Honors Athletes- It is Possible

By Katelynn Malecha

In collaboration with Laura Cattrysse, Elizabeth Guss, Rachael Igo, and Trisha Walker

Honors athletes take being a college student to the next level by valuing time management. Honors alumnus Jake Ball balanced being both an athlete and an honors student by making both aspects a priority in his life. He comments, “If you enjoy doing something, it won’t be hard work. Being an athlete was an awesome experience and not hard to balance with schoolwork because it was enjoyable.” To remain organized, sophomore Taylor Glover keeps an updated whiteboard and planner to keep on track. Athletes also see their sports as a good asset to their studies.

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Jake Ball ’14 Cross Country and Track, Biochemistry and Human Biology

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Taylor Glover ’17 Track, Nursing

Junior Jessica Herion comments that sports are a “good outlet when I’m stressed about my classes.” Self-motivation amounts to successful honors students proudly representing Maverick pride through athletics and academics.

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Jessica Herion ’16 Handball, Marketing

The primary reason a vast majority of honors athletes joined the program is because of their academic drive. Freshman William Peters joined the program to challenge himself like many other students claiming “anything less is unacceptable.”

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William Peters ’18 Football, Biochemistry

Others are attracted to the competencies which can be personalized to fit the interests of individual students. Each student makes the experience his/her own. Senior volleyball player Haley Doran especially values the leadership competency. She says “leadership is important for volleyball, preparing for a future career, and life in general.”

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Haley Doran ’15 Volleyball, Communication Disorders and Spanish

The competencies prepare students in various ways such as learning a foreign language or developing public speaking skills. Honors alumna Emma Grumke benefited greatly from the public speaking opportunities she experienced through developing her research competency. Her skills excelled while presenting her research at the Minnesota Collegiate Honors Symposium and interviewing for jobs.

With the intensity of sports and academics, alumna Grumke reflects upon the Honors Program as positive and helpful. If she could re-live her undergraduate experience, she would do it again the same way.

“The balance that I found between being an athlete and a member of the Honors Program allowed me to have the college experience that I had always wanted to have. Both programs allowed me to be a member of a team, athletically and academically, and gave me the chance to be a member of two amazing campus communities. I wouldn’t have gotten the full college experience I was looking for, without the opportunity to be on both of these teams!”

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Emma Grumke ’12 Soccer, Accounting

Not only do the competencies consist of a large chunk of the program, but so do the mentors, students and directors. First-year student Kellie Wong comments, “I really like all the people I have met in the honors program. Everyone is so friendly and you can ask anyone for help. It is a good feeling knowing I can always count on people in the honors program, especially Dr. Corley and Ginny Walters.”

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Kellie Wong ’18 Track, Biochemistry

Sophomore volleyball player Sydney Geisness loves the inviting community the Honors Program creates and the sincerity with which Dr. Corley asks her about her coursework or just her day in general. The small class sizes offered through the Honors Program are more one-on-one and they make it easier to talk and make friends. “When I was applying to colleges, I knew that I wanted to go to a school that would push me academically,” Geisness explained. “The Honors Program offers me that opportunity.”

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Sydney Geisness ’17 Volleyball, Accounting

The Honors Program is proud to have athletes as part of its community. Their academic drive and determination are exactly what makes them honorary. Receiving strong compliments from current and previous student athletes guarantees that the Program gives its students great satisfaction through unique opportunities.