When UIW theatre arts graduate Mark Stringham auditioned for more than 30 graduate schools, he had no idea he would be accepted by 10 of the top 15 - including schools with the best fine arts programs in the nation, such as New York University, the University of California at San Diego, Purdue University, Washington University and Ohio University.
Many of the schools were offering tempting scholarships, but Ohio University offered a teaching position, a stipend and a full scholarship to its graduate program. For Stringham, who has been involved in theatre since the fourth grade, it was the perfect package.
A father of two, Stringham's priority is his family. So the opportunity to continue his career without sacrificing time away from them, all while studying at a top-flight school, was irresistible. Stringham is beginning the next chapter of his life this month, as he and his family make the move to Ohio.
Christy Marie Granata has always wanted to work with children. “Helping others is something that my parents have always instilled in me,” Granata said.
Granata moved one step closer to her dream of becoming a child psychologist when she walked the stage at UIW in May. Granata’s parents witnessed their only child receive her degree, and she is the first in her family to graduate from college.
Granata graduated with a bachelor of arts in psychology and sociology. Her dream is to work with children in a hospital environment, and the future looks good. Granata is working at the Laurel Ridge Mental Hospital with children aged 5 to 12.
“Growing up an only child has compelled me to work with children. I wanted to work on a one-on-one basis with children, and believed this was my calling. Becoming a teacher was my second choice, but I wanted a deeper connection - one that involved a spiritual and emotional bond,” Granata said.
Granata has received numerous awards during her four years at UIW. She received the award for “Outstanding Achievement in Psychology” and the “Outstanding President Award” from the Student Government Association, all while still maintaining a 4.0 grade average.
Daniel Garcia’s personal experiences were the driving force behind his educational goals in life. Garcia grew up seeing his mother suffer from anxiety depression.
“Seeing her go through this affected me personally,” Garcia said. “When I was a small child, I suffered from separation anxiety. I didn’t want to be apart from my parents.”
Garcia realized he wanted to help people who were suffering from this illness. Because religion was so important to him, he decided to purse a degree in psychology and religion studies
“I wanted to learn more about my illness and whether it was genetic,” Garcia says. “Seeing my mother suffer and wanting to help her were the real reason I chose this path.”
This fall, Garcia will be studying for a master of theological studies at Harvard University. Upon completing his master’s degree he plans to pursue a doctorate degree in clinical psychology.
Vickey Edge’s journey began many years ago as a child in Cleveland, Ohio, where she spent countless hours waiting for asthma treatments in inner-city clinics.
Edge graduated with a master of arts in biology and the knowledge that she will realize one of her dreams when she begins medical school at the University of Houston this summer.
“I had too many bad childhood experiences where there was not adequate medical care. I decided that I wanted to work as a doctor in a free clinic so other children would not have to go through what I did. I also want to be a role model for other inner city children so that they can see what the possibilities are for them,” Edge said.
Professors at the UIW School of Nursing are excited about Edge’s future plans. “Vickey is the perfect mix of quiet strength, compassion, honesty, perseverance, humor and competence. She’s going to be a great physician. We are so proud of her,” said Dr. Barbara Herlihy, a professor in the UIW School of Nursing.
©2004 University of the Incarnate Word. All rights reserved. Send feedback on this page to Troy Knickerbocker.