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Student Spotlight – Dominique Hazel-Criss DRC’22 

Dominique Hazel-Criss DRC’22

Involved in numerous programs, organizations, and initiatives, Dominique Hazel-Criss DRC’22 is a role model to many of her peers around the University. Well on her way to achieving her ultimate ambition of becoming a civil rights attorney, Hazel-Criss has excelled in a range of experiences and leadership roles all while pursuing a double major in political science and journalism with a minor in philosophy.

“A really important piece of advice I want to give other students is to take advantage of all opportunities Douglass has to offer–scholarships, programs, seminars, basically everything,” she said. “You never know who you might meet, what newfound passion you might uncover, or the plethora of new opportunities opened up to you as a result. I know imposter syndrome is very real, but don’t ever let that stop you from succeeding. The Douglass community is rooting for you and wants you to succeed, but you won’t get anywhere not rooting for yourself.”

Hazel-Criss is a Douglass Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) ambassador, the secretary of Black Lives Matter-Rutgers, and the event coordinator of Rutgers University Black Law Student Association.

“As my involvement may reveal, I am very passionate about social justice and activism, and so I want to address and fight against injustices in my future career,” she said. “Additionally, being a DEI Ambassador has helped me become more aware of the disparities and inequalities faced by all marginalized groups, which is a big component in civil rights law.”

Through the BOLD Center, Hazel-Criss found a Douglass alumna to mentor her in the legal field, a relationship that has been impactful as she considers her future career. She also is involved in the Public Leadership Education Network at Douglass through which she attended a seminar for students in public policy.

As a student who has had such a successful undergraduate career, Hazel-Criss’ wisdom is valuable for her fellow Douglass students. For Hazel-Criss, the work she puts into being a leader pays off.

“Being a leader on campus can get hectic at times, but the reward is more than worth it,” she said. “I have made such great connections by being so involved and learned so much along the way. Through attending many on and off-campus rallies, I’ve gotten to work with really inspiring students and faculty.”

In addition to her many accomplishments, Hazel-Criss is a Dagon and Patricia Garris Scholar as well as a Roselind S. Myers Scholar. She also helped Black Lives Matter-Rutgers University, an organization in which Hazel-Criss serves as secretary, win a best community service award for student organizations. In her spare time, Hazel-Criss loves to paint and swim. A self-described “foodie,” she also is looking forward to being able to travel when it is safe to do so.