Athletics News
Senior memories 2013

May 9, 2013

Commencement Information

Vanderbilt's Commencement ceremony will take place from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Friday, May 10 on Alumni Lawn. The class of graduating seniors have accomplished a great deal during their time at Vanderbilt and will depart campus with many individual and team accolades. The group has won SEC titles, NCAA Tournament games, a bowl game and earned All-SEC and All-America honors. For all of their accomplishments on the field, what was done in the classroom is even more impressive.

Before the seniors received their diplomas, VUCommodores.com caught up with a number of them to discuss their future plans and reflect on some of their favorite memories.

Alan Ash
Men's Cross Country


Degree: Human and Organizational Development

Plans for next year: Secondary Social Studies Teacher in Alabama with Teach For America

Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Breaking two minutes in the 800m at our home meet

Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Camping out with friends at Percy Priest

Favorite professor and/or class: Religion and Sports

In one word what does it feel like to be graduating: Exciting

Favorite place on campus: Locker room

Favorite place in Nashville: Percy Priest Lake

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Teammates and friends



Paige Cahill
Lacrosse


Degree: Educational Studies, Child Studies

Plans for next year: Masters in Education at Peabody

Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Beating Duke first game of 2012 season

Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Fall break 2012 with Gulf Shores crew

Favorite professor and/or class: Professor Neely and Professor Wadsworth

In one word what does it feel like to be graduating: Surreal

Favorite place on campus: Children's literature section of Peabody library

Favorite place in Nashville Centennial Park

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: All of my friends and teammates.



Kim Carper
Bowling


Degree: Human and Organizational Development

Post-graduation plans: Attend graduate school at Vanderbilt's Peabody College in Leadership and Organizational Performance;. Work as a Management Trainee with Enterprise. Intern with Athlon Sports Publishing.

Favorite memory at Vanderbilt: The comeback our team made throughout the year my sophomore year (2010-2011 season) to rise at nationals and make the finals. Also, the 2012 match against Nebraska on television, and the atmosphere we felt/had afterwards was amazing and I'll never forget the feeling going into the last match where we finished NCAA runner-up.

Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Doing interviews for any of the videos I put together while interning with the athletics communications department and editing them together! I met and got to know a lot of athletes from other sports while making those videos and I had a great time doing it. I had some really interesting and/or hilarious responses to questions I asked in the Trendz series and it was awesome getting to see personalities shine through from the individuals I spoke with.

Favorite professor and/or class: Joseph Murphy, HOD Leadership. Hands down, one of the coolest guys and professors I've ever met.

In one word what does it feel like to be graduating: Serene

Favorite place on campus: My room

Favorite place in Nashville: Centennial Park and Parthenon

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: How tightly knit the athletic community is with each other, and all of the opportunities available through involvement with Vanderbilt.



Tiffany Clarke
Women's Basketball


Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Plans for next year: Professional basketball

Favorite athletic memory from Vanderbilt: Beating Tennessee

Favorite non-athletic memory from Vanderbilt: Meeting lifelong friends

Favorite professor: Professor Pitt

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Surreal

Favorite place on campus: WBB locker room

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The friends I have made

What is your favorite place in Nashville: Demo's Steak and Spaghetti House



Erika Deardorf
Swimming


Degree: Human and Organizational Development; Child Development minor

Plans for next year: I plan on going back to Texas to continue my studies to become a physician's assistant.

Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: The SEC Swimming and Diving Championships every year. It is such a fun and exciting atmosphere to compete in and it is definitely something that I will never forget.

Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: My favorite memories involve the times I have spent with friends outside of swimming. I have met some incredible people from all over the nation, and I realize that I would have never had the opportunity to meet such a great group of diverse people if I had not gone to Vanderbilt.

Favorite professor and/or class: It is so hard to choose one favorite professor. Because my classes were in the Peabody School, the classes were smaller in size and I was able to get to know professors on a more personal level. I want to shout out to Professor Leigh Gilchrist, Hoover-Dempsey, Sandler, Van Schaack, and Kristen Tompkins. I feel blessed with the opportunity to have known and studied under each and every one of them.

