What makes you a Difference Maker?
Both my academic achievements and my work to increase students’ opportunities to play tennis make me a Difference Maker.
My academic achievements are relevant because they have provided other students with the belief that it is possible to excel at University of Michigan-Dearborn. As a child, I did not have much success in school. In fact, in elementary school I was one of the few students in my class that required extra help to comprehend reading. That I was a late-bloomer and applied myself hard enough to achieve this level of academic success at University of Michigan-Dearborn makes me think that I am an inspiration to many students who desire to do well.
My work to increase opportunities for UM-Dearborn students to play tennis qualifies me as a Difference Maker as well. The addition of these opportunities has provided endless benefits to those students who have taken advantage of them. They have provided students a fun way of maintaining healthy exercise habits, a relief from their rigorous coursework and, most importantly, a way to become involved in university life and to make lasting friendships.
I graduated in December of 2015 with a 3.94 GPA and made the Dean’s List seven times. I completed the Writing/History Honors Program curriculum and the Psychology Honors Program curriculum—in which I finished an original undergraduate Honors Thesis that contained significant findings on the impact of evaluative feedback on individuals’ self-efficacy. I also completed an internship at the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office in the summer of 2014.
I won first place in the Honors category of the 2014 CASL Writing Awards and second place in the Fiction category of the 2015 CASL Writing Awards.
I was recognized as a top-performing student at the Spanish Honors Evening in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and was inducted into the Spanish National Honors Society (Sigma Delta Pi) in 2015. I also was inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success in 2012.
Out of the classroom, I was co-founder, coach, and president of the competitive Club tennis team (2012-2015) and president of the recreational tennis club (2013-2014).
My on-campus leadership experiences come from serving as president of both the tennis team and tennis club. As president of both organizations, I directed executive board and general body meetings, successfully recruited members for the organizations, and communicated with the Office for Student Engagement, the Athletics Department, various tennis clubs in the area, and the United States Tennis Association in order to improve the experiences of my members.
Off campus, I have worked as a tennis coach at Franklin Athletic Club, Knollwood Country Club and Groves High School. As a tennis coach, I lead younger coaches in directing the playing activity of large groups of players. For example, at Franklin Athletic Club’s junior tennis camp I have regularly taught giant groups of overly excited children and been responsible for their wellbeing. As the junior varsity coach at Groves High School in 2015, I single-handedly ran practices and matches for a 20-player team. I often gave this team of high school players motivating speeches before matches as well as delivered a 20-minute speech at the end-of-season banquet.
What is your Dream Career?
Just recently I decided I am going to pursue a career in industrial/organizational psychology. To do this, I plan on beginning my master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology at Wayne State University in 2017. I have chosen this career path because it enables me to satisfy my love for psychology and for mediating conflicts between individuals. It also allows me to utilize experiences/skills I have gained through my coaching days—such as how to be a team player and how to use various forms of feedback effectively.
Apart from my desire to pursue this career, another lifelong goal that I have is to become much more involved in charity work. There are particular causes that are near and dear to my heart, and I feel compelled to give back and to continue to make differences in other peoples' lives. Finally, I do foresee that I will continue my tennis coaching in some small way in the years to come - as it has certainly become one of my biggest passions!
What was your most Defining Moment at UM-Dearborn?
My most defining moment at University of Michigan-Dearborn was when my fellow co-founders and I created the university’s competitive tennis team in 2012. From a personal standpoint, it was the most defining moment because it consequently enabled me to continue my competitive tennis career—something that meant very much to me.
More importantly, however, I hold this moment in the highest regard because we were given the chance to initiate something that is much bigger than us. At a time when University of Michigan-Dearborn is striving to expand its athletics in order to gain even greater respect in this area, the creation of a competitive tennis team has certainly contributed to this goal. So, in this sense, this is my most defining moment because it is the legacy I leave at the university and the greatest way in which I can give back to a place that has been so life-changing and spectacular to me.