Moriarty balances academic and athletic schedule
When junior volleyball star Michelle Moriarty learned that she had been chosen the Female Student-Athlete of the Month for October, her response was concise:
That’s the word teammates, coaches, teachers and student services staff at The University of Texas all use when talking about Moriarty, the Houston native who shows each day that athletics and academics can make a perfect marriage.
“She is an All-America on the court and a genuine scholar in the classroom,” said Dr. Randa Ryan, senior associate athletics director for student services.
“It has been a pleasure to see a truly gifted young person like Michelle grow as a student and as an athlete, playing her sport at the highest level,” Ryan said.
Moriarty, who was an honorable mention All-America in 2005, as well as first team All Big 12, is a kinesiology major who owns a 3.7 grade point average.
Thus, her status as first-team Academic All-Big 12 comes as no surprise.
Moriarty also was the recipient of the Darrell K Royal Endowed Centennial Presidential Scholarship in 2005-06.
“I came to Texas because it is a great academic school,” she said. “When I came in as a freshman, I was going to make sure I got off to a good start academically, as well as in volleyball.
“And we are all so lucky at Texas because they have so many great academic people who are here to help us. They talk to you about time management and study habits. They help you help yourself.”
It also helps when a student-athlete has the attitude and drive that Moriarity has.
“My first semester freshman year, I took 16 hours,” she said with a hint of a laugh, given that she also was beginning her collegiate volleyball career in that same first semester.
“Yes, 16 hours was a lot,” Moriarity admitted in retrospect. “But that’s where the counselors, the academic team we have made a difference. They made sure I used my study hall time.”
Moriarity succeeds because academics always have been a priority to her.
“I love volleyball, but no matter how well I play, volleyball is not going to last forever,” she said. “But you always have your education. That does last forever.”
Ryan sees Moriarty making an impact long after her UT life ends.
“In the years to come,” Ryan began. “Michelle will take her academic abilities and leadership skills she has honed on the court and in the classroom and combine them to create a place in the world for herself that will have significant impact.
“It will be fun to watch.”