The A team: Jenny Andrew
Every week TexasSports.com highlights a UT senior student-athlete who earned Academic All-Big 12 honors in 2005-06.
For senior volleyball student-athlete Jenny Andrew, Austin is where it's at.
Deep in the heart of Texas, she is a member of the eighth-ranked Texas Volleyball team and is majoring in sport management at a university that recently boasts nearly unparalleled successes in collegiate athletics. Like so many Longhorns, she has fallen in love with The University and the city it inhabits.
"I think I am known on the team for finding the most random places to eat in Austin," the Kingwood, Texas native admitted. "I just love the city, and I will find any and every little hole-in-the-wall place to eat and then tell the team about it the next day."
Eastside Café, Hoover's Cooking and VIVO Cocina Mexicana are three of her favorites (and all close to campus on nearby Manor Road), but as of late, a downtown sushi bar is where she goes most frequently.
"Right now our team is on the biggest sushi kick of our lives," Andrew said of her and her team's dining habits. "We all really like Kenichi, and I can go there three or four times a week."
Aside from the eateries, she enjoys the renowned live music scene and plethora of outdoor activities Austin offers. But balanced with the fun and games of sport and city, Andrew takes her academic responsibilities seriously. She was a 2005 Academic All-Big 12 Second Team selection and has twice-received the prestigious Carolyn Frost Keenan Endowed Presidential Scholarship for Women's Athletics. Additionally, she has been a volleyball representative on the UT Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Her favorite class at Texas has been KIN 352K: Sport Law, which was also taught by her favorite professor, Dr. Maureen P. Fitzgerald, senior lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. This sport management class was one of the most difficult classes of Andrew's undergraduate tenure, but worth the long hours spent studying.
"I just have so much respect for Dr. Fitzgerald and how she teaches the class," Andrew acknowledged.
Dr. Fitzgerald is not the only woman in Bellmont Hall to have an impact on Andrew. For a woman who wants to work in sports, many female administrators and personnel within UT Athletics have touched Andrew's life.
"There are so many incredible women who have set such great examples for us," Andrew said. "Two that come to mind are (Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student Services) Dr. Randa Ryan and (Women's Athletics Director, Senior Woman Administrator and Director of Men's/Women's Athletics External Services) Chris Plonsky, both of whom are, hands-down, two of the best people to ever do their jobs."
In addition, Assistant Coach Tonya Johnson has been a constant support for Andrew both in and away from the game.
"She sets an example for us everyday," Andrew explained. "(Coach Johnson) has always been so easy to talk to and really accessible to all of us on and off the court."
With inspiring women like these, Andrew, as an upperclassman and one of the few seniors, tries to be a similar role model to the younger girls on her squad.
"I am always trying to help them out. We try to assist them with the transition to life as a student-athlete at Texas and keep them involved with all the things we are doing, even if it's something simple like going grocery shopping together," Andrew said.
With her senior season coming to a close, Andrew finds it hard to believe that her playing days at Texas will soon be only a thing of the past, but she looks forward to the many exciting possibilities in her future, including playing volleyball in Europe, beginning her career or going to graduate school.
Off the court, Andrew hopes to either begin work in operations or event planning in sports or pursue a master's degree in sport management, ideally on the Forty Acres.
"I just don't see myself moving away," she admitted.
And with all of Austin's perks, and quirks, who would blame her?