Student Spotlight–Courtney Davenport DRC’19
Courtney Davenport has always been fascinated by far-away lands and foreign cultures. While growing up, global studies was her favorite topic in school. She knew right away that she would study political science and minor in international and global studies, after learning about Rutgers University in high school. Now on her way to achieving her dream of working as an intelligence analyst at a federal intelligence agency, Davenport will spend her summer in Washington, D.C. in the Hertog War Studies Program, run by the Institute for the Study of War.
However, Davenport’s dreams don’t stop there. After gaining experience in the intelligence sector, Davenport plans to pursue a master’s degree in international relations or conflict resolution, in order to one day help form policy that will resolve international issues.
Davenport has been hard at work paving the path to her goals since the beginning of her collegiate experience. Her advice to incoming Douglass students is to begin determining their short-term and long-term goals early, just as she has.
Through the BOLD Center at Douglass, Davenport completed an externship at the United Nations Population Fund (“UNFPA”) during the Commission on the Status of Women. Her contribution to their work proved to be extremely valuable.
“During my externship, I discovered an accounting error that would have cost UNFPA an additional $450,000 in costs to implement a new program. I believe that my experiences in leadership positions through Douglass gave me the confidence to vocalize my findings. I used to be pretty hesitant when addressing superiors in previous jobs, so this was a moment that showed my growth,” she said.
Davenport has been an extremely involved leader within the Douglass community. During her time at Douglass, she has served as chair of the Red Pine Ambassadors, was a Global Ambassador, and a Barbara Vorhees Mentor. She was also an Eagleton Undergraduate Associate and a Lloyd C. Gardner Fellow.
At this year’s Sacred Path ceremony, she was awarded The Jewel Plummer Cobb Senior Recognition Award, as she best demonstrated academic achievement, extra-curricular involvement, and was a positive role model for others. As for her own role models, Davenport is inspired by Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, three African-American women who were the brains behind one of NASA’s most successful operations. Their story was recently depicted in the film Hidden Figures. Facing rampant racism in the 1960s, the women persevered through many hardships on their way to make history.
“After seeing the film, I realized that if these women were able to reach the milestones that they did with the numerous obstacles placed in front of them, that I had no excuse to not go after my dreams.”
And clearly, Davenport is already following in the footsteps of these great women and making her mark on the world.