Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Leadership lived: Cheerleading captain helps boost school spirit


Katie Selway has been a cheerleader nearly all of her life. Now, she’s helping to spread school spirit at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The social work major is captain of the Prairie Stars cheerleading team and president of the Blue Crew, a fan section made up of students who attend home athletic events. She’s also a student orientation leader, a member of the Social Work Club and the Capital Scholars Honors Program.

Selway cheered throughout high school in Jacksonville, but didn’t try out for the UIS team until her sophomore year. As captain, she’s helped to build the team into what it has become today.

“Our team has transformed so much this year,” she said. “Our team is completely different this year and it’s amazing being able to be the captain of this team.”

Being captain involves a lot of behind the scenes work, including fundraising and coordinating the team schedule. However, she knows being on the sidelines makes a difference in how student-athletes perform.

“I know I’d love to have students behind me whenever I perform,” she said. “Having that support system behind you makes you a better athlete in general.”

She’s learned many life lessons at UIS, both in the classroom and on the court.

“UIS has taught me that one thing leads to another,” said Selway. “My job led to connections I’m making around campus with faculty, which is leading me into a career I might want to do.”

Following graduation, Selway plans to start graduate school and earn her master’s degree in social work.

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