Class of 2022: Dawn Bunch

Dawn is a reflective, introspective, and caring individual. She uses her intelligence and intellectual curiosity to understand the world around her and to pursue positive ways to address pressing social problems. Dawn is the founder of the non-profit organization Adolescent Peer Support League (APSL). Through this organization, she has collaborated on and implemented programs to support adolescent mental health around the country. She served as a research assistant in a mental health research lab on campus, and she recently completed her honors thesis research about race, social experiences, and eating disorders. After graduating from UMBC, Dawn will pursue her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Duquesne University.  

A few thoughts from Dawn on her time as a Sondheim Scholar:

What is your most memorable public service experience as a Sondheim Scholar?

My freshman volunteer placement at RICA. This experience had a lasting effect on my approach to clinical psychology, which blends mental health activism with providing care. It was the first experience that allowed me to provide support to people in a high mental health needs environment, and illuminated some of the issues pervasive within inpatient mental health facilities.

What was your favorite Sondheim event?

I always really enjoy the annual Day of Service!! I think my favorite was the 75,000 Meal Challenge at Camden Yards meal packing day of service we did in 2018-2019.

What is an important thing you learned about yourself at UMBC?

I am resilient and I can trust that I will get where I want to be with perseverance and action.

What’s an important thing you learned about the world beyond campus while you were a student at UMBC?

I learned that the world can sometimes be very disappointing or confusing, but there are genuinely ways to make a difference, and you will find a place in this world where you belong.


“I am so thankful to Sondheim for helping me blossom into the person I am today.”