Do you have a nickname? The men’s soccer coach, Don “Gregs” Gregory, gave me the nickname “Pagina” (“page” in Spanish; pronounced “pah-hee-nah”) my very first week at SU. Gregs only gives “special” people nicknames, so I was so proud to get one.

Do you have a secret talent? I am very, very good at skee ball. I was a state champion hurdler in middle school.

What extracurriculars were you involved in? In addition to women’s varsity soccer, I was involved with The Megaphone, on the Diversity Enrichment Committee and Student Foundation, and volunteered with Best Buddies and Battleground Texas.

What was your crowning achievement at Southwestern? Hearing someone in a University Council meeting cite a Megaphone article I had written.

What made you choose Southwestern? When I arrived on campus, everyone was smiling and held doors open for me wherever I went. That left a huge impression. It just felt like home the first time I was on campus, and now it always will be!

What’s one suggestion you have for new students? Go to the Office of Career Services. Seriously, it will change your life. The earlier you build a relationship with the wonderful people in that office, the better your overall Southwestern Experience and post-graduate career will be.

What would you say if you were talking to a friend about the SU culture or your fellow students? Prepare to be challenged intellectually and culturally. Many of my peers are self-motivated and socially conscious like me, so there is a strong ethic of desiring to make a difference and contribute to the community.

What’s one non-academic thing you learned as an SU student? That if you want something done, do it! Sometimes it just takes one person’s energy and commitment to a cause or an idea to create great things!

How did SU help you grow as a leader or foster your leadership abilities? My resume is full of examples of this. I began SU as a writer for The Megaphone, and in two years I had moved to being the Editor in Chief. Additionally, the opportunity to serve on the Diversity Enrichment Committee provided amazing opportunities to develop leadership opportunities by providing me a venue to advocate for issues important to me and my community to the University.

How have your future plans changed over the past four years? Well I came to SU with the intention of becoming a high school English teacher and soccer coach. However, after all of my experiences, I decided to go to law school to study public interest law and educational policy so that I can impact the field of education on a much greater scale. SU helped me understand and realize my potential and the faculty and staff have played an integral role in my professional and personal development.

Do you have a favorite SU faculty or staff member? I have so many, it’d be hard to choose! I am definitely appreciative of Jim Kilfoyle, associate professor of English, who connected me to an opportunity to work at the Texas Capitol. Assistant Professor of Philosophy Omar Rivera challenged me intellectually, professionally and personally throughout my time at SU. Associate Professors of Education Alicia Moore and Sherry Adrian have been so supportive and allowed me to do innovative things with my education degree. And, my adviser Professor of English Eileen Cleere, who helped me avert crises and feel confident in myself and my abilities.   

What connections do you have with your fellow Senior Stories nominees? Nathan Tuttle and I interacted frequently because of my role as Editor of the paper and his role as Student Body President. We also worked together on the Diversity Enrichment Committee. Lilly Duarte and I interacted frequently because we were both student athletes—we both played sports that had early morning practice we often stumbled to the Robertson Center together at 6 a.m. or earlier. Joey Kyle was in my fantastic Paideia cohort, called “Curiousity.” I learned so much about the environment and sustainability because of him! Anne Bannister did a lovely art exhibit on her time in Thailand that I enjoyed viewing and learning about. She also contributed photography to The Megaphone. DJ Ayala and I interacted tangentially when I was a student athletic trainer my freshman and sophomore years.