Jan. 28, 2010
By MOISEKAPENDA BOWER
Rebecca Lin writes off her three-year involvement with the Rice Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as an exercise in personal growth and extracurricular expansion. She has been a stalwart for the Owls' tennis program, a three-time honoree on the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll, and a 2009 ITA Scholar Athlete.
But when Lin first visited Rice from her native San Diego, she made the determination that expanding her horizons would play a significant role in her college experience. So when teammate Dominique Karas (2004-09) recommended SAAC to Lin, she quickly jumped at the opportunity.
"When I came on my recruiting trip what I noticed most was the community here," Lin said. "The environment was so nice. It was so relaxed, and even with tennis and school I always had this idea that I wanted to maintain a balance between tennis and academics. I also wanted to have a life outside of that. (SAAC) was one of the ways that I could do something that wasn't just tennis or academics."
True to her "one of the ways I could do something" word, Lin served as an O-Week advisor prior to her sophomore year and is currently an associate justice at Hanszen. A political science/sports management major and business minor, Lin worked with Under Armor in Baltimore last summer and, despite being somewhat limited in her practice time, returned to Rice and enjoyed one of the best half-seasons of her career.
Lin debunks the "jack of many trades, master of none" idiom. She has managed to remain passionate about tennis and her academic success all the while satisfying her every curiosity. She craves a career in the sports industry, but athletics hasn't been her sole focus while at Rice.
"It's been the best experience I could ever really ask for," Lin said. "I knew when I picked Rice I picked Rice for a reason, and every year I feel like more and more this is the reason why I picked to come here. It's because of the environment, because of the academics, because of the athletics; it's this big combination (of attributes)."
Tennis remains a central part of her Rice existence. Lin posted a 10-4 singles record last fall, the most wins she has had in the fall season since a 9-7 finish as a freshman. She won the Flight Five singles at the Rice Tennis Classic, and advanced to the Alonti Cougar Fall Draw Singles B Flight championship. She teamed with Varsha Shiva-Shankar to win eight of 12 doubles matches, reaching the Midland Invite semifinals.
Over time Lin has discovered her threshold for extracurricular activities, but she continues to test her limits. Her foray into dormitory politics represents a new venture, and she continues to push forward with SAAC, which provides Lin the desired combination of community involvement while facilitating camaraderie between student-athletes. As a second-semester senior Lin doesn't have a heavy class schedule, so her aim is to devote what little free time she has remaining to SAAC.
Having her years at Rice float by didn't appeal to Lin, not one bit.
"Just being a student-athlete here has really helped my development and really prepared me for the numerous things I would hope to do in the future," Lin said. "I'm definitely more well-rounded, and that's the kind of experience that I want. Tennis is important, obviously, and so is academics, but ideally I like to get a little bit of everything."
By testing the limits of her ability to commit to various endeavors, Rebecca Lin is developing into one of Tomorrow's Leaders.