Keith Lewis chose to study psychology to understand other