Damia Garcia ’19 is the 2018 recipient of the Indiana Outstanding College Student Award by the Indiana Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).

“This award serves as proof to me that I chose the right path, the right major,” Garcia said. “It also means a lot to my family as a whole, specifically my parents because it is proof to them that all their efforts were worth the hardships. And I thank them that they made the choice to speak to me in Spanish at a young age so that I could be able to help others and grow both personally and professionally.”

Nominated by Stacy Hoult-Saros, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish, Garcia received this prestigious state award based on her outstanding academic record and passion for culture and community service. In addition, the Valpo senior has studied abroad in Chile, giving her a better understanding of the Spanish language, culture and literature.

Garcia recently received her outstanding student award in Indianapolis during the AATSP Indiana Business Meeting as part of the program for Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association Conference.

During her junior year, Garcia was one of two recipients of the Outstanding Junior Student Award by the Spanish department at Valpo. In addition, the department has selected her to represent the program at a dinner event with Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of the University.

Garcia is double majoring in Spanish and international economics and cultural affairs at Valpo. She is passionately involved in the Study Abroad office, where she helps students, especially underrepresented populations, learn of the benefits of studying abroad. She is a member of LIVE — LatinX In Valparaiso for Excellence — and advocates for the LatinX community each day in her classes and day-to-day activities.

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