Student Profile: Dan Stefany

Taylor Ibelli/Old Gold & BlackFor Tampa, Fla., resident and senior political science major Dan Stefany, politics was an area of study that interested him long before arriving at Wake Forest.

“I watched The West Wing as a kid and got hooked that way,” Stefany said. “Growing up I was interested in politics, probably as a result of that.”
Participating in research and spending extra time getting to know the professors in the department helped build on Stefany’s favorite part of being a Demon Deacon.
“The relationships that I have made with both students and faculty, especially within the political science department, have been amazing,” Stefany said.
“I have gotten close to several of my professors. They have been really invaluable mentors for me, especially as I have been working on what I will do next with my life. This place definitely would not be the same without the same people.”
Stefany’s professors all agree that he has been a fantastic student, citing his dedication to his work and his curiosity about the subject matter he studies.
“Dan has a natural curiosity for learning,” Will Walldorf, assistant professor of politics and international affairs, said.
“He loves history and politics. So I think that’s sort of the starting point that I see. I see that even the research work he does for me, he goes above and beyond anything I’ve ever asked him to do.”
However, Stefany’s college experience has not been limited to the classrooms of Tribble and the stacks of the ZSR. He has been involved in multiple extracurriculars throughout his time at the university that display his interests that lie outside the realm of academics.
Stefany has served as a freshman RA for three years, worked for Outdoor Pursuits for three years, served as a member of Christian Intervarsity fellowship, served as the co-president of both the rock climbing team and ballroom dancing team and played numerous intramural sports.
“I love the outdoors,” Stefany said. “I kayak most weekends. I just love being outside in nature.”
Following graduation, Stefany plans on matriculating at the University of Virginia’s School of Law next fall, where he has been awarded a full scholarship.
“I have been very blessed,” Stefany said. “I look forward to attending UVA and expanding on the education that I have gotten from Wake.”
Stefany hopes to eventually be able to apply both of his degrees to their fullest potential following his graduation from law school.
“Ideally I would like to practice law in an area that intersects with politics, but I’m really happy to go anywhere,” Stefany said.
His professors are confident that he has what it takes to succeed in his future endeavors.
“Dan has the moral integrity, the skills, and the compassion to make a difference,” Helga Welsh, professor of politics and international affairs, said. “His strong work ethic and discipline enabled him to shine in academic pursuits and to be a visible and engaged leadership force on campus.”