UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - Saginaw Valley State University Athletics resumes its 'Student-Athlete Spotlight' feature, which focuses on different Cardinal student-athletes and what it means for them to be a part of the SVSU Athletics family.
The March installment of the 'Student-Athlete Spotlight' series highlights Ashley Giordano, a senior on the SVSU women's tennis team and native of Alpena, Mich.
Ashley has been an incredible part of the SVSU women's tennis team, overcoming a serious arm injury and complications from surgery to ultimately earn a starting spot in the lineup her senior campaign. There was a time that doctors weren't sure if she would regain the use of her playing arm. It shouldn't surprise anybody, however, that she overcame severe odds to fulfill her desire to compete at the collegiate level, as Giordano has a tremendous work-ethic and track record of success.
She has maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.973 as a student-athlete in the Honors Program, being a Presidential Scholar. She was anointed with the George Eastland Award at the annual State Farm Academic Banquet in February, which honors the SVSU student-athlete with the highest overall cumulative GPA. She has been a four-year SAAC member and now chairs the community service committee. She was also presented with the Hoffman-Willertz Award, which honors the most-outstanding History major at Saginaw Valley State University. Giordano was also given the opportunity to present her Honors Thesis at a national pop culture convention in Washington D.C. and was named the "Big Sister of the Year" by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bay County.
SVSU women's tennis head coach Jenn Boehm spoke about her senior student-athlete: "Ashley exemplifies what any coach looks for in a student-athlete. She is an academic leader at SVSU, is engaged in the campus community and gives 100% on the tennis court. She was dealt a tough hand with injuries, but remained steadfast in her recovery and rehab. I'm not sure I could have overcome these obstacles, but Ashley showed all of us to always believe and never give up on yourself. I'm proud to be her coach and will really miss her next season."
Over the weekend, Ashley accepted a teaching assistant appointment at the University of Delaware where she will pursue graduate study in history as a Hagley Fellow. Her ultimate career goal is to become a college professor.
She recently capped-off her career with the Cardinals by leading the team to a decisive 8-1 victory over Lake Superior State University, winning her final match by a 6-0, 6-1 count. Ashley recently gave us some of her thoughts and feelings on her career as a student-athlete at Saginaw Valley State University.
What about Saginaw Valley State University intrigued you and made you decide to study here?
"I watched my older sister grow as a student and leader during her time at SVSU. When my college search started, I wanted to have a similar opportunity to grow as a student, an athlete and a leader. SVSU's small class sizes, accessible and friendly faculty, numerous leadership opportunities and devoted athletic department filled all of those requirements for me."
What are the best aspects of being a student-athlete here at SVSU?
"Being in the Honors Program, I appreciated the athletic department's devotion to degree completion and being a student first and academic success. I appreciate SVSU's recognition of hard work, on and off the court, which always made me feel valued as a player, even while injured."
How has being a student-athlete at the collegiate level prepared you for your career after Saginaw Valley State University?
"Being a student-athlete at SVSU helped to build my confidence, leadership abilities and time management. As I head to graduate school in the fall, I feel all of those skills will help me to be successful at the next level."
What does it mean to be part of the Cardinal Athletic Family?
"For me, being a part of the Cardinal Family means that no matter where I go, I will always have my family with me because of their support and everything they have taught me. No matter where life takes me, I will always carry my Cardinal Pride!"