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Joli Daninger Leads On and Off the Court

Joli Daninger is an MBA student in the Nistler College, as well as a member of the Women’s Basketball team here at the University of North Dakota. Daninger came to UND after finishing her undergraduate and master’s degree in marketing at DePaul University, and is not only a leader on the basketball court, but also in the community. Daninger stands out because of her volunteer work in the community, while still being an exceptional student in the Nistler College of Business and Public Administration.

When discussing what is the most rewarding aspect of community service work, Daninger stated, “I would say giving back to the community is the most rewarding.  Since I am on the women’s basketball team, I can see how much the community supports us by coming to our games.  I honestly can’t thank the fans enough because it’s so much fun to play the in the Betty and have their support.”


Daninger has done a lot of volunteer and community service work since she came to UND.  When asked about this, she said, “I would say a big part, is with Special Olympics. I liked to do volunteer work before, but it’s a little different now that I work there. In my role, I have the opportunity to run and help give volunteer opportunities for other people.


Additional responsibilities for Daninger include work with elementary schools, helping with bingo nights, and interacting with students and athletes.“One of my favorite things is reading in the elementary schools. You go read to the kids in the morning and it’s so much fun. Their energy at 7 am is tough sometimes, but it’s so much fun to be around them,” says Daninger.


Finding the perfect school to continue to advance her education along with the continuation of her passion for basketball was no easy feat. When asked “Why UND,” Daninger said, “I would say a big part of it was obviously basketball and that recruiting aspect, but also coming and hearing that the business school here is in the top 5% in the country, it’s so phenomenal and I just knew that it would set me up for success.  It’s definitely challenged me, but it’s been so much fun to push myself and just learn things outside of my comfort zone.” She has also talked about the Pancratz Center and how she was able to use the Pancratz Professional Closet to expand her business clothes selection for her own closet!


Daninger attributes a lot of her success to the exceptional faculty at the Nistler College.  When asked about her favorite professor, she acknowledged Dr. Duane Helleloid.  “I had him for a leadership course, and he was so much fun. He has a contagious energy that you would get in class and made the classroom work really fun.”


What’s next for Daninger after spring graduation? Daninger said, “I would love to do sports marketing. I want to get into the professional sports field, and I think it would be so much fun to just get involved in that atmosphere.”


Head Coach Mallory Bernhard was also able to give her input about Daninger’s community service and volunteer work.  Coach Bernhard said, “I think it is amazing what Joli has done in her short time here in Grand Forks. She immediately embraced the love we have for our community. I can’t even begin to count the number of people that have reached out to me to say how impressed they were with Joli. I know she is involved in a lot of different organizations and is very generous of her time, but her dedication and involvement with Special Olympics as well as the schools here in the Grand Forks district are nothing short of remarkable. We are incredibly fortunate to have Joli as a great representative of our Women’s Basketball program and member of our Grand Forks community.”