About Danish Sharpe

There was a time when it seems Sage was almost too welcoming to Danish Sharpe.

After an admittedly challenging youth growing up in New York City, he arrived at Russell Sage College and immediately felt right at home. He wanted to get to know everyone and do everything.

“It was so welcoming, open and warm,” he says. “It was definitely an adjustment for me. Troy isn’t New York City. But I made so many friends my freshman year. I loved that first year. I’d been shy in high school but I told myself it wouldn’t be that way in college.”

The thing is, Danish overdid the activities and social life part of his first year in college. He neglected his studies. At the end of his first year, in fact, he was told he couldn’t return.

“That was shattering,” he says. “I always tell people, Sage was my first real home.”

So, Danish set his mind on getting back in. He spent that summer securing letters of recommendation and made his appeal. If he was given a second chance, he promised, he’d show everyone the kind of student he could really be.

And he got that second chance, and he made the most of it, graduating with his B.A. in Sociology in 2015, and then going on to get his MBA at Sage in 2018.

During his undergraduate years Danish was also a member of student government, an RA and held work-study positions in campus offices.

There was a moment after he was allowed back in that still seems vivid and powerful to Danish.

He was in the office of Professor Sybillyn Jennings when she showed him her doctoral robe and asked him if he wanted to put it on and see how it felt. 

It felt wonderful.

“She told me,” Danish remembers, “if you work hard, you can achieve this. You can be this successful.”

The first member of his family to go to college, growing up quite poor, this seemed to Danish like an unreachable dream. 

“But she told me, I can see your potential. Now you have to see it.”

Today, Danish is working at a bank in Troy, and considering ways that he might pursue a career that puts him back on a college campus, maybe working in a student life role.

“Sage is a special place,” he says. “It’s a place that helps you realize your true self.” 

He means this in a very real sense. During his years at Sage, Danish came to the understanding that while he was in a young woman’s body he felt himself to be a young man. He began his transition from female to male.

It’s no wonder he wants to get back into higher education. It’s where he found himself. And he feels like it was something of a miracle.

“Sage is a special place. It’s a place that helps you realize your true self.” 

Danish Sharpe, MBA