National Transfer Student Week: Interview with Daisy Garcia Montoya

In honor of National Transfer Student Week, the Honors College is highlighting Daisy Garcia Montoya. Daisy discusses her journey from student at Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley to Communications and Political Science major at UMKC, shares advice to transfer students and faculty, and delves into her goals after graduating UMKC.

Where did you transfer from?

I transferred from MCC – Penn Valley.

What brought you to UMKC?

I’m currently a Henry W. Bloch Legacy Scholar. I spent 3 semesters earning my associate degree at MCC-Penn Valley then transferred to UMKC as a Legacy Scholar. I also have lived in KC and was already excited about UMKC while being at MCC, so it all worked out perfectly.

What has your experience at UMKC been like since you transferred?

The first semester was really rough. I loved my classes and UMKC’s campus, but I didn’t know how to get involved. I came in as a spring semester transfer, so I didn’t see many inclusive activities like transfer fairs or Union Fest. It took a while to find the organizations I wanted to be involved in even though I knew that’s what I wanted to do. However, midway through my first semester, I stumbled across the Multicultural Student Affairs and their office. They sponsored and held a lot of events on campus, so I started going to those. Eventually, I also got involved with the Latinx Student Union and the Honors College. After that, I became really involved with UMKC’s community and Kansas City overall.

What advice would you give to other transfer students at UMKC?

It might seem a little rough at first, but there are so many organizations on campus to be involved with and you’re bound to find at least one you’re comfortable with. The Latinx Student Union is the organization I’m mainly involved with but I’m also a part of the College Democrats and HerCampus. COVID might make it a little difficult, but also go to virtual fairs and events because those are options as well. Look through RooGroups as well! You can see different events and organizations on campus. I did this even before I transferred to UMKC because I couldn’t wait to get involved. Instagram’s a good option too. A lot of organizations have an Instagram page. If you just type UMKC in the search bar, a lot of them will come up. You get a sense of what events they put on and what they stand for.

What advice would you give to university faculty and staff to help transfer students acclimate to UMKC?

The faculty and staff should tell the transfer students the resources that are available on campus. I feel that students don’t know about the counseling services UMKC offers, programs like the Honors College, groups like the Multicultural Student Affairs, and students that are a part of communities as a veteran or LGBTQIA+. Checking in with transfer students and asking them what they need also helps. Connecting them with their interests goes a long way. As a transfer student, you’re new to this atmosphere but sometimes you need someone to come to you first.

What do you hope to achieve both personally and professionally here at UMKC and beyond?

One of my personal goals was to be involved with the Latinx Student Union. Because this group made me feel really welcomed, my mission is to give that feeling to other students, whether they’re transfer students or freshmen and outgoing or shy. As a Communications and Political Science major, I hope to become a journalist. However, I also really love nonprofit work, so working at a nonprofit here in Kansas City that helps students or under-served communities would be how I would continue my professional career.

Any last bits of advice?

Don’t give up and keep going. UMKC is a really welcoming place with a lot of opportunities, whether it’s getting involved or getting connected with other professionals in the greater Kansas City area. You’ll meet a lot of friends and make a lot of memories.