Parisa Kaliush ’14
by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
Psychology major Parisa Kaliush ’14 talks about swimming with sharks, her passions for soccer and dinosaurs and the power of perseverance.
Clubs and organizations:
Member: Varsity women's soccer team (three years), club soccer team, Alpha Phi Omega, Syrens (social chair) and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (former community-service chair and president). Honor societies: Alpha Lambda Delta, Psi Chi and Phi Beta Kappa.
Favorite Dickinson class:
I thoroughly enjoy almost all of my psychology classes, but one of my favorite Dickinson courses will always be Art History 102. I left that course with a wealth of knowledge and an appreciation for all forms of art. I now love visiting art museums, and I have taken at least one art course per semester.
When I'm not at Dickinson . . .
I train soccer on an individual basis, and I also run soccer camps with my father (owner of The Fundamental Soccer Academy in Maryland) during summer and winter breaks. I truly enjoy it because I love giving children the one-on-one attention they deserve to improve their skills. I am extremely excited to continue coaching and training soccer, especially since I just passed a two-week course in August 2013 to earn my United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National "C" coaching license!
When I was a kid, I wanted to be . . .
Besides my dream to be a professional soccer player—which stemmed mainly from my passion for soccer, but also from everyone always telling me that I look like Mia Hamm—I aspired to be a paleontologist. Honestly, I am still a little obsessed with dinosaurs.
On swimming with sharks:
I studied abroad in Australia
, and it was the time of my life! I took a great sport- and exercise- psychology class that fueled my desire to pursue that field after graduation, I conducted a really fun study on sea stars for a marine-biology class, and I spent a week snorkeling among sharks and stingrays in the Great Barrier Reef. Another highlight was traveling to the most beautiful country in the world, New Zealand. I lived out of a camper van for five days. It was fabulous.
One talent that surprised me, as well as others around me, is my ability to sing! Instead of joining a sorority during my sophomore year, I decided to audition for Dickinson’s all-female a cappella group, The Syrens. I had never sung before, although I did play flute and piccolo in the high-school band. Well, long story short, I made it! Joining The Syrens has been one of the best decisions I made at Dickinson, because it helped me realize that there is more to life than soccer and academics. It is the best feeling to know that [the Syrens] will always be my sisters.
I hope to find a way to combine my passions for clinical psychology and sport/exercise psychology and eventually earn a Ph.D., so I will have the freedom to teach, practice and research. I also plan to pursue my love of training and coaching soccer. This may sound cliché, but no matter what I do, I will be happy if I can make a positive difference in people’s lives.
Who inspires me:
The most important thing I have learned from my father is the power of perseverance. When he immigrated to this country from Iran, he could barely speak English and had only $200 in his pocket. Somehow, though, he found a job, pushed himself through school, and now has a secure job and a loving family. It is because of my father that I can confidently say I will never give up.
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Published November 13, 2013