MVP: A Memoir

Year two.  To kick off the season of my sophomore year on the CMU Women’s Club Softball team, I was appointed Treasurer.  This meant that in addition to holding positions on the team as pitcher and first baseman, I was given a leadership position on our Executive Board.  This year, my job – in addition to handling the team’s financial information – was to set a standard of hard work and dedication and to set an example of this standard to the rest of the team through my leadership.
mvpMy greatest memory of the year occurred at Northern Illinois University during our last
tournament of the year, where we took third place overall.  We were playing against the University of Missouri, the 8th ranked team in the nation.  They were an offensive powerhouse – to put it into context, we had played them earlier in the tournament, where they finished the game scoring 16 runs on us.  This game, though, would be different.  I was pitching.  Because of poor weather this spring prior to the tournament, it was my first time actually throwing outside since our fall season had ended, and it was now April.  Needless to say, I was slightly nervous as I went through my pre-game warmup routine.  As soon as I heard the umpire yell “Batter up!” however, my nerves calmed and I dialed in.

Long story short, I pitched one of the two best games of my entire life, and held Missouri scoreless through five and a half innings.  As a part of this tournament, after each game both teams would vote for their opponent’s Most Valuable Player, presenting them with a ribbon in front of both of the teams.  Because of my pitching performance, Missouri had voted me MVP of the game.  The feeling that came from this honor was surreal.  It was incredibly rewarding to know that people are able to see how I have progressed as both a player and as a person.  I am so proud of my team, and how far we have come as an organization since my freshman year.  I am blessed to be a part of the CMU Women’s Club Softball team and I look forward to our accomplishments in years to come.

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Moral Problems

Why do we believe what we believe?

I’ll be honest, I don’t always consider this question as much as I would like to. But Philosophy 118L with Gary Fuller never failed to get mind to work.  This class, largely discussion based, was one of the most interesting classes that I have ever taken.  It is relatively safe to say that everyone believes what they believe.  But have we ever intentionally stopped to consider why we believe it?  What factors into our thought processes?  How do we know what is inherently right or inherently wrong?  Are there any moral exceptions to what is typically considered “right”?

These are questions that, to be completely honest, I hadn’t really considered before beginning my journey at CMU.  Coming from a small town, everyone does similar things and shares similar values.  What is “right” has always seemed “right.”  Philosophy challenged that for me.  I found myself regularly analyzing a variety of moral problems – from abortion to capital punishment, torture to terrorism, affirmative action and more.  Some of the conversations that we held in class led me to reconsider my stance on certain issues, while other conversations reinforced my beliefs.  Being challenged in our beliefs, I firmly believe, is one of the best ways to truly discover ourselves.  I think that PHL 118L has encouraged me, in a positive way, to challenge myself and others around me, to encourage contemplation and conversation, and to always remain open to hearing all the sides of a story.

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In the Spotlight

As part of my Leader Advancement Scholarship Protocol, I was given the opportunity to be on a LEAD Team.  There are a number different LEAD Teams that are available to us through the Leadership Institute, and this year, I had the privilege of working with the Spotlight team.  Spotlight was an exciting opportunity because it was a brand new team for the 2015-16 academic year.  Our team consisted of nine members – two sophomores and seven freshmen – headed by my mentor, Connor Ewald.

Connor and meBecause nothing like this team had ever previously existed on campus, we were given the challenge of building up Spotlight from scratch.  At our first few meetings of the year, the group got together and set a list of goals that we wanted to accomplish as a team before the year was over.  Among these goals were to be able to highlight and recognize specific groups and individuals within the Leadership Institute for their work and achievements in a variety of ways.  Each individual Spotlight was posted on the CMU Leadership Institute’s social media pages with the hashtag “Shine Greatness.”

Two notable accomplishments of our Spotlight team included Appreciation Week and the Mentor of the Year Award.  Appreciation Week actually took place over the duration of two weeks, during which time we set aside a specific day for each person within the Leadership Institute who was to be recognized including staff, volunteers, and students.  The Mentor of the Year Award, which I had the privilege of presenting to the winner at the LAS Grad Ball on April 8th, is a new award created by the Spotlight team to recognize one member of the 2016 LAS Cohort for their outstanding influence as a mentor and involvement in the Leadership Institute.  The Spotlight team collectively created a survey to be taken by the 2015 LAS Cohort which consisted of a series of questions asking for each freshman’s opinion about which of the mentors should receive the award and why.  The 2016 Mentor of the Year Award recipient was Carly Dilbert, mentor of both Rachel Kremm and Hayley Dymond.

Spotlight was such a great opportunity for me, and I believed that it helped me to grow as a leader.  From the members of the team itself to the accomplishments we met, I am blessed to have been a part of this LEAD Team.  It was so rewarding to see all of our work begin to fall into place as we began Spotlighting, and it was a great chance to give back by letting others know that they are recognized and appreciated.

#ShineGreatness

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