An avid outdoor enthusiast, ultra-runner, mountain biker, rock climber, surfer, dancer, and yogi, Daniella A. Colombo-Dougovito was initiated at Texas Woman’s University in April 2019 while pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture, photography, painting and mixed media. She is also working towards a Master of Arts degree in photography from the Academy of Art University. Daniella earned a Bachelor of General Studies degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she was also a member of the women’s rugby football club.
Driven by her physicality as an athlete and love for art, Daniella’s unique perspective has enabled her to harness her creative drive and desire to help others through education. She works to bring awareness to survivors recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder through her art.
In addition to her full-time work as an artist, Daniella has also worked as a 3D design instructor for the sculpture department at Texas Woman's University.
Let’s get to know Daniella!
- Why did you accept the invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi?
During my graduate studies, and for the first time in my life, I was able to focus on my physical achievements as well as my academic achievements, and I was one of the rare graduate students who received an invitation to join the chapter at Texas Woman’s University, Denton. My ultimate decision to join the Society was not solely based on the prestigious members who joined long before me, but to connect with others who put the same importance on the imperative nature of knowledge acquisition, research, and intellectual growth.
- What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you?
I was raised by an amazing woman, my mom, Dr. Sandra Ellen Colombo. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and worked at the university for a number of years before passing away. Joining the Society allows me to celebrate my academic and artistic achievements, and connect with my mom because I’m a member just as she was. She impressed the importance of higher education throughout my childhood and taught me that education, integrity, perseverance, courage, honor and drive are essential to academic success. I believe these qualities are embodied within Phi Kappa Phi.
- Where are you originally from? Where did you grow up?
I was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, and have lived all over the United States and in Costa Rica. I spent my formative years in Ann Arbor, Michigan, growing up in Burns Park, and most summers traveled to New York to visit my Italian family.
- How do you spend your free time?
I fill my free time by participating in athletics and sports, creating art, reading books, hanging with friends, and traveling with my partner.
- If you were an animal, what you would be?
If I were an animal, I would be a wild mustang or a dolphin. I guess if you combine the two I would be a hippocampus.
- What advice would you give to anyone starting their career?
Be as flexible as you can to change, growth, unexpected changes of direction, and never give up.
- What do you do to relax?
When it’s time to relax I like to go for a run, swim, bike, do yoga, and sleep.
- When are you the happiest?
I’m happiest when I’m working out, in nature, and with my partner.
- How did you become interested in art?
Art is a part of me. My earliest memories are of creating with paint, clay, mixed media, metal work, and photography. Creation is how I communicate with the world and competing athletically has always been inexorably linked, and the two are major part of who I am.
- If you could meet one person from history, who would it be?
This is a five-way tie between Barbara Kruger, Emily Dickinson, Queen Elizabeth I, Louise Erdrich, and Cleopatra.
To learn more about Daniella and connect, visit her member profile within the Phi Kappa Phi online community here.
The ΦΚΦ Member Spotlight gives members the opportunity to share more about themselves and how they have benefited from membership in the Society, and is a great way for members to learn about each other and connect with others who have common interests and goals.
Would you like to be featured, or is there someone you would like see in the spotlight? If so, email Jamie Chapman, membership director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include basic information for nomination.