December 9, 2015

LIVONIA, Mich. – Madonna University criminal justice student Blanca Lopez-Garcia was selected by the faculty and administration at Madonna University to receive the St. Catherine Undergraduate Achievement Award for the 2015-2016 academic year.

The Detroit chapter of Kappa Gamma Pi, the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society, offers the St. Catherine Medal to honor a junior student who represents the high ideals of a Catholic college education and maintains a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.25. Lopez-Garcia with a 3.95 GPA, was selected based on her academic achievement, and leadership roles in church, campus and community. The medal is in honor of the third-century saint, Catherine of Alexandria, renowned for her love of learning and dedication to principles.

Connie Tingson-Gatuz, Madonna vice president for student affairs and mission integration, served on the award selection committee. She said that Lopez-Garcia’s high level of dedication and service to others made her the obvious choice.

“Blanca has achieved academic excellence and demonstrates qualities of leadership for the general community,” said Tingson-Gatuz.

A Southgate resident, Lopez-Garcia’s campus involvement includes Campus Ministry, the Student Ambassador Program, Alternative Spring Break, Ford Community Corp, and Eucharistic Minister, to name a few.

She serves as co-president of Caritas Madonna, a group of Campus Ministry students who assist the less fortunate through community outreach. Under her leadership, the group completed several hours of volunteer work for Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan.

For Lopez-Garcia, giving back to the community extends beyond Madonna’s campus. Working with others from St. Cyprian Church in Riverview, she assembles and delivers lunches to the homeless in Detroit. “It is a simple lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, water bottles, napkins, snacks and fruit, but these items are extremely helpful in providing nourishment to those who need it.”

She owes her passion for community service to the support from her parents and devoted Madonna staff. “The Madonna University community has changed my life in so many ways. Thank you for making an impact on me.”

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