Pages in this Section

Honors Core Faculty

Honors Staff

Dr. Danielle Taana Smith

Danielle Smith - Director

Professor Smith earned a BA in Russian Studies from Dartmouth College, an MBA from Saint Martin’s College and a PhD in Sociology from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. In 2016, she served as an ERASMUS+ Scholar at the Faculty of Pedagogy and Social Work at Liepaja University, Latvia. Dr. Smith served as Director of the Honors Program at Rochester Institute of Technology from 2009 to 2018, where her capacities included teaching and curriculum development. Her coursework focuses on global public health, environmental sustainability and issues of social justice and human rights. Her core research areas include refugee migration and resettlement, reconciliation and reconstruction in post-conflict societies, and disaster response and management, with particular focus on Africa and its diasporas. Dr. Smith has presented her work nationally and globally. Her research and writings have been published in scholarly journals including Journal of Health and Social Policy, Global Public Health, Economic Development Quarterly, Development and Society, Journal of Black Studies and Liberian Studies Journal.

Robin Berkowitz Smith – Academic Advisor


Robin Berkowitz-Smith was born in Philadelphia PA, the land of steak sandwiches, WAWA, and the Liberty Bell. Robin was a first-generation college student and an alumnus to Syracuse University where she completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition Management.  Robin then attended Kent State University to earn her M. ED in Higher Education Administration while simultaneously working as a Resident Director. After completing her M.Ed. at Kent State University, she returned to Syracuse University to work as a Resident Director in the Office of Residence Life.   Robin eventually became the Associate Director for Residence Life and after 30 years she decided she wanted to have more contact with students and became an Academic and Career Advisor for the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and the Maxwell School and currently an advisor for the Honors Program. Robin loves to travel, loves to sit by her koi pond and overfeed her Koi, and adores her grand puppies-“Thor” and “Codie”.  Robin has two children that both graduated from SU and are now elementary school teachers in the Syracuse area. Robin values her time working with students, and she understands the importance of having strong support systems and meaningful relationships with staff and faculty to help students achieve their goals.

Allie Heppner – Academic Advisor

Allie Heppner, Academic Advisor

Allie grew up in Central New York and came to Syracuse University, not because it was close by, but because of the incredible study abroad programs offered by SU. Allie graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences with a B.A in English and Textual Studies and a minor in Education. While on campus she worked for the Schine Campus Store, the A&S Dean’s Office, and the Shaw Center’s Literacy Corps program. Allie was a part of Phi Sigma Pi, the A&S Dean’s Team, a peer mentor and studied abroad in London during her junior year. During her senior year, Allie accepted a fulltime position at the YMCA of Central New York and graduated from SU a semester early. At the YMCA she ran teen programming, summer camp, membership, and marketing. During this time Allie also got her M.S from Springfield College in Organizational Management and Leadership. Following her time at the YMCA, Allie worked in compliance and licensing with a statewide foster care agency before ultimately returning to Syracuse University. Allie is now an Academic Advisor with the Honors Program, a Lead Facilitator for the First Year Seminar, and an active volunteer for Orange Central, Family Weekend, Commencement and Syracuse Welcome. Allie is a season ticket holder for the SU Men’s Basketball team, attends an FYP performance every spring on campus, and loves being outside kayaking or with her two dogs.

Maya Falkner-Guidice – Administrative Specialist

Maya Falkner-Guidice

Maya Falkner-Guidice is the administrative assistant of the Renee Crown Honors Program. Maya supports the department with budgeting, academic scheduling, event planning/recruitment and Honors communications that impact our daily operations and processes. Prior to joining the Honors team, Maya lived in NYC for several years, after completing her Fashion Marketing degree at Berkeley College in White Plains. Maya focused using her creative coordination skills within a variety of fashion, beauty and online marketing roles. Maya was raised around the Syracuse University community, and previously worked as an Operations Coordinator in Student Living for 3.5 years where she gained an interest and recognition for diversity and inclusion student initiatives on and off campus.