Aug. 3, 2009
This week's Great Example is women's track and field thrower Kayla Smith. Described by her event coach Keith Baker "as one of the best shot putters in school history," Smith is entering her junior year of competition in 2010. She was redshirted in 2009 to provide the team depth in its quest to challenge for the Big West Conference title
On her way to becoming a double major in sociology and physiology with a minor in education, Smith dedicates her time towards student welfare and well-being.
"Whether it be as a student or as an athlete, Kayla is a progressive leader and always chooses action," Baker said. "Always willing to take the first step herself, she is an avid agent of change and demonstrates truly admirable behavior as a representative for her fellow Gauchos."
As a co-chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, Smith leads the way to strengthen the relationship and involvement between student-athletes and the local community. The three core events SAAB sponsors are Adopt-A-Family, Big West Coin Drive - which saw UCSB athletes raise a grand total of $1,430.87 for the Isla Vista Youth Projects and St. Joseph's Medical Foundation Breast Cancer Research - and a successful partnership with the Athletics Department in the execution of the SB Awards.
Smith is also a member of the Athletics Department's BE Great Committee. In that role she is the voice of Gaucho student-athletes and she uses that voice to maximize leadership ability, strengthen on-campus interaction, and improve general welfare for all Gaucho student-athletes and Athletics' staff.
A member of the on-campus Student Resource Building Governance Board, Smith assists in the budgeting of the largest on-campus building by diplomatically distributing funds to worthy student organizations.
Smith took some time to answer some questions about herself.
1. What is your favorite part about going to UCSB?
I like that I can play a sport and be involved at UCSB and in the community by participating in a variety of clubs and activities. My goal in life is to help as many people as I can and I feel that UCSB is a great place to start!
2. What do you like to do in your free time?
I am trying to take the summer and really enjoy UCSB and the surrounding community so I have been sightseeing like a tourist. I like the outdoors and most sports so kayaking is a always a summertime favorite!
3. Where is your favorite spot on campus and why?
I enjoy running to the beach and taking a "break" on the beach down by Manzanita. The water always looks refreshing and the view is breathtaking...literally!
4. Who is your biggest role model?
My Grandpa. He is the strongest man I know. He loves the Lord with all his heart and always made sure that I do the same. I am eternally thankful for him and the major role that he plays in my life and in my family.
5. What is your favorite IV restaurant?
To be honest I don't eat out much and when I do, it's usually restaurants, not in IV so...Silvergreens?
6. The one thing you could not live without is...
My Gospel Music! From the time I wake up to the time that I go to bed I play music. It keeps me going and is always an inspiration!
7. Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Yep. I eat oatmeal for breakfast with one spoonful of brown sugar.
8. What's your favorite moment as a Gaucho so far?
This past year I threw a personal best in Idaho during our indoor season and I had a stress fracture in my foot. I learned that my circumstances do not have to play a role in my success; I define who I am and am a better person because of it.
9. Is there any motto that you live by?
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." -Eleanor Roosevelt
10. What has been your favorite class at UCSB so far?
Ed 164 I learned so many valuable tips about the "real world" aka post college.
11. What is one thing about you most people don't know?
My mom and I went on the game show Supermarket Sweep when I was younger.
12. In one word how would you describe UCSB track and field?
13. What are your summer plans?
I just finished a class during Summer Session A and am now looking forward to some time off before school starts. I know, pretty boring.
14. I choose UCSB because...
I knew I could make a positive impact on the UCSB campus, in the community, and most importantly on the Track and Field Team.
15. What is the most embarrassing moment in your track and field career?
During warm ups my sophomore year we were competing at USC I threw an overhead throw and fell backwards over the toe board.
16. What are your aspirations after graduation?
I would like to intern with the NCAA Headquarters in Indiana and then go to grad school and eventually earn a PhD in Education. As far as work is goes I would like to work as an administrator in an athletics department.
17. If you could describe your experience at UCSB so far, in one word, it would be...