Four hours of classes, research in the lab, three hours of practice and making time for assignments and sleep. Many of the student-athletes on campus spend their days in a similar way.
One of these athletes has stood out from the rest in her accomplishments this year. Jasmine Childress – a four-year member of the Moccasin’s volleyball team – received the 2014-2015 Honor Walk Student at Founder’s Day Convocation.
Honor Walk Student is the most prestigious student honor awarded at Florida Southern. The award is presented to a graduating senior each year who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement, leadership and character.
Childress remembers hearing about the award for the first time at Founder’s Day Convocation her freshman year. The girl who received the honor that year was also from the biology department.
“I thought it was really cool that the biology department was recognized for their talent and intelligence. I never thought it would be me,” Childress said.
Coming to Florida Southern as a freshman, Childress was looking not only to continue her volleyball career, but also to pursue her passion for science.
Always striving to learn more, Childress states one of the key factors in choosing a school in Florida was the opportunity to have a closer study of marine biology.
“My mom is a biologist, so growing up I was exposed to many biologies, but we were land-locked in Indiana, so I wanted to explore something new to me,” Childress said.
The now senior is a Biology major with a minor in Chemistry. Along with being on the volleyball team, she is also the president and founder of the Nature Enthusiasts Club and holds leadership positions in Gamma Sigma Epsilon National Chemistry Honor Society and Tri-Beta National Biology Honor Society.
Childress admits that it is not easy to be involved in so much, but it is normal for her. Growing up, she was always a three-sport athlete, spreading her time out between a school day involved with rigorous classes, volleyball, basketball and track.
Her love of science is also not new.
“My favorite subjects were always math and science and recess,” Childress said.
She shared that these subjects have always come easy for her, her success attributed to having an analytical mind and relying on rational rather than emotion. This trait, she says, causes her to never get bored with science.
“I’m always learning something new, something cool. There are endless amounts of studying and experiments,” Childress said.
Childress says that she has definitely benefited from being a student-athlete. It has taught her multiple skills to both help her as a student, and as a person.
“The biggest benefit of the [student athlete] experience is time management skills. It is not easy, but it is possible,” Childress said.
Another benefit Childress mentioned is how she could relate the process of applying to graduate school with her experiences with recruiting in volleyball.
Much of her confidence in her ability to select the right program Childress attributes to lessons learned while going through a similar process in her sports career.
She explains volleyball has taught her more than simply how to work as a team and compete.
“I feel [being a student athlete] taught me about myself and how I want to be regarded as a person,” Childress said.
Helpful tips she has for other students is to prioritize, even if that means forgoing a night out with friends, and to get enough sleep so that the body can function properly.
After graduating this semester, Childress will continue her doing what she loves while attending graduate school at the University of California-Santa Barbara in order to earn her Ph.D in parasitology.
Photo by fscmocs.com