Do you have a nickname? Lilly is actually a nickname. My real name is IrmaYanet, which is my two grandmothers’ names (Irma and Janet) put together. When I was younger, I wrote “Lilly” on my homework papers and it just stuck.

Share a little-known fact about yourself. Although I’ve been a runner for 10 years, my first sport was football. I played in the 7th grade with my twin brother. Even though I was on the C team and we had a solid losing record, I am still proud to say I did it.

What was your crowning achievement at SU? It would have to be qualifying for nationals in cross country. I told Coach Francie Larrieu Smith about my goal for my final season and we worked hard every day for it. I couldn’t have done it without her encouragement or my teammates’ support, on both the women’s and men’s side. 

What were the factors that led you to apply to Southwestern? The academic caliber and the small faculty to student ratio, not to mention having a five-time Olympian as a coach.

What made you choose Southwestern? Lando, my twin brother, and I visited on the way to our state cross country meet and we had a wonderful experience with the people in the Office of Admission. We immediately fell in love with the people and the scenery.

Has your reason for coming here been “confirmed” in the past four years? Yes. The breadth of knowledge, experience and relationships I have attained here at Southwestern is paramount to who I am today. And I am quite proud of who I have become.

What will you miss most about your time at SU? I’ll miss the people here the most, hands down. The support system found here is unparalleled. Everyone genuinely cares about your success, not solely in academics, but holistically.

What non-academic thing did you learn as an SU student? Time-management and balance. As a full-time student, year-round athlete, and worker of multiple jobs, I had my share of long and exhausting days. But I learned that it’s all about how efficient you are with your time, whether it’s studying on the way to a game or giving yourself some down time in order to be focused and productive later. You will find what works for you in order to excel in the maximal capacity of each area important to you.

What words come to mind when you think about Southwestern? ARGGH!!