The term “student-athlete” is quite literal; one is both a student and an athlete, and academics are to be taken just as seriously as athletics. Senior cross country runner Desyre Blackburn tries to encapsulate that definition with her time at Seton Hall.
The Aloha, Ore. native has done more than make her mark running, as she is a co-captain this year under coach John Moon. She has also gotten heavily involved in several business and marketing organizations and societies, as she is a finance and marketing double-major.
“I’m a part of Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional business fraternity, as well as ALPFA, which is the Stillman Business Club, and those are the two main organizations I’m in,” Blackburn said. “I also work with SAC (Student Advisory Committee) for athletics and the Leadership Academy which is also run by athletics, which helps athletes gain leadership on and off the field.”
Blackburn is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honors society for the top 10 percent of the class, as well as Chi Alpha Sigma, which is the Athlete Honors Society. All of the hard work that Blackburn has done has already set her up for a job post-graduation.
“I’ll be with JP Morgan starting in the summer of next year as a financial analyst,” she said.
“It is a two-year program that I actually got through ALPFA where I went to a convention and got an internship from them, which turned into a job.”
Moon has seen Blackburn, a hard-worker both on and off the field, deliver the same fire that she came in with her freshman year, and said that Blackburn is “a coach’s dream.”
“She’s a workaholic and a role model for the team,” Moon said. “She’s a hard worker and the type of individual who stays hungry to get better, both in and out of the classroom.”
The surplus of activities Blackburn is involved with has not slowed down her running performance this season. Throughout everything she has going on, Blackburn continues to use lessons she has learned in cross country in her academic and extracurricular life.
“I use cross country in my everyday life,” she said. “If something’s hard you keep on pushing through it, keep on striving and dig deep and those same mantras are the same things I emulate in life and continue to use every day.”
Moon has high hopes for Blackburn not only as a runner, but as a person too.
“I wish I could mold her so I could have her for next year,” Moon said. “She makes my job easier, I love having athletes and people like her on the team.”
Blackburn hopes that she will be able to continue to utilize the skills and connections she has acquired from these organizations and athletics, since she was faced with coming to the other side of the country unclear of what to expect.
“My main goal was to get a job after college and that was something which I have achieved, and that’s from me joining all these clubs, learning how to network, and just being involved was a catalyst to that, as well as being surrounded by good people, having connections and getting new opportunities,” Blackburn said.
While she has plans for her future, Blackburn believes that she will be able to stay active on campus, and will look to continue her strong season running when the team travels back to Van Cortlandt Park in New York City for the Big East Championships on Oct. 28.
Matt Lamb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MattS_Lamb.