Alumni HDFS

With human services degree in hand, OSU graduate is poised to help people and make real change 

Commencement 2023 spotlight

Andrea sitting on a pier in front of sailboats

By Hanna Knowles

Andrea Harris is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family sciences-human services option and a minor in exercise physiology.  

She was accepted into every graduate program she applied to and will attend Texas Woman’s University this fall to take her human services degree to the next level.  

What inspired you to pursue a human services degree?  

I have always loved children and have been fascinated by human development and medicine.  

After doing volunteer work with the child life specialty team at OHSU in high school, I found a huge passion for medical social work in pediatrics.  

It’s a beautiful thing to be able to come alongside people during their hard moments. 

What are you most proud of from your time in the CPHHS?  

I am most proud of my advanced practicum internship experience at Home Life, Inc. as a direct support professional and job coach.  

I finally felt like a human services professional and started coming into my own of who I want to be in my career.  

Because of this internship experience, I feel empowered that I have what it takes to help people and make real change. 

Did you receive any scholarships or assistance during your time here?  

I did! I am a proud Presidential Scholar

What are the most memorable lessons you’ve learned as a human services student?

I have learned that everyone is capable of positive growth and change. No one should be counted out as too far gone to be helped.  

I have learned this through studying research done with vulnerable populations, personal experiences with friends and peers, and within my faith community. 

What will you miss the most about the CPHHS, OSU or Corvallis?  

I will miss the people most. OSU has become a home and I love my community of friends, peers and coworkers. It will be so hard to say goodbye to the people I have come to love so much during my time at OSU. 

What’s next? What are your plans after graduation?  

This summer I am getting married!  

In the fall I will start graduate school, pursuing a master’s degree in child life at Texas Woman’s University. 

How will you create a healthier world?  

I will create a healthier world by giving kids and families the support and skills they need to get through childhood injury and disease without it doing irreversible damage to the individuals or family system.  

I want to make each individual feel safe and cared for and leave knowing they have someone fighting for them. 

What does health and well-being mean to you?  

Andrea holding an apple in an apple orchard

Health and well-being to me mean taking the time to invest in your physical, emotional, social and spiritual areas of life.  

For me, I love cooking and working out to invest in my physical health. I love spending time with people from my faith community and time in the Bible for my spiritual health. And making sure I have time with friends or family, and time by myself to recharge and care for my emotional and social wellbeing. 

Do you have any advice for incoming students?  

Be yourself!

There are so many wonderful people, groups, and clubs on campus there is no reason to try to fit into a place where you don’t fit.

Your people are out there, just keep looking!