Far From Home and Loving It: Why Senior Maria Hicks is a Westminster Student

Maria Hicks, ’20, ΚΚΓ, of Luther, MD, is attending college far from home for a reason. Her father, Reese C. Hicks, ’82 ΔΤΔ, brother, Reese M. Hicks, ΔΤΔ, and grandfather, Thomas Hicks, ’57 ΔΤΔ, all attended the College. Based on their strong recommendations, Hicks played a game of college-choice Russian roulette and only considered Westminster.

“I took a huge risk coming here,” Hicks reflects. “I decided to look at one college and one college only — my dad and brother convinced me and said, ‘This is such a great school,’ and when I came here, I instantly fell in love with Westminster. It just felt like a home away from home.”

Read below about how one of Westminster’s West Wings Student Marketing Team is earning her wings through an internship with the Department of Marketing and Strategic Communications.

Please explain how your self-designed major works.

I’m a graphic design major with an English minor, and I take classes at William Woods University, because that’s our sister school, so I am able to take classes there and at Westminster. I was given a great opportunity to do something I loved while still being at Westminster … the school I love.

What do you find unique about your Westminster education?

I work with the Learning Opportunities Center, or LOC, here because I have dyslexia. It was really scary to come to college, because I struggled a lot in high school with classes and school work in general, and when I came here, I was able to get extra help through the LOC. I learned very quickly that each professor really wanted to help me. It was a very close-knit experience. They will stay after class and work one on one with you, which at a larger school, you would not get that experience. So I am really lucky.

How has Westminster helped you find your purpose?

Coming here, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Once I figured out that I’m good at art, I decided I wanted to be a graphic design major. I feel like I have a purpose in life, and I know what I want to do after college. Westminster really gives you the footing to move forward.

What do you do in your free time?

I like to draw and paint and be creative.


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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.