Woodglass receives first Building Bridges Series award

Kendra Woodglass, a double-major of Psychology and Humanities and Cultural Studies at Dominican, has been named the first recipient of the Building Bridges Award.

The Building Bridges Series is an ongoing partnership between the International Association of Sufism and the Humanities and Cultural Studies Department of Dominican, with partial funding from the Marin Community Foundation. It was established in 2002 to address social justice and other issues in Marin County by increasing understanding between, and facilitating cooperation among, the various faith groups and community organizations of Marin.

“I am glad that we are establishing this award to acknowledge and recognize a student who exemplifies the spirit of Building Bridges of Understanding,” said Dr. Nahid Angha, a Dominican faculty member. “Chase Clow, director of Humanities and Cultural Studies, was instrumental in promoting the idea. Nicola Pitchford, Dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Humanities Professor Harlan Stelmach, and myself came to a mutual decision to create an award as an excellent way of reminding our young generation that the community is proud of their work and recognizes their endeavors.”

Dr. Angha presented the award to Woodglass in a ceremony in Creekside Room on February 8.

“I feel super honored. My mother (Regina), who was a nurse, said to me growing up that our door is always open to help anybody,” said Woodglass, a senior who intends to go to graduate school. “I’ve learned so much from Service-Learning. I’ve learned about perspective, about where you come from and the way you see the world and how people’s realities are different.  When you get to talk about them and engage in those perspectives, it opens whole new worlds.”

Woodglass is a student leader in Dominican’s Service-Learning program. As a freshman, she connected with the Marin County Community School and soon became a student leader.

As a sophomore, Woodglass co-presented with Jasmine Martinez, now program director at LIFT/Levantate, “Beyond Bad: Challenging Labels and Building Community with Disenfranchised Youth” at the Moving from Passion to Action workshop at the Bay Area Leadership and Social Justice Conference at UC Berkeley. She also went to Seattle and presented “Beauty in the Struggle: Embracing the Dynamic Tensions Inherent in Transformative Education and Institutional Renewal” in a Campus Compact Continuums of Service conference.

As a junior, Woodglass traveled to New York City with 13 other Dominican students to participate in a three-week service-learning course called “Urban Community as Canvas for Social Change.”

In addition, Woodglass competed for four years on Dominican’s cross country team. She has twice been named the winner of the “Coaches Award” and is a three-time member of the Pacific West Conference All-Academic team. Woodglass has been inducted into National College Athlete Honor Society and Chi Alpha Sigma.

“Kendra is a force for the good. There is no other way to describe the energy and excitement that generates from her being,” said Julia van der Ryn, Service-Learning Director at Dominican. “In her work with community, especially her work with marginalized students at Marin County Community School, she made a positive impact because she opened herself and allowed herself to be transformed also by the lives of others.”

Woodglass, who is currently participating in a Service-Learning class “Philosophy and Religion of Asian Cultures,” is doing her field placement working with a suicide prevention hotline for Family Service Agency of Marin.