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A health condition threatened to sideline Claudia Maira '21’s basketball career, but she fought hard to overcome it and now is captain of Dickinson’s women’s basketball team. Below, she discusses the many benefits she’s gained as a student-athlete at Dickinson as well as the ways she’s given back to the campus as well as the local and global communities through service trips, volunteerism and fundraising. A National Society of Leadership and Success and All-Centennial Sportsmanship Team member, she plans a career in sports medicine.
Clinton, New Jersey.
Clubs and organizations:
Women’s basketball, Delta Nu, Pre-Health Society and athletics department (sports medicine student assistant).
National Society of Leadership and Success, All-Centennial Sportsmanship Team 2018-19 and team captain 2019-20.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
A Star is Born.
On choosing Dickinson:
I wasn’t sure about going to a small school, but when I went on tours of the beautiful campus, I knew that Dickinson was the home for me. After hearing about the small classroom sizes and student-faculty ratio, I was completely ecstatic, because I knew that I would flourish in this environment. When I was in high school and on one of my tours, I walked through the town of Carlisle on High Street. I could picture myself living on a campus like Dickinson’s and exploring fun places with my best friends. Now that I am at Dickinson, I see familiar faces everywhere I go, and it is so refreshing. In the classroom, I have gotten to know my professors extremely well due to the smaller classroom size. I feel like my professors actually know me and not just my name.
Favorite places on campus:
The Kline and the Delta Nu house.
Favorite Dining Hall food:
Salmon and noodles from the KOVE.
Associate Professor of Biology Kirsten Guss. She is my academic advisor and my professor for Research and Writing in Biology. With the current events that are going on and classes going online, she has shown such care and passion for her students. She got emotional when talking to our class [after the college closed because of the coronavirus pandemic], because she misses us so much and we miss her. She is also one of Dickinson women’s basketball's biggest fans!
One of my proudest accomplishments is being the starting point guard on the Dickinson women’s basketball team and also being team captain. As a little girl, I dreamt of playing collegiate basketball. When I was 11 and diagnosed with a DVT blood clot, those dreams went away, and I just hoped and prayed I would be healthy enough again to play basketball. However, I battled and fought and eventually made my way back to playing. I worked extremely hard to get to where I am, and I can proudly say that I am healthy and happily playing collegiate basketball!
On being involved at Dickinson:
As an athlete and a member of a sorority, I am extremely involved on campus and in the Carlisle community. Some of the service trips and events that I have attended and helped at through both my team and sorority are the following: Special Olympics, YMCA clinics, Toys for Tots, Project Share, Kings Gap service trips, volunteering at the Chapel Pointe nursing home, Helping Another Hand organization, Red Tomato Farm, Relay for Life, and raising money for Safe Harbour.
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …
… my grandpa. He passed away in 2015 when I was a sophomore in high school. He was and still is one of my biggest supporters in life. I would just love to talk with him about what’s going on in my life with school, basketball and my future. He was the smartest person I know and always gave the best advice.
Most important thing I’ve learned so far:
One of the biggest takeaways I have gotten from my experience at Dickinson so far is that hard work pays off, and it is important to stay focused and also have fun!
The best things about my Dickinson experience:
Playing basketball at Dickinson has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have grown as a player, and, more important, as a person. Every day I learn something meaningful from my teammates and my coaches. Each practice, lift, workout and game has shaped me into a leader and has taught me respect, perseverance, character and accountability.
I have made so many memorable moments playing basketball at Dickinson. One that sticks out to me is making it to the semifinal game against Haverford in the 2019-20 playoffs. I have created friendships with my teammates and coaches that I value and will hold onto for years to come. Being an athlete at Dickinson is an amazing experience, but I also love being a part of a community of people who share my core values and understand my work ethic and drive.
Outside of basketball, I have also absolutely loved my experience at Dickinson. I have made lifelong friendships and relationships that I wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for Dickinson. For example, I joined a sorority, Delta Nu, my freshman year, so I know that I have sisters for life.
As I kid, I wanted to be ...
… a veterinarian.
After Dickinson, I plan on attending school to become a physician assistant. This has always been my dream ever since I was a little girl. When I was 11, I was diagnosed with a DVT blood clot. The first thing that I wondered after hearing this was whether I would still be able to play basketball. Basketball has always been a part of my life, and it continues to teach me life lessons. Overcoming this major obstacle in my life has shown me that I can beat adversity and that I am strong. This is the reason why I chose this profession and dream about becoming a PA. I hope to raise awareness for others about blood clots. I knew coming to Dickinson would prepare me in every way possible for my future.
Being a student athlete at Dickinson has allowed me to develop skills of productivity, communication, training, work ethic and leadership. I plan on continuing to use these principles in my career and share them with others.
Read more Student Snapshots.
Published December 15, 2020