Humans of the Hilltop: Cara Wood

Few people have the opportunity to belong to the Bradley University faculty staff. Cara Wood, the new Director of Student Activities, is now a member of the Bradley community.

Wood replaced former Director of Student Involvement, Tom Coy, who transitioned to Executive Director of Student Involvement.

Joining Bradley University has been a smooth transition for Wood, as she said she enjoys living in Peoria. As someone who grew up in Los Angeles, California, and went to college in Washington D.C., Wood said she feels most at home in the Mid-West.

My family and I are enjoying getting to know Peoria, and have started exploring a little bit.We have been to the zoo and the Farmers Market downtown, both of which we really enjoyed, Wood said.This weekend, we went apple-picking and I baked a bunch, so that was awesome.We are trying new restaurants and getting to know all the different shopping areas as well.We are excited to make Peoria our home.

Wood is no stranger to working in higher education and holding positions revolving around student activities. She has over ten years of experience in the field.

I started my career in fraternity [and] sorority life and leadership development programs and have always worked in a student activities office, Wood said. Most recently, I was at Georgia State Universitys office of Student Activities where I was the assistant director for student organization development.

Having learned many valuable skills at Georgia State, Wood said she is grateful she had the opportunity to work there and believes that specific duties mastered at her previous university will translate well into a successful career at Bradley.

In that role, I managed over 300 active student organizations, planned leadership education programs, managed the campus student engagement online platform and supported my colleagues who ran campus programming, Wood said.In addition to my professional roles, I have been an active volunteer for my sorority for eight years, including the last four years as a director on our international board of directors.

Wood is currently in her third two-year term on the board, she said, and finds the role very much a compliment to her professional career. She also serves as the Strategic Planning Committee Chair for her sorority.

With Woods work experience, involvement in student activities and an overall enjoyment for the city of Peoria, it appears good things are to come for Bradley University.