Ok, I have a confession. After writing for a number of blogs over the years, I always find the first post to be the most intimidating to write. This post should set the tone of this blog and provide you, the reader, with a good grasp of the topics I'm interested in and will be covering in the time to come. Rather than overthinking this one, I've opted for a clear and specific introduction to myself, what I'm interested in, and how these topics play into the world around us.
Who am I?
My name is Danielle Caldwell, formerly Danielle Leichliter. I hold a Master of Strategic Communication degree from Westminster College, though my path to communication was far from straight and simple. I grew up in the world of athletics, and I played volleyball at virtually every level—middle school, high school, club, Division 1 collegiate, and professionally in Finland. While I dearly loved the sport, my knees did not share my enthusiasm for jumping and quick lateral movements, and I soon found myself in search of a new direction. I have always been an idealist, and if I knew anything about what I should do next, I knew that I wanted to make a positive difference in the world.
After spending some time working in the field of research, I began to pursue a Master of Arts in Community Leadership (MACL) at Westminster College. This program's idealistic spirit was kindred to my own, and I began to learn about the role of nonprofit organizations, policy, business, and communication in the quest to improve the world around us. During my time in the MACL program I took on a professional position as Director of Communications and Community Outreach with the small but mighty Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy. At that point I had some graduate level communication courses under my belt, and I was really beginning to see the power of communication in all aspects of our daily lives.
My communications efforts eventually led me to another professional post—my current one—and to another degree program—Master of Strategic Communication. Through this new program and this new position I have been able to dive in head first to the study and practice of communication, and I have since discovered a passion for the field that rivals the passion I felt for volleyball. Additionally, my studies have landed me in relatively uncharted waters, as my emphasis on demarketing, social marketing, and behavior change provides an exciting opportunity to make new discoveries and have new insights into the changing state of our world.
Why am I writing?
I am blogging because, much to my frustration and excitement, I have become passionate about a branch of communications that is relatively unexplored, officially at least. This branch covers topics like demand reduction, demarketing, social marketing, and communicating for social good. While these communication topics have been around for a very long time (arguably since the birth of language), much of the research related to these topics is relatively limited. I have been conducting in-depth study of these topics for quite a while now, and the more I learn, the more I feel the need to share these insights with the people who could benefit from them.
What will I be writing about?
There are many social and environmental issues that are near and dear to my heart. Illegal wildlife trade, overfishing, environmental degradation, poverty, conservation, economic disparity, women's rights; these, among others, are all topics that I feel very passionate about. Additionally, my interests in the field of communication include demarketing, social marketing, behavior change communication, communication for development (C4D), integrated marketing communication, and consumer habits. You can expect to see a variety of pieces that span these topics.
What happens if you enjoy what I write?
Please, reach out! I love making new connections and I am open to collaboration