Nov. 26, 2007
For many students, the prospects of gaining admission to a college are unnerving. But for Diane Gu, a four time-state champion swimmer from Longwood, Florida, that was not the case.
She had the opposite problem: too many schools to choose from. After she made her final cut, only three schools remained: Harvard, UCLA, and Rice University. So what made her choose Rice? Interestingly, it was a combination of things.
"What I like most about Rice is the college system. I thrive off of interacting with other people, and I can't imagine being at a school where there are dorms exclusively for athletes, because I wouldn't be able to meet as many people with different interests", Gu noted. "I like that I can be involved in my college, while representing Rice in athletics, and the integration of athletes into the college culture is very different and unique to Rice." She added.
Diane has a strong interest in psychology, particularly its clinical applications. She is fascinated by the way people's minds work and strives to apply her knowledge to relationships she has developed at Rice. Diane has also used what she has learned to help those around her.
She is a part of the College Assistance Peer Program, CAAP, where she works as a liaison between Rice and Brown, her residential college, to provide preliminary support to fellow students with mental, emotional, and health issues. Last summer Diane was selected to represent Rice University at the NCAA National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida.
"The Leadership Conference was unique and one of the best, most enriching experiences of my life, because I got to meet athletes from all around the country, from every sport. It was also really interesting to learn about the workings of the NCAA," she recalled. "I left the conference with valuable leadership skills. I felt empowered to promote changes on our campus to improve the quality of life for Rice student-athletes."
Diane has already begun her quest to make a difference through her involvement in Rice's SAAC committee, which includes student-athletes from every sport.
Since 2006, she has served as Rice's Student Ambassador. Some of her responsibilities include giving campus tours to school children and community organizations visiting Rice, representing Rice University at special international functions on and off campus, and hosting visiting VIPs from other countries.
Where she finds the time to do all this--with her homework and competing for the swim team--is a mystery. But it is a mystery Diane has obviously solved!
In addition to her psychology major, Diane is pursuing a business minor. After she graduates a year from May, she plans to work for the Peace Corps before possibly going to graduate school in psychology or to business school.
"I want to travel and interact with people of different cultures and hopefully make a difference in the quality of their lives," she explains.
With her accomplishments and ambitions, Diane will certainly be one of Tomorrow's Leaders.