Advocate for self-discovery and inclusion 

Published: May 17, 2022

Danylo Leshchyshyn. (Marlayna Demond '11/UMBC.)

Danylo Leshchyshyn

Degree: B.A., History and Political Science (certificate in Security Studies)
Hometown: Columbia, MD
Plans: M.A. in History, University of Toronto

“The most valuable part of my UMBC experience has been learning that I can succeed at what I do—not only that I can succeed academically, but that I can succeed in the social aspects that I struggled with in high school. I can build meaningful relationships. I can even be president of a club. I can do whatever I set my mind to.”

Danylo Leshchyshyn ‘22, history and political science, came to UMBC hoping to receive the support he would need to succeed. He found it in the form of friendly staff members with Student Disability Services, and in strong connections he formed with other students. He remembers “life changing conversations, which I will be forever grateful for” with friends in the Humanities Scholars Living Learning Community. He also found a path to involvement in campus life through a mythology-themed Dungeons and Dragons campaign organized by the Ancient Studies Council of Majors. 

Leshchyshyn quickly became a supportive community-builder in his own right. He helped revive UMBC’s chapter of Delta Alpha Pi, a national honor society for high-achieving students with disabilities. He also co-founded the Autism Spectrum Student Association and actively participated in several other organizations.

Leshchyshyn’s grandparents came to North America from Ukraine after WWII. He is a fluent Ukrainian speaker and still has relatives living in Ukraine.

In the months since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of its neighbor, he has connected with others at UMBC who have Ukrainian connections and spoken at a campus program, “Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: Historical, Political, and Personal Perspectives.” He plans to pursue a master’s degree in history at the University of Toronto, focusing on Ukraine and Eastern Europe.

Story written by David Hoffman, Ph.D. ’13, language, literacy, and culture (LLC), director of the Center for Democracy and Civic Life, and Romy Hübler ’09, modern languages and linguistics, M.A. ’11, intercultural communication, Ph.D. ’15, LLC, assistant director of the Center for Democracy and Civic Life.

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