By Emily Peisker, HPU senior
BROWNWOOD – February 2, 2016 – Howard Payne University offers many opportunities for study programs, internships and on-campus activities to supplement students’ education with hands-on experiences. Senior Dani Coquat has used her time at HPU to prepare for her future by taking advantage of such opportunities.
Coquat, a political science major with a pre-law emphasis, plans to use her major for criminal defense, global law or a hybrid of the two. As an HPU student, she has met with a current foreign relations professional, attended a law forum in Houston and traveled around the state for Moot Court competitions. One of her most memorable experiences at HPU was pursuing an internship in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 2015.
In June and July, Coquat interned for the Department of Commerce’s Initiative Business USA in D.C. She took an economics course through George Mason University and lived on the George Washington University campus. Coquat was also present for Supreme Court rulings and met with a few Congressmen and lobbyists. She took the opportunity to explore the area and visit potential law schools to see where she might practice after graduation.
“The friends and memories that I made while there will last a lifetime,” she said. “The experiences I had helped me to grow and realize that I can actually survive on my own. Living in the heart of the nation’s capital, I was able to see the lifestyle and learn how to balance having a social life and work, all while still furthering my education.”
Coquat has had many memorable experiences at home on HPU’s campus as well. She minors in theatre and works in HPU theatre productions with her fellow Alpha Psi Omega members.
“I pledged Alpha Psi Omega, which is the national theatre fraternity, this last spring,” she said. “Through Alpha Psi, I have helped with events such as a dunking booth to raise awareness of and money for leukemia and 24-hour theatre. I have been a part of a number of productions here at Howard Payne, including a children’s show this past fall, and will participate in the Christian University Theatre Festival this spring.”
Coquat made the decision to attend HPU after visiting the campus during band camp her junior year of high school. Along with her membership in Alpha Psi Omega, she has been part of the HPU Yellow Jacket Band during her first two years at HPU and the archery club during her freshman year.
“My time at HPU has helped to me to further my desire to make a difference in people’s lives,” she said. “With a career in criminal defense or global law, I will be in a position where I can help those who are most in need of it, those who don’t have voices of their own. I have made lasting friendships at HPU and I have been able to grow and change during my time here. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
Photo cutline: Dani Coquat, a Howard Payne University senior, is pictured on the HPU campus.