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Bittersweet. Although I am ready to move on to the next chapter of my life, I cannot help but feel sad that I am leaving Vanderbilt and Nashville behind. Nashville is a fun, beautiful city and I have met so many wonderful, fascinating people at Vanderbilt who I will truly miss.

Favorite place on campus: One of my favorite places is Grins café. It is one of my favorite spots to sit and study. Nothing beats getting a cookie and a coffee to get me through the long hours of schoolwork.

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The people, of course.

What is your favorite place in Nashville: This is so hard to choose!I just love the city in general - the people, the atmosphere and the scenery.It is a big city with a small-town feel.



Jessica Earnest
Bowling


Degree: Women and Genders Studies

Plans for next year: I am moving to Nashville. I'm not sure what I want to do as far as a career, but I am excited to start the next stage of my life. I'm excited to find out what my other interests are besides bowling, and I hope being able to explore introduces me to my future career.

Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Both times making it to the NCAA Championship finals. The journey with both of those teams was a difficult process, but a rewarding ending. It showed hard work can pay off, and I've applied it to other parts of my life outside of bowling.

Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Experiencing international traveling last summer. Getting to visit Thailand (and winning a gold medal), Paris, and Italy was something few get to experience. To be able to travel the way we did was truly a blessing. It opened my eyes to many possibilities, and it's made me want to continue traveling the world.

Favorite professor and/or class: Professor David Rubin for WGS 150W and WGS 201. He is a huge reason I chose WGS as my major. His classes always improved my writing, and has made me want to continue writing outside of college.

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: No words of happiness can describe the feeling that I have to be done with school.

Favorite place on campus: The new part of Rand Dining. I've spent many late nights there studying this year.

What is your favorite place in Nashville Green Hills Mall. The mall is my happy place I go to relax, and forget about school and bowling.



Jess Eccher
Swimming


Degree: Art History and Corporate Strategy

Post-graduation plans: Marketing

Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt football games

Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Mat Kearney at Rites of Spring

Favorite class and/or professor: Professor Folgarait's "Modern Architecture"

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Denial

Favorite Place on campus: Alumni Lawn

Favorite Place in Nashville: The Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: All the friends I've made along the way.



Betsy Galenti
Swimming


Degree: Medicine, Health and Society

Post-graduation plans: Dental school

Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Training trip in Puerto Rico

Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Spending time with friends

Favorite class: Organic Chemistry ... said no one ever. Medical Ethics

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Grateful

Favorite place on campus: Rand Dining Hall

Favorite place in Nashville: Jamaica Way and Frothy Monkey

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The people. That's why I've decided to stay in Nashville next year.



Olivia Goodman
Lacrosse


Degree: BA in Spanish, Italian & European Studies

Post-graduation plans: Moving to Andalusia, Spain, to teach English as a foreign language

Favorite athletic memory: Running through the sprinklers before practice

Favorite non-athletic memory: Mud-sliding freshman year at the Commons

Favorite professor and/or class: Elsa Filosa, Italian

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Amazing

Favorite place on campus: Buttrick Hall

Favorite place in Nashville: Hillsboro Village

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Friends



Megan Gornet
Women's Tennis


Degree: Molecular and Cellular Biology, Minor in Sociology

Post-graduation plans: Medical School (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine)

Favorite athletic memory from Vanderbilt: Win over UT in Knoxville to go to Sweet 16.

Favorite non-athletic memory from Vanderbilt: Being elected vice president of the honor council.

Favorite professor and/or class: Ronnie Steinberg, Men and Women in American Society

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Weird

Favorite place on campus: The Speyer Family Court at the tennis center

Favorite place in Nashville: The Pharmacy. Best burger in Nashville and I can never get enough of it.

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: I will miss being able to walk into dinner (in the Hendrix Room) and know everyone I see.



