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Lennie Waite

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Sept. 27, 2007

Growing up, Lennie Waite was always on the go--living with her parents in Scotland, Switzerland, and Singapore, before finally landing in Austin.

"When I was young my parents and I were constantly moving around the world because of my dad's job." Waite says. But that didn't seem to matter much to Lennie who was always on the go herself. "I've always liked being busy. And regardless of where I was living, school and sports were constant in my life. If I wasn't doing homework, I was probably playing soccer or running." says Waite. Lennie attributes much of her hard work ethic and discipline to her parents. She explains, "My dad has shown me what hard work can do. He devoted himself to his job and that brought him a lot of success."

It was easy to predict that wherever Lennie went to college, she would still be on the go, and working hard. Fortunately for Rice, Lennie's sister Katie [Waite] was already enrolled here and running on the cross-country and track teams. So with Katie's strong encouragement, Lennie joined the Rice class of 2008.

Lennie has shown Rice a lot of athletic ability, playing soccer and running on the cross-country and track teams. But she has also been a standout in the classroom as well. Her first choice for a major at Rice was economics, but during an internship at Merrill Lynch, she realized that she also had a strong interest in human behavior. So she added a second major in psychology with an emphasis on organizational behavior.

Lennie's recent experiences working on experimental projects in psychology at Rice and the University of Texas have strengthened her commitment to the field. She worked with the head of Psychology at the University of Texas, Jamie Pennebaker, on his study of markers of successful self-regulation in writing. Lennie spent last summer downloading weight loss blogs, reading through them, and analyzing the writing as a predictor for success vs. failure in tasks that require regulation. At Rice, she has worked closely with Psychology Professor Daniel Beal on other self-regulation studies.

And in all of her researching, Lennie has confirmed her interest in Industrial organizational psychology. "A lot of people think they really like psychology but once they start doing research they lose interest because it is so monotonous and tedious but I found it to be very interesting and research is actually what I hope to do the rest of my life."

"Looking back, I am amazed at how much I have grown and changed during my time at Rice," says senior Lennie Waite. "I came to Rice as a soccer player, planning to major in economics, and now I am running on the cross-country and track teams and majoring in economics and psychology as well. I've had great support from my coaches and professors all along the way."

Lennie plans to pursue a PhD in psychology after she graduates in the spring. And if all goes well, she will do her doctoral work at Rice. 'I've enjoyed the work I've done with Professor Beal here at Rice, so I would love to stay at Rice and do research. Also, I would also be able to use my final year of cross-country and indoor track eligibility as well."

Lennie has proved that she has the work ethic and drive it takes to succeed and is undoubtedly going to become one of Tomorrow's Leaders.

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