Fourth-year University of Maine student, Savanna Smith-D’Addio, is finally approaching her graduation day after a long journey of finding herself during her undergraduate academic career. While it has been a tenuous road of determining her hopes and aspirations, she has finally found where she belongs.
Smith-D’Addio grew up spending her time split between North Carolina and southern Florida. In 2016, she made the decision to move north and see what Maine’s culture had to offer.
“I just really needed a change of scenery,” Smith-D’Addio said. “I wanted to be around more like-minded individuals, as well as to live somewhere that was outdoor-oriented and focused. I was completely unfamiliar with the area, and just really wanted to live in a place that I knew I would be able to find community and a sense of belonging.”
At UMaine, Smith-D’Addio studies anthropology, environmental ethics and women, gender, and sexuality studies. After taking time off from school to figure out what means the most to her, she now focuses on studying and advocating for what she is passionate about.
“I have always had an interest in learning about others and about other cultures, traditions and identities,” Smith-D’Addio said. “It’s something important to me as my own family had immigrated to the U.S., but I would say my biggest driving factor would be my longing to travel and to learn about others. I’m really proud of my degree, and I’m really excited to have it in my hands very soon because it’s the perfect culmination of who I am.”
Smith-D’Addio is the vice president of the Anthropology Club on campus, and is the former president of the Phi Sigma Pi national co-ed honors fraternity. Additionally, she is a legal assistant for UMaine’s campus attorney, and is a Trio SSS coach.
Outside of her studies, Smith-D’Addio spends most of her free time in Acadia National Park and Schoodic Peninsula. She enjoys hiking, camping and embracing the outdoors in western Maine as well.
After graduation this coming May, Smith-D’Addio is planning to study abroad in Scotland or Croatia to earn her master’s degree in anthropology. Further into the future she hopes to earn her Ph.D and become a professor.
“My end goal would be to hopefully become a professor and conduct applied anthropological research,” Smith-D’Addio said. “I would also really like to do advocacy work or non-profit work regarding environmental concerns for policy or the legal realm. Overall, I’d like to be able to teach and share my knowledge and my experiences with others.”
With graduation in sight and a bright future ahead of her, Smith-D’Addio remains determined to finish out her undergraduate career strong-minded and optimistic.
“I look forward to chasing my dreams relentlessly and unapologetically, and beginning to pursue graduate school and international travel,” Smith-D’Addio said. “I’m just really excited to welcome the experience of connecting with so many others.”