Athletics News
Senior memories 2012

May 11, 2012

Graduation Interviews | Watch Commencement

Another class of seniors will walk across the stage on Alumni Lawn and receive their diplomas during Vanderbilt's Commencement ceremony on Friday. Vanderbilt has had a plethora of talented senior classes, and the Class of 2012 is no exception.

Athletically, the class will go down as one of the most accomplished in school history. Since stepping foot on campus in the fall of 2008, the graduating class has claimed a total of five team and individual SEC titles. Academically, the list of accomplishments is even more impressive.

The Commencement ceremony gets underway at 9 a.m. CT on Friday and can be viewed online, by clicking here.

But before the seniors could depart campus, VUCommodores.com caught up with a number of them to discuss their future plans and reflect on some of their favorite memories.

Marina Alex
Women's Golf


Degree: Managerial Communications

Plans for next year: LPGA Tour

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: After the 2010 SEC Championship, when we came really close to winning it as a team and I won the individual championship.

Favorite professor: Cherrie Clark - Marketing and Investment Analysis

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

Favorite place on campus: Right next to Calhoun Hall - garden next to it that's really pretty

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: My team

What does it feel like to be graduating: A little weird - I've been in school my entire life, so not having to go to school anymore is going to be different.



Ally Carey
Lacrosse


Degree: Human and Organizational Development

Plans for next year: Hopefully be involved at Under Armour in Baltimore, but no job offer yet.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Rites of Spring weekend my freshman year.

Favorite class: Criminology with Professor Woods

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

Favorite place on campus: SAE house

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The friends I made here and all being in the same place.

What does it feel like to be graduating: I don't feel old enough to be graduating from college. Its a little scary to go into the real world and create new routines and make new friends. I'm excited to get started on a new chapter in my life though.



Catherine Carr
Lacrosse


Degree: MHS (Medicine, Health and Society)

Plans for next year: Consulting for Deloitte in DC.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: All my best friends on the team.

Favorite place on campus: Grins

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: My team

What does it feel like to be graduating: I am very sad to leave all my best friends, but I am excited for new adventures.



Jordan Coleman
Women's Basketball


Degree: Communication Studies with minor in Corporate Strategy

Plans for next year: Grad school at Belmont

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Beating Tennessee (twice)

Favorite professor: Professor Kovalcheck

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Excited, but also nervous

Favorite place on campus: WBB locker room

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: My teammates

What does it feel like to be graduating: Feels like I'm closing a chapter of my life and beginning another.



Zoe Cooper-Surma
Swimming


Degree: Human and Organizational Development

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Rites of Spring

Favorite class: HOD internship classes with Professor McGuire

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Surreal

Favorite place on campus: My corner dorm room freshman year in Stambaugh

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: My teammates

What does it feel like to be graduating: It hasn't hit me yet, but I am excited to see what my future holds.



Trey DelGreco
Men's Golf


Degree: Psychology

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: My freshman year, the whole move-in weekend where they help you move in everything for you. It's where I met everyone.

Favorite class: Joan Forry, philosophy professor - Ethics in College Sports

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Bittersweet

Favorite place on campus: McGugin Center, because I spent so much time there.

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: I will miss college golf the most - being around the guys, competing, and playing in awesome places like Pebble Beach.

What does it feel like to be graduating: It's a big accomplishment, definitely feel some pride. It was a big challenge and I got through it. It's a little scary, because I don't know what's next, and a relief - that piece of paper is going to do some good things for me.



Alex DiValerio
Men's Tennis


Degree: Research Psychology

Plans for next year: Graduate school at Villanova University for human resource development

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: This year watching AJ Austin secure a spot for us in the NCAA Tournament by winning a marathon match against LSU at the SEC Tournament.

Favorite professor: There are lots of great psychology professors but my two favorites are Randolph Blake who taught perception and David Zald who taught personality. It's always easy to stay engaged and have fun when the professor is really passionate about their material. Although, it doesn't hurt to have an interesting class topic.

