- Campus Life
By all accounts, AIC junior Lauren Silva is the kind of student and athlete who makes work look easy for professors and coaches.
She's determined. She's strong. She's smart. She's kind. And above all, she's proven to rise above obstacles, doing her best no matter what might block her path.
For Lauren, who is 20 and from New City, New York, being a team player and a hard worker just come naturally.
"I love being involved with things," she said. "There is so much to learn about student activities and athletics just by being involved on campus."
Her athletic passion of late is field hockey, a game she zeroed in on during middle school, after playing soccer for a period of time.
"I love field hockey," said Lauren, who is a marketing major.
"It's played similarly to soccer, but the rules are different. It's very popular for women in the United States, but more of a men's sport in Europe," she said.
Lauren is number 23, a left back defense whose last year has been marked by injury, including broken teeth, and some lost time because of it.
Coach Julie Zoolkoski said Lauren is a "solid player" who is much admired and well liked by her teammates.
"She brings hard work and intensity every day. This year, she's playing a new position and has adapted very well," Zoolkoski said.
Lauren is an asset at a time when AIC is growing and strengthening its field hockey team. Zoolkoski said the team is poised to end the season with a bang, and to have a powerful team in 2010.
"We have a lot of talent and the future is bright," she said. "We will graduate just one player next year, and we will have a strong group of seniors."
One of those seniors will be Lauren, who agreed that things are looking up for field hockey.
Field hockey isn't the only thing that keeps Lauren busy.
She is a member of the NCAA Student Athlete Advisory Committee, which takes her to thrice-yearly meetings in places as far flung as Denver, Colorado, Washington D.C., and Atlanta, Georgia. She also serves on that board's legislative committee, working on legislation centering on issues such as mandating all coaches to have and know how to use defibrillators, or portable electronic devices that diagnose potentially threatening cardiac incidents. Another issue she is working on will force a 'dead period' for college athletes from December 20-26 of each academic year.
Lauren is also a representative on Student Government at AIC, a position that keeps her in touch with events and issues on campus.
Marketing Professor Clayton Hillyer called Lauren "a real gamer who likes to compete."
"She's bright, willing to go beyond what's expected, and loves animals. She wouldn't mind being a professional animal trainer," Hillyer said. "She's also willing to try different things, and has persevered despite incurring facial injuries."
Her field hockey teammates say she's the kind of a player who inspires others to work harder, and who has a knack for lightening up the atmosphere with a good joke.
"She's very outgoing and very easy to talk to," said Kat Heterbring, a junior co-captain of the team. She puts 100 percent into everything she does. She does whatever she can to correct her mistakes. And she's a clown on the team - she's always making us laugh," Kat said.
Co-captain Jaimie Plamondon agreed.
"Lauren is one of the hardest-working girls on the team. She's also one of the funniest people I know. She has great enthusiasm at all times," Jaimie said.
Lauren plans to combine her marketing major with athletics, working after graduation and then earning a master's degree, possibly here at AIC.
"I love AIC," she said. "Initially, I was concerned that a small school would take away from my college experience, but it's been great. That's what I like about it in the end. I can get involved in so many things."