Andrew Harris
Baseball


Degree: Interdisciplinary: Communications in marketing

Post-graduation plans: Graduate school at Peabody

Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Storming the field after winning Super Regional at Hawkins Field

Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Lazy days at the pool after summer practice

Favorite professor and/or class: Advanced Marketing - Art Johnsen

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Old

Favorite place on campus: Rand

Favorite place in Nashville: The Gulch

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Leaving behind so many great friends



Carly Linthicum
Lacrosse


Degree: Human and Organizational Development

Post-graduation plans: Human Capital Federal Consulting at Deloitte

Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Beating Duke, 7-5, junior year as our season opener

Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Fall tailgates and football games

Favorite professor and/or class: Professor Gilchrist - Health Services in Diverse Organizations / Laurie Woods - Criminology

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Bittersweet

Favorite place on campus: The Pub

Favorite place in Nashville: Downtown/Broadway

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Strong sense of community on campus and have 30 best friends/teammates surrounding me at all times / Huge support system



Courtney Morgan
Bowling


Degree: Bachelor of Science in Child Studies

Post-graduation plans: Pursuing my masters in education in child studies at Peabody

Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Competing for the national championship, twice.

Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Spending quality time with my friends and teammates.

Favorite professor and/or class: It's so hard to choose professors because I have encountered so many amazing individuals. I think my favorite class has been The Civil Rights Movement Depicted in Children's Literature.

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Accomplished

Favorite place on campus: The Peabody library

Favorite place in Nashville: I love driving around Franklin, and I also really like Hillsboro Village

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The culture of being on a team and the friendships I have made.



Dana Schwartz
Soccer


Degree: Economics

Post-graduation plans: Play soccer overseas

Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Hearing the news that we were going to Brazil.

Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Creating the "This is Vanderbilt Red Rover" video for Amelia Winger-Bearskin's class

Favorite professor: Steve Buckingham

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Weird

Favorite place on campus: The Pub or Hawkins Field

Favorite place in Nashville: Centennial Park

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The tightly-knit athletic community, my friends from all teams and administration and the beauty of the campus



Gabby Smith
Women's Basketball


Degree: Cognitive Studies and Sociology

Post-graduation plans: University of Denver - Sport and Performance Psychology Master's Program

Favorite athletic memory: Playing in the NCAA tournament in my hometown of Cincinnati during my sophomore year

Favorite professor and/or class: Dr. Richard Pitt - SOC 272: Gender Identities, Interactions, and Relationships

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Confusing

Favorite place on campus: Our locker room

Favorite place in Nashville: Demo's Steak and Spaghetti House

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The camaraderie amongst all of the athletes



Will Snipes
Men's golf


Degree: Medicine, Health, & Society

Post-graduation plans: Getting involved in sports business/administration

Favorite athletic memory from Vanderbilt: Experience at Carmel Cup in 2012 & 2013

Favorite non-athletic memory from Vanderbilt: Enjoying the camaraderie of my teammates and hanging out with them

Favorite professor and/or class: Professor: Gary Kimball. Class: Sports Ethics (sad that professor who taught is no longer here)

In on word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Bittersweet

Favorite place on campus: Dudley Field on a Saturday in the fall

Favorite place in Nashville: The Golf Club of Tennessee

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The guys on my team and going to VU sporting events. Anchor Down!



Lauren Stratton
Women's Golf


Degree: Economics

Post-graduation plans: Professional golfer

Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: My sophomore year at regionals we had to play in a team playoff for the last spot to make it to the National Championship. Playing in a team playoff is something that I will never experience again, so I will treasure that moment forever.

Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Having Nerf gun wars during finals as study breaks

Favorite class: Urban Economics

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Humbling

Favorite place on campus: My room

Favorite place in Nashville: Mike's Ice Cream

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Living in the same building as friends, and being able to walk to Vanderbilt sporting events



Johnell Thomas
Football


Degree: Human and Organizational Development

Post-graduation plans: Graduate school at Vanderbilt

Favorite athletic memory from Vanderbilt: Beating long time Vandy rival UT for the first time in my collegiate career on Senior Night in front of my family, friends and an unbelievably supportive fan base. Also, on the same night getting my first and only career interception to help lead the team to victory.

Favorite non-athletic memory from Vanderbilt: My very first day/summer on campus and in class realizing that I beat the odds and would have the opportunity of a lifetime to make something of myself. Realizing that the next 4-5 years would begin to shape the rest of my life.

Favorite professor: Laurie Woods

In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Bittersweet

Favorite place on campus: Dudley Field

Favorite place in Nashville: Crosspoint Church

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The experience of being a student athlete and the opportunity to play the game I love on the field with my brothers.



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