Andrea Garcia of Homestead, Florida, recently was awarded the Academic Service-Learning Award at William Woods University.
She also was one of 10 WWU students named to Who’s Who. A campus committee and editors of the annual directory chose the students based on academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities and potential for continued success.
“Who’s Who” honorees join an elite group of students from more than 1,000 universities and colleges in all 50 states. Outstanding students have been honored in the annual directory since it was first published in 1934.
Garcia graduated May 9 with a Bachelor of Science degree in equine general studies with a concentration in equine media. She also participated in MBA in 5, a program that allows seniors to take graduate-level courses and complete their Master of Business Administration degree one year earlier than normal.
During her time at William Woods, Garcia took an active role on and off campus. She was a head community adviser, ensuring the safety and well-being of more than 60 students and stimulating community building among the residents.
Garcia was a fundraiser for the William Woods University Loyalty Fund for three years, eagerly representing WWU while developing and maintaining relationships with WWU alumni and friends. She also served as a University Ambassador for Admissions, ensuring that prospective students and their families had a positive experience during their campus visits.
She served as president of the Multicultural Affairs Club and the Dressage Club, public relations/marketing chair for the Conservation Club and staff writer for the university magazine and online newspaper. She was selected for Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society.
A member of Alpha Chi Omega, Garcia chaired the sorority’s involvement with the Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV) and participated in numerous philanthropic activities.
Garcia took advantage of extracurricular opportunities to learn more about global issues around the world. She attended a talk by Jane Goodall, where she learned about the work being done in Africa to protect endangered species. She traveled to Birmingham, Alabama, to hear the Dalai Lama speak about human rights and global citizenship. She also organized her sorority to raise awareness about the destructive ivory trade and the daily threats to the world’s elephant population.
She made five trips with Woods Around the World, including two trips to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where she spent two weeks doing projects on behalf of the Lakota Sioux Indians. She built bunk beds for children, constructed outhouses and insulated trailers. She was valued enough that she was hired for a summer staff position at the reservation, home to two of the poorest counties in the United States.
Garcia was a key team member of Project 123, which promotes community service and provides funding for Woods Around the World trips. She was an ardent supporter and participant, devoting about 250 hours of community service at animal rescue shelters, the Central Missouri Food Bank, the local soup kitchen and Wonderland Camp in the Ozarks for persons of all ages with disabilities. She also worked with River Relief, cleaning up debris from the banks of the Missouri River
The Academic Service-Learning Award is presented to the student who best demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to service-learning within a course containing an academic service-learning element during the academic year.
Professors may nominate any full-time William Woods student who holds a 3.40 GPA or better and who has not only fulfilled the course’s academic service-learning requirement, but also has made an exemplary contribution to the project or to their community as a result of the project.
Recipients must demonstrate intrinsic motivation to serve beyond self-promotion, serve as a role model for their peers, embody a dedication to learning, produce exemplary work in conjunction to the project, engage in critical reflection of the service and the related learning, or a combination of these elements.