Alumni Spotlight - Sandrine Akindo ’15

Apr 21, 2022 10:00 AM

eNews Alumni Spotlight highlights alumni who give back to Frostburg in some way – time, talent, treasure or any combination. This edition of eNews features Sandrine Akindo ’15, an alum of ECHOSTARS and the President’s Leadership Circle.

Current City: Dallas, Texas
Current Occupation: Human Resources project manager, Pepsico

Why do you love FSU?

As a student at FSU, I was fortunate to be a member of several student organizations, which gave me the opportunity to start building on my leadership and determining what type of leader I wanted to be. It started off from day one when I signed up for the ECHOSTARS program, volunteering with AmeriCorps. It was a phenomenal way for me to learn how to influence others, how to listen and be adaptive in my communication style all while giving back to the community. From there, I was also exposed to multiple opportunities to lead and mentor when I became a Bobcat Ambassador, a member of the Psychology Club, joined my sorority and became a member of the President’s Leadership Circle, which was an amazing opportunity to mentor new leaders on campus and network with faculty, staff and alumni, an experiential learning opportunity to give back to communities that need us most and get to shadow the president of the University from time to time. FSU gave me a platform to mold my leadership skills, and with the amazing support of the faculty, staff and my peers, I was able to find my voice and shape into the person that I am today.

Why do you give back (time, talent and/or treasure) to FSU?

I give back to FSU for all the reasons mentioned why I love Frostburg. I had a great student experience where people believed in me; I was encouraged to step out of my comfort zone, seek and take on leadership roles where I had interest. I recognize that the continued operations of these programs is as a result of alumni donations and contributions to the University. Also, as a past recipient of an alumni scholarship myself, I know the impact it had on me, and I want to be a part of the reason why these types of programs and scholarship opportunities continue to mold students and launch them in their path to achieving their goals.

What do you do for fun?

I love being outdoors running, hiking, traveling and exploring new places and activities. I try to challenge myself with these activities to find even more excitement, and sometimes the excitement comes after a hard period of challenges, but that is usually when I feel the most growth. For example, I got into running only six years ago starting with 5Ks – which at the time felt like a marathon – to now completing my second actual marathon in December 2021.

Favorite movie/tv show

I love reality TV and I am a huge fan of “The Bachelor” and its spin-offs (ha ha!); I like it because it helps me unwind, and I don’t have to think while watching. I also enjoy watching all the Marvel movies because they are a great combination of action and comedy.

What is your favorite memory of your time as a Frostburg student?

One of my favorite memories at FSU would be attending the leadership retreat as a freshman and then going back to attend as a senior. As a freshman, I remember it being a fun and reflective experience where I was able to network with faculty, staff and student peers to form connections that manifested in different ways and times throughout my college experience. And as a senior going back as a mentor, it was just truly a full-cycle experience for me to be able to give back to what was my first leadership experience in college.

What is a cause dear to your heart?

Women’s empowerment is a cause I care about deeply. I grew up with a mom and four smart and ambitious sisters who uplift me every day, even when not on purpose. During my time at FSU, one of my experiences as a member of the President’s Leadership Circle was a service trip to Uganda. I realized my passion for supporting and lifting other women up. One of my responsibilities during that trip was teaching about menstrual hygiene in rural communities. Upon having different conversations with the young women at school, most of them between the ages of 12 and 15, I found out that most of them aspired to doing more with their lives, becoming doctors, psychologists, businesspersons, lawyers; the only thing stopping them was lack of access to the proper resources. They would drop out of school because they were mocked for having stain accidents during their periods, and it was almost normalized to do this. Most recently, I support a shelter for women and children who have suffered from domestic abuse, and I am always very humbled to hear their stories and admire their strength for surviving a dangerous situation like that and choosing to start their lives over to provide a healthy home for their children. Being supportive of and surrounded by women where we all encourage each other to grow, step outside of the box and watch each other take that next step, and then the next, is what keeps the fire in me.

Favorite vacation spot?

My favorite vacation spot yet is Tanzania. In June 2021, I took the trip out to Tanzania to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was a very physically and mentally challenging experience, but it was a successful climb. Watching the sunrise from the summit, the glaciers all around me and being at the top of Africa, the world’s highest free-standing peak, was a feeling and moment that I will never forget! I also got to explore Tanzania’s Zanzibar Island, which was absolutely gorgeous! I learned a lot about Tanzania’s culture, people and history. I even learned a bit of Swahili and a lot about myself during the entire experience!