2021 Young Alumni Achievement Award Recipients


Jerry Martin

Jerry Martin graduated from Millersville University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and political affairs. He received a Master of Science degree in disaster medicine and management from Thomas Jefferson University in 2017 and an advanced-graduate certificate in public policy from Northwestern University in 2019.

Martin currently serves as a senior intelligence analyst with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP), where he works with the FBI on various biotechnology-focused initiatives as well as manages NJOHSP's various analytic partnerships with external organizations. Previously, he led a team of analysts focused on international and domestic terrorist groups and threats to critical infrastructure in New Jersey. He has also provided support to national-level terrorism investigations, including the September 2016 New Jersey and New York City bombings. Additionally, he serves as NJOHSP’s liaison to military facilities and units across the state and as a certified instructor for New Jersey’s Regional Intelligence Academy.

In addition to his role with NJOHSP, Martin is a chief petty officer with the U.S. Navy Reserves and is currently assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence in Fort Dix, New Jersey. Having most recently returned from a mobilization in support of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2020, his active service includes tours of duty in Germany, the United Kingdom, Algeria, Tunisia and elsewhere in support of U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Second Fleet and the Office of Naval Intelligence.

Martin’s recognitions and personal awards include Out in National Security and New America’s 2020 LGBTQIA+ experts in national security and foreign policy, SANS Institute’s 2020 Difference Maker in cybersecurity, recognition by the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation for efforts with the FBI’s Biotechnology Threat Focus Cell, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and two Outstanding Volunteer Service Medals.

Outside of his professional career, he enjoys spending time with his family and two beagles and visiting international and historic landmarks across the globe.



Danielle Elliot

Danielle Elliot graduated from Millersville University in 2016, receiving a bachelor’s degree with a dual major in elementary education and special education. She is pursuing a master’s degree in special education at Millersville University and will graduate in December 2021. As an undergraduate student, Elliot was active in campus activities and served as president of the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) and special events chair of the University Activities Board. Additionally, Elliot supported Millersville’s Sustainability Committee and was involved with the Millersville University Community Garden. She was awarded the Roy and Mary Garden Gamber – Helen L. Koontz Award in Education from nominations by her professors at Millersville University.

Elliot began her teaching career in 2017 as a long-term substitute teacher in the School District of Lancaster at Price Elementary School and Hamilton Elementary School. In 2018, she became a learning support teacher at Burrowes Elementary School for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Elliot goes above and beyond to support her students and is known for her kindness and patience and for making a positive impact in the lives of students and faculty members through her work.

Since 2017, Elliot has been a volunteer head coach with Girls on the Run for Burrowes Elementary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, leading teams of 20 girls in third through fifth grade during 10-week fall and spring seasons every year. As a coach, she guides team members through lessons about self-esteem, character and the importance of community involvement and physical activity. In 2019, Elliot was named the Girls on the Run Lancaster Coach of the Year from nominations by fellow coaches, parents, teachers and participants. As an educator, mentor and role model, Elliot is an inspiration for her students and colleagues and exemplifies commitment, grace and dedication to making a difference.



Jeff Rood

Dr. Jeff Rood graduated from Millersville University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He earned departmental honors and carried out undergraduate research with Dr. Edward Rajaseelan. He was also a member of the men’s cross-country and track and field teams while at Millersville University. Rood is a professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the School of Science at Elizabethtown College.

After graduating from Millersville University, Rood went on to attend the University of Notre Dame where he joined the lab of Ken Henderson and received a doctorate in inorganic chemistry. While at Notre Dame, he earned several honors including a Bayer Predoctoral Fellowship and the Kaneb Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award. Upon graduating in 2009, Rood began his academic career as an assistant professor at Elizabethtown College. He was tenured and promoted in 2015 and became department chair in 2019. In 2021, he was promoted to the rank of professor.

Rood teaches a variety of courses at Elizabethtown College, including general chemistry and inorganic chemistry. He is also active in the First Year Seminar program where he teaches a course about energy. He has developed an active research program in inorganic materials that involves undergraduate students and has served as a mentor to more than 30 student projects at Elizabethtown College. Rood has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in areas such as synthetic inorganic chemistry, inorganic materials and crystallography. During his time at Elizabethtown, he has received grant funding from Research Corporation and the National Science Foundation. His work at Elizabethtown College has earned several merit awards for teaching, research and service and in 2021 he was awarded the Elizabethtown College Honors Program Outstanding Professor Award. Rood resides in Maytown, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Liz ’04, and daughters Kella and Kaceley.