Marshall native receives College of St. Benedict award

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Andrea Carrow Morsching was initially a little disappointed when she heard she was receiving the College of St. Benedict Decade Award. She had nominated a friend who is in the health care field who she thought was more deserving.

Nevertheless, Morsching said she was “really honored and really humbled” to receive the award from her alma mater. The award was given, along with three others, during a reunion banquet June 22.

Morsching, the daughter of Jolene and Richard Carrow of rural Marshall, talked on the phone to the Independent the following week while visiting her in-laws in Rapid City, South Dakota.

In her acceptance speech at the St. Benedict’s reunion, Morsching wanted to make two main points. Speaking as someone who is 10 years out of graduating from college, she wanted to tell others that “if you’re not happy with the way your life is going right now, there is still plenty of time to change it.”

She also said people should talk about their accomplishments as a way to inspire others. “When you hit goals, talk about it.” Hearing someone’s story might help “people get through difficult times.”

After visiting relatives in the States, Morsching, her husband, Kirby, and 5-month-old son, Sam, will go back to Singapore where she is in the middle of a two-year contract as a Southeast Asia business development manager for 3M’s health care team.

The College of St. Benedict chose to honor Morsching because of her global outlook on life. She has visited or lived in many countries starting when she was an undergraduate student.

In 2007 while on a semester abroad program in Guatemala, she and other students volunteered with a local fair trade coffee organization. These students saw firsthand the importance, both socially and economically, of fair-trade coffee in their study abroad community, according to the award notes. They spread the word about the importance of fair trade (equitable wages to growers and ecologically-sound practices).

By spring 2008, Morsching, then Carrow, and her fellow students had created a documentary titled “Somos de Café.” The experience led Morsching to found Extending the Link, an annual program that empowers students to highlight global under-told stories through documentary filmmaking.

In addition to her legacy with Extending the Link, she served on a nonprofit board of directors for an organization (Luminarias) that connects vulnerable Guatemalan girls to educational opportunities.

She also completed a May term in Spain, semesters abroad in Guatemala and Venezuela, and additional programs in China and Dubai before moving to Mexico for a Latin American Business Development lead job after graduation.

Morsching then returned to Spain for an MBA at one of the world’s top business schools (IE Business School), where she focused on strategy and corporate finance.

Traveling to foreign countries “opened my eyes to a whole other world out there,” she said.

Morsching is used to travel. In the farming off-season her family would travel. She has seen all 50 states.

“For two or three weeks in the summer we would all pile in a caravan and drive across the states eating bologna sandwiches and stopping to take pictures,” she said.

“We would go to places like Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone.”

Morsching speaks fluent Spanish and “basic” Portuguese from living in Brazil. In Singapore, the official language is English, so she is able to navigate the international city.

“Singapore is a great place to live,” she said. “We’ve traveled all over southeast Asia.”