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Bittersweet

Favorite Place on campus: I actually have a few. I love the Biomedical Library, lots of natural light, great for study. Buttrick Hall is my favorite building, I would have all my classes there if I had the choice, and the tennis locker room. It was a safe haven for me my entire time at Vanderbilt.

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Friends and teammates more than anything. I got to see them everyday, but with moving back in the home direction, it will have to be planned out and coordinated to see them.

What does it feel like to be graduating: It feels like it's time to move to the next stage of life. I will definitely miss all the people and experiences Vanderbilt had to offer. I feel very fortunate and I'm grateful for my time at Vanderbilt.



Stephanie Falcone
Swimming


Degree: Studio Art major, Managerial Studies minor

Plans for next year: Stay in Nashville and pursue career as singer/songwriter.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: When our team traveled to a swim meet at Arkansas on the sleeper buses.

Favorite class: Any of the three Art History classes I took with Professor Shaneyfelt

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Bittersweet

Favorite place on campus: Studio Art Center

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Not having a Vandy card.

What does it feel like to be graduating: Exciting but scary at the same time.



Emily Grant
Soccer


Degree: Classical Civilizations

Plans for next year: Professional soccer for the Philadelphia Fever

Favorite class: Women and Humor in the Age of Television

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Bittersweet

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The fact that all of my friends were in one place. There will never be another time that all of my friends are a 15-minute walk away and I will miss that.

What does it feel like to be graduating: It feels surreal. I swear I was just a freshman yesterday.



Brittni Hamilton
Bowling


Degree: Human and Organizational Development

Plans for next year: I plan to take a year off of school to pursue my bowling career. I plan to go back to graduate school in the fall of 2013 for a masters in sports administration.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: I have sooo many good memories from Vanderbilt that it is hard to choose just one. Being a part of the 2011 runner-up team and bowling with my teammates on ESPN was an amazing experience that I won't ever forget. Also being on a team that bowled a baker 300 game in 2011 was incredible.

Favorite professor: My favorite professor at Vanderbilt was definitely Professor Tobey, who works in the HOD department. She was amazing and I have a really good relationship with her.

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Bittersweet

Favorite place on campus: Peabody campus, everything about it

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: I am going to miss all of my teammates. We have become a family and leaving all of them is going to be really hard.

What does it feel like to be graduating: It feels amazing to be graduating. I am excited to get onto the next part of my life and see where it leads me. However, I am going to really miss Vanderbilt and everything about the school, the bowling, and the city of Nashville.



Louise Hannallah
Women's Cross Country/Track


Degree: Psychology with a concentration in research and cognition

Plans for next year: I will be working at Uniformed Services University Health Science (USUHS) / National Institute of Health (NIH) as a research assistant in an eating disorders laboratory.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Hugging my cross country teammates on the finish line after hearing that we won the Southeastern Conference title (fall, 2011).

Favorite class: My freshman writing seminar, surprisingly, was my favorite class: America in the 1960s.

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Closure (that offers new beginnings)

Favorite place on campus: Brueggers

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: My coaches, my team, my friends, walking through campus in the mornings, running in Centennial/Percy Warner Park, eating at Divinity Café, going to football games, feeling like an accomplished student, locker room dance parties, and (of course) the city of Nashville.

What does it feel like to be graduating: Bittersweet is the word that most people (myself included) associate with graduating. I feel content and refreshed to create a hard-earned, successful future ahead of me. As both an athlete and a student, I could not have asked for a better, more rewarding experience at Vanderbilt. I feel as if Vanderbilt's community has prepared me for the future challenges life has in store. Overall, I can only describe my emotions as a blend of happy, sad, excited, and scared but most importantly, optimistic and ready.



