Anderson races to success in the classroom and on the track
When she has run her last 4x100 relay or final 100-meter dash or made her last long jump, Alexandria Anderson from Morgan Park High School in Chicago will have something more meaningful than even the greatest of Women's Track and Field records at The University of Texas.
Alex, as she is better known to her coach and her teammates, will have a degree in corporate communications from UT.
"It helps break away from the stereotype," said the junior who is an NCAA and a Big 12 champion, as well as a three-time All-America and the 2006-07 Texas Women's Track and Field outdoor MVP.
"People think that the only reason you are in school is to play sports and that is not true," Anderson said.
And that resolve is one reason why Anderson was selected as the Female Student-Athlete of the Month for March.
"I got an email from Randa," said Anderson, talking about Dr. Randa Ryan, the senior associate athletics director for student services. "She let me know that Leo (Manzano) and I were named the Student-Athletes of the Month.
"Of course, I was happy and felt honored that I could represent my team. That is something that is always important -- we are students first. This allows others to see that we're not all about sports. We take our education seriously."
Not that anyone would have questioned that with Anderson, who was awarded the 2007 Barbara Jordan Endowed Scholarship. She also is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
"Alex, who is one of the best, smartest and most popular performers, also is a leader of her team," Ryan said. "She is a role model for others. Alex is a bright and dedicated student and athlete. She's energetic and always upbeat and positive. She understands the value of hard, consistent and disciplined work."
Anderson said as much herself when asked about what traits she utilizes on the track, as well as in the classroom.
"If I don't understand something, I ask questions," she said. "That's the only way you learn on the track and in class."
Ryan calls Anderson a wonderful spokesperson for herself, her team, the athletics department and The University.
"We're very proud to call Alex one of our own," Ryan said.