Wanda McDonald ’20

She won the NASW Student of the Year Award. Then she looked for even more ways to serve.

Service-Learning, Alumni Success

Major: Social Work
Minor: Philosophy
Hometown: Mount Vernon, N.Y.
High School: Nelson Mandela High School, Mount Vernon, N.Y.

Some ways I participated at Iona:

  • President - Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work
  • Vice President - Active Minds interest group
  • Treasurer - Social Work Club
  • Active member - Delta Epsilon Sigma, Phi Sigma Tau Honor Society for Philosophy
  • Volunteer at the Rudin Center as a note taker
  • Participated in Mission & Ministry Midnight Run Projects

Wanda is currently pursuing at master’s degree in Advanced Clinical Social Work at NYU’s Silver School.

Why did you choose Iona?
I chose to complete my degree at Iona College because I grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y., and I knew they had an exceptional Social Work program.

What have you accomplished so far that you are most proud of?
I was awarded the NASW Student of the Year Award and was both excited and humbled by this honor. While I am happy about the work that I have done thus far to help vulnerable populations, I know that there is so much more work to do. I am looking forward to furthering my education to enhance my skills and explore additional resources that will help me serve my community competently.

Was there a particular project you worked on as a student that really impacted you?
I really enjoyed collaborating with the Office of Mission and Ministry and found the Midnight Run project to be most impactful. We went into [New York City] at night to engage members of the community experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. We conversed with them and distributed food, clothing and toiletries. I really appreciated this project because as a student and a mother working part time, it is challenging for me to find the time to incorporate the amount of volunteer service to the community that I would like to. This program allowed me to serve my community and provide resources that fulfilled some essential needs for people.

Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself since coming to Iona.
I learned that it is possible for anyone to Move the World with the right resources.

Any advice to prospective students?
Life is hard enough, be kind to yourself, and keep moving forward!