Major: Business Administration with a Sports Management Emphasis

Other AQ involvements: Ran on the Aquinas Track and Field Team for 4 years

Tell us about your career!

I’m an Academic Coordinator for the women’s tennis team, football team, and track team at Michigan State University. I have meetings with athletes and try to make them realize the value of education on top of the athletic opportunities that they have. I’ll calculate grades, encourage them to go to tutors and create a space where they feel heard academically. I tell them if you can learn that playbook, you can learn all of this. 

What experiences at Aquinas helped prepare you for your current role?

The small community experience forced me to learn how to talk to different people. I would call my mom and say, “Everybody talks to everybody. Like, they don’t walk past each other.” So I think I became a better communicator.

And having those personalized one-on-one relationships with professors. I’m still able to contact them to this day. Dr. Ambrose reached out to me literally out of nowhere yesterday. I haven’t talked to him in maybe six months. He had a student who was interested in my career and asked if I was free now to talk to him. I hopped on the phone. Things like this wouldn’t have happened if I went to a bigger school. So Aquinas prepared me for very personalized, genuine relationships.

You still keep in contact with Sara Haviland, our Director of Student Success, as well, right?

Yes! It’s funny thinking back to the first time we met. I try to give the students I work with as much grace as I can. Sometimes I forget that I was literally just like them, if not worse. 

Freshman year, I was so excited to be a student-athlete at the collegiate level. Everything seemed so much bigger. You go through a phase of having the biggest head ever. Sara was the one to bring me back down to earth and tell me what was actually important. I took her first-year course and she taught me how to use Google Calendar and fill out a planner. Those small lessons, I still use them now at 26.

She mentored me through my time at Aquinas. There was a time when I thought I needed a fifth year to graduate. But she sat me down and said she calculated everything and I realized I was trying to keep my safety net on. I still wanted to be in this bubble. The conversations we had just can’t be duplicated.

What do you love about Aquinas?

Just like having a small community, you know, being able to create those genuine relationships. If you're able to create genuine relationships at a young age, it doesn't matter how big the organization that you work for later in life. You're always going to draw nearer to genuine relationships. I think Aquinas prepares you for that. It just teaches you the value of just being genuine, but also just learning how to treat people that you're going to have to see every day. You can't really learn that at a larger school.

There are people that I still keep in contact with every single day from Aquinas. We go on a summer cabin trip every summer in August. It’s named after our freshman-year dorm. I love being able to go back to homecoming and see all the people. At other schools, I talk to people they're like, “Wait, you go back to homecoming?” It’s super cool.

What advice would you give students who are at Aquinas or considering coming to Aquinas?

Don't shy away from those relationships that people want to build with you. Even if you are in your little bubble and you want to be by yourself, people are going to try to draw near to you. Try and try to meet as many people as you can, and be open to that. In the beginning, it's gonna be hard because you know, you don't know these people. You're away from home. But my biggest piece of advice would just be don't run away from your relationships. Don't walk past people. Just try to be in the moment and meet as many people as you can.