Samantha Hesley
Bowling


Degree: Economics and History

Plans for next year: Law school at Michigan State University

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Being a part of the bowling team

Favorite class: Global Interpretation of Christian Scriptures with Daniel Patte

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Finally!

Favorite place on campus: Benson Hall

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Everything

What does it feel like to be graduating: It feels like I am ending one adventure and starting a new adventure all in the same weekend.



Casey Howards
Men's Cross Country/Track


Degree: Human and Organizational Development and Pre-Med

Plans for next year: Working at Epic Healthcare Systems in Madison, Wisc.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: The team pre-season camps in Natchez Trace State Park

Favorite class: HOD 1700: Systematic Inquiry with Professor Van Schaack

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Bittersweet

Favorite place on campus: Wyatt Lawn (especially in the fall and spring)

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Friends and teammates

What does it feel like to be graduating: It's very exciting to be graduating and starting a new job, but it also sad because I will be leaving the friends I have made over the four years. I had a great experience here at Vanderbilt and will definitely miss it.



Taylor Lange
Lacrosse


Degree: Human and Organizational Development

Plans for next year: Going to Miami, Fla., for advertising school at Miami Advertising School.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Being lucky enough to spend four AMAZING years with my lax teammates and coaches.

Favorite class: Advertising with Dr. Bob!

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Bittersweet

Favorite place on campus: I love the WHOLE campus! So pretty.

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: My team ... they are my best friends.

What does it feel like to be graduating: It does not feel real. I am in complete denial.



Bridget Lohmuller
Soccer


Degree: Special Education with a minor in Cognitive Studies

Plans for next year: Graduate school at Northwestern University for speech and language pathology

Favorite professor: Andrea Capizzi in Classroom Management

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Ecstatic

Favorite place on campus: Iris Cafe. Yum!

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: My team

What does it feel like to be graduating: It's a little sad to be leaving Nashville, but I am overwhelmed with excitement to be moving to Chicago and starting a new journey.



Chris Marve
Football


Degree: Human and Organizational Development, and Sociology

Plans for next year: Teach For America in the Nashville area.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Beating Auburn in 2008.

Favorite professor: Dr. Laurie Woods

Favorite place on campus: THE Frat House

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The diversity of people from all over the world.

What does it feel like to be graduating: It feels amazing to have graduated from a top-tier institution. I was completely motivated and endorsed by my parents in every step I took. I am honored and eternally grateful to call them my family.



Erin McManus
Women's Cross Country/Track


Degree: Bachelor's in Computer Science and Math, Master's in Computer Science

Plans for next year: Work at Real-Time Innovations in Sunnyvale, Calif., as a Software Engineer

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: The first dinner at Cafe Coco with the rest of the seniors on the cross country team at the beginning of our freshman year.

Favorite class and/or professor: My favorite class was Introduction to Computer Animation and my favorite professor was Professor Aniruddha Gokhale

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Anticipation

Favorite place on campus: Alumni Lawn

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The opportunities, with regards to both learning and to social activities/experiences.

What does it feel like to be graduating: It's both scary and exciting at the same time. I can't wait to start my life out in California, but it's very sad to be leaving my friends and my home for the past four years. Vanderbilt has prepared me so well to make it on my own after graduation, I just wish I didn't have to leave so much of what I love behind in Nashville!



Kyle Rewick
Men's Cross Country/Track


Degree: Electrical Engineering

Plans for next year: Working for Chevron as a process automation engineer in Houston, Texas.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: All the memories shared with my awesome friends.

Favorite class: Data Structures (Computer Science 201) with Dr. Roth

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Emotional

Favorite place on campus: Featheringill Hall

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The close friendships.

What does it feel like to be graduating: It is scary and sad to be leaving such great friends, but I am excited to start a new chapter of my life.



Alexa Rogers
Women's Cross Country/Track


Degree: Human and Organizational Development

Plans for next year: Waiting to hear back from a children's hospital and Xcel Energy back in Denver for a human resources position.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Cafe Coco night with my seven best friends.

