2020 Tillman Scholar

Danielle Alex Horton

University of Southern California

“Withstanding direct adversity throughout my service, I’ve recognized the power of a positive mentality. I hope to inspire others, especially the underrepresented, to do the same.”

As a born leader, Alex knew while attending college she wanted to become an Army officer and upon graduation, Alex commissioned as a military intelligence officer. Quickly, she recognized ceilings still existed for females and LGBTQ soldiers, and desired to be a proponent for change. In 2011, she volunteered and was selected to become part of the ground-breaking cultural support team program and later became program manager, training and deploying 12 iterations.

Alex is now an Army captain, with 10 years on active duty within the Special Operations community. She has deployed on six combat cycles with the 75th Ranger Regiment. Over this time, Alex recognized the detrimental impacts that combat had on herself and fellow soldiers. In 2015, Alex conceptualized and organized the inaugural Freed-OM Festival, a benefit designed to fight the opioid crisis and promote yoga and meditation as a proactive approach in healing the mental and physical ailments of combat stress. 

As Alex began to plan for her future, she recognized that she belonged in a space that would continue to help others challenge the way we think, behave and work together. She knew psychology would be a key aspect of her higher education and recognized her background could propel her into the business sector. With that in mind, the Applied Psychology program at University of Southern California was a perfect fit. Her desire to help others challenge the status quo and her ability to bring people together will shape the future of how we do business.