The city of San Diego has been close to Mandy Womack’s heart since she arrived from Orange County in 1990 to attend college, first as an undergraduate at San Diego State University and then obtaining a master’s degree at the University of San Diego.
Womack, director of Greek Life and Student Organizations, has been a USD employee since 1996, shortly after obtaining a Master of Education (‘95) in counseling with an emphasis on college student services. She worked as an administrative assistant in USD’s student activities office before taking on director roles. Now working out of the Student Leadership and Involvement Center (SLIC) in the Student Life Pavilion, Womack’s passion remains stronger than ever.
“This is a wonderful place to serve,” said Womack (pictured, far left, with USD’s Gamma Sigma Alpha students) says. “When you can work in your area of passion, being a voice for students and a university that I believe in, it’s great.”
The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors recently recognized Womack for her many years of passion, selecting her as one of five national recipients of the Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Award at its conference in Phoenix.
AFA’s website states that the award recognizes individuals who have exhibited high professional standards and achievements in fraternity/sorority advising and outstanding achievements in one or more of the following areas: service to AFA; programming and/or service which reaches beyond the recipient’s campus; development and research activities; and/or service to the college and fraternity/sorority communities.
Womack loves her job. She loves investing her time into projects that help students develop their leadership skills during their time in college. She enjoys the annual Greek Life spring retreat because “students are encouraged to go and share their experiences with others,” she said. And she likes the completely student peer-run Greek Disciplinary Board. “To have a group that’s designed to self-govern, it’s very important and it shows the quality of students we have here.”
Womack’s success at USD has provided her opportunities to expand her own knowledge. She’s spent the last few years working with officials at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana with its Undergraduate Inter-Fraternity Institute. Purdue, Womack says, has the second largest fraternity/sorority groups in the nation.
But her passion is firmly set with the USD community. “My colleagues and the students are the ones who keep me coming back every year,” she said.
One of the best examples of her dedication takes place from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on September 7 when the annual USD Alcala Bazaar runs outside the Hahn University Center and along Marian Way. The event showcases dozens of student organizations and campus organizations that can help students unlock their passion.
“We want to try to help students connect to what they enjoy doing, what gives them fulfillment, and to find a group so that it feels like home.”
— Ryan T. Blystone