Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Leadership lived: UIS tennis player helps fellow students off the court

Kaitlyn Thornhill came to the University of Illinois Springfield to be part of the women’s tennis team. However, she quickly discovered a second passion as she was offered a chance to tutor fellow students at The Learning Hub.

Thornhill, a junior from Alpharetta, Georgia, has been playing tennis since her parents introduced her to the sport when she was 10-years-old.

“I love the sport because it's both an individual and team sport,” she said. “Being part of the tennis team has given me a lot of value in terms of creating friendships, positions of leadership and having a team to come to every single day and experience success.”

As an accountancy major, Thornhill says she’s excelled in her coursework. Her abilities were noticed by an instructor who asked if she’d consider tutoring students at The Learning Hub.

“I tutor both traditional students and student-athletes,” she said. “When I see the light bulb go off I think that is the reason I do the job. It's very rewarding to know that the information that I'm providing is helping another student succeed in my own field.”

Following graduation from UIS, Thornhill plans to earn her master’s degree in accounting and sit for the certified public accountant (CPA) exam.

“I am very glad I came to UIS,” she said. “It has given me so many opportunities. I've stepped out of my comfort zone in so many ways. I've become a leader in many programs and I have met so many people and been able to network within my own major.”

She feels her education has prepared her well for post-graduation life and says she’ll always look back fondly at her time at UIS.

“If I could do it all over again I wouldn't change a thing,” she said. “Where I've gotten to today has come from every opportunity that UIS has given me and I couldn't be more proud.”

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