Favorite class and/or professor: Favorite class = Small Group Behavior. Favorite professor = Professor Trank

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Exciting

Favorite place on campus: Commons

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The seven seniors from the team.

What does it feel like to be graduating: Awesome - Vanderbilt gave me so much to enter this world with, it will be sad, but I am looking forward to a new beginning.



Jordan Smart
Men's Basketball


Degree: Arts and science degree in English (literary studies) and minor in American Politics

Plans for next year: Attending law school

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Winning the SEC Championship in New Orleans as a senior.

Favorite class: History of Country Music with Peter Cooper

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Excitement

Favorite place on campus: Memorial Gym

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The basketball family.

What does it feel like to be graduating: I'm going to miss Vandy, but will always remember the memories.



Larry Smith
Football


Degree: Human and Organizational Development

Plans for next year: Hopefully playing professional football in either the NFL or CFL.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Winning the Music City Bowl in my first collegiate start.

Favorite class: English 102W with Professor Hearn

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Bittersweet

Favorite place on campus: Mrs. Elizabeth's (Wright) Office

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The meal plans

What does it feel like to be graduating: It's just a blessing to be graduating from such a prestigious university.



Steve Tchiengang
Men's Basketball


Degree: Economics with a minor in French

Plans for next year: Playing professional basketball

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Winning the SEC Championship

Favorite class: Sports Economics with Professor Vrooman

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Rewarding

Favorite place on campus: Memorial Gym late at night.

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Friends I made over the years and teammates.

What does it feel like to be graduating: Indescribable, given the stress, hard work and challenge encountered along the way to this moment.



Candace West
Soccer


Degree: Human and Organizational Development

Plans for next year: Vanderbilt Nursing School

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Passing my fitness test freshman year. Almost died. Thank you Emily Grant for yelling obscenities at me to get me through.

Favorite professor: Dr. Peggy (German)

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Ready

Favorite place on campus: My room

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Soccer

What does it feel like to be graduating: Starting a new chapter of my life.



Jordan White
Women's Cross Country/Track


Degree: Medicine, Health and Society (major) and Corporate Strategy (minor)

Plans for next year: To complete my master's degree in Medicine, Health and Society through the MA (4+1) Program, while completing my last seasons of cross country and track and field eligibility.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Being a part of the 2011 SEC cross country championship team

Favorite class and/or professor: Medical Ethics (class) and Cherrie Clark (teacher)

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Bittersweet

Favorite place on campus: The high top tables in the Buttrick Hall atrium

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Being able to see my best friends whenever I want.

What does it feel like to be graduating: Surreal. I can't believe four years has passed this quickly. I am sad that it is over, but I have many great memories to look back on and an exciting future to look forward to.



Natalie Wills
Lacrosse


Degree: Human and Organizational Development with minor in Educational Studies

Plans for next year: Coaching women's lacrosse at the collegiate level.

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Beating Duke my senior year on opening day, 7-5.

Favorite professor: Professor Andy Van Schaack

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Proud

Favorite place on campus: Game field

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Wearing the black and gold.



Jackie Wu
Women's Tennis


Degree: Psychology, with pre-med requirements on the side

Plans for next year: Play professionally

Favorite memory from Vanderbilt: Paint war on Highland Quad lawn as part of a friend's bachelorette party, and beating UT in Knoxville, 4-3, to advance to the Sweet 16 in NCAAs.

Favorite class and/or professor: History of Rock for class and Howard Sandler for professor.

One word to describe your feelings about graduation: Nostalgic

Favorite place on campus: Stevenson roof at night

What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The people I got to see around every day.

What does it feel like to be graduating: Intimidating; I'm not sure I'm ready for the real world, but my career at Vanderbilt has taught me to adapt quickly to the circumstances and roll with the punches. Leaving this campus' nest will just be another challenge I am ready to accept.


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