Name: Andi McDanel
Hometown: Bloomsburg, Penn.
Major: Public Health
Thank goodness for strong sibling relationships because that is what landed Andi McDanel on our campus. Andi’s close bond with her older brother, who was a junior when she was a freshman, convinced her to follow him to Coastal Carolina. Knowing she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, she decided to major in public health.
“I knew I wanted to help people but I didn’t know what specific aspect I wanted to do it in,” Andi admits. “I did know I wanted to be in the healthcare field.”
With a direction identified but no specific path established, Andi left it up to her classes and her professors to help inspire her toward a concrete career goal. It worked. In the near future, she wants to become a certified speech and language pathologist, hopefully working “in a fun place.”
Secure in the direction she is headed, Andi has had time to focus on extracurricular activities. One example is her involvement with her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. Another is the opportunity she has seized to travel abroad. Andi visited South Africa, calling it a “life changing experience,” and she also went to Thailand.
But perhaps her involvement with the LIFE program is what she is most proud of. Andi glows when discussing her mentorship work with the students, all young adults who have mild to moderate intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
“They end up helping you more than you help them, I promise,” Andi says about the LIFE program students.
We are thrilled that Andi has had such a fulfilling experience at CCU. Set to graduate in May, she can reminisce on her decision to attend Coastal, knowing she made the right move.
“I have met so many people and had so many opportunities I never would have had if I went anywhere else,” Andi reflects.
Q&A with Andi
How did you hear about Coastal?: I heard about Coastal because my older brother whom I was very close with attended CCU. He was a junior when I was coming in a as a freshman.
Why did you come to Coastal?: I came to Coastal to see more than what my small town had to offer. Although I love where I grew up, I was ready for a change.
Favorite professor: Stephen Firsing, Ph.D. and Dali Nunez-Milland
Favorite class: Environmental Health
Favorite aspect of Coastal?: My favorite aspect of Coastal is the atmosphere. It's big but not too big. You can still run into friends on campus. Also, another favorite aspect is that my teachers always believe in me.
Favorite aspect of living in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area?: I like living in Conway because there are so many things to do. Coming from a colder place it's nice to be able to go outside and do things.
Clubs/Intramurals/other extracurricular activities involved in?: I am in Alpha Delta Pi
Do you work anywhere currently (either on or off campus)?: I was employed via the freshmen science advisors program, I volunteered with the LIFE program and I now intern at Lakewood Elementary.
Plans after graduation?: My plans after graduation are to attend graduate school to obtain my master’s degree in speech and language pathology.
What are your hobbies?: My hobbies include being outside (I like to go on walks), going to the beach and traveling. I love to read, mostly romance books.
Do you have any hidden talents?: My hidden talent is very embarrassing!
Bonus Info: I traveled abroad twice. Once in South Africa and once in Thailand. I really owe that to my parents and professors who pushed me outside my comfort zone and taught me to believe in myself especially when things did not seem easy.