...in her own words
I was born Danille Alana Harris on December 6, 1980 at 9:45am. At 9:46am, my identical twin sister Tanea Katrese was born. My father, Edgar Sonny Harris, a professor of mathematics at Cheney University, and my mother, Joan Carole Harris, an elementary school teacher at Catherine Elementary School in Philadelphia stressed the importance of good education and high achievement from an early age to my sister and I, as well as to my brother Sean Allen who was born in 1984. From the age of 4 until 10, I engaged in intensive gymnastics training. When I was not training, I was researching dinosaurs. I had a regular subscription to dinosaur and anthropology journals and magazines. I was set on becoming an archaeologist. While I have shifted away from that career, I still hope to go on an archaeological dig for dinosaur remains.
When I could no longer continue to train as a gymnast due to the demands of my academic work, I began to raise animals. During my junior and early senior high school years I raised, bred, and showed Peruvian and Satin Peruvian guinea pigs. I also raised Red-Eared Slider, Painted, and Box Turtles. I am currently attempting to test the intelligence of my three ferrets, Newton, Dewey, and Louie.
The summer proceeding my senior year in high school, I attended the Villanova University HHMI-NSF (Howard Hughes Medical Institute - National Science Foundation) Young Scholars Program. The summer program included coursework in biology, particularly physiology of respiration, population ecology, genetics, and mathematics. I graduated second in my class from Penn Wood Sr. High School in June 1998. In the fall of that year, I began my studies at Swarthmore College. I will graduate in June 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. Between January and June of 2001, I studied post-modern English literature at the University of Bristol in Bristol, England. I am currently doing a research assistantship at Swarthmore College's Center for Social and Policy Studies. I will be gathering information on urban education in Chester Pennsylvania, as well as the effects of privatization on black and latino youths in this community.