in East Harlem, N.Y. He will attend Brooklyn College in fall of 2018.

The award is intended to aid HEOP students in establishing themselves after graduation and may be put toward expenses for transportation, moving, tuition and books. The award was established in 2014 by Doug Lonnstrom ’66, Ph.D., professor of quantitative business analysis, and his wife, Cris, to aid high achieving HEOP students in pursuing career opportunities following graduation from Siena.

Peterson was selected because of his entrepreneurial spirit, academic achievement, and leadership skills, according to Dr. Lonnstrom.

While at Siena, Peterson served as Ryan Hall president, an HEOP peer mentor, and an HEOP senior class Advisory Board member. This year he worked with AVI and the Student Activities office to pioneer a new program, CREATE, in which students have the opportunity to share their cooking and entrepreneurial skills with the campus.

“My plan after graduation is to continue my passion to heal myself and others,” he said. “I was recently accepted to Brooklyn College and I plan to continue educating myself so I can then educate others about health.

“With this grant, I will get certified to teach kemetic yoga, and purchase equipment needed to start my juice bar. The Lonnstrom HEOP Award will give me a huge head start on all of these things. I can also start paying off some student loans!

He added, “When applying, I thought about how many other people must have applied, and I had to remind myself that what is meant to happen in life will happen. This award reminds me that any and everything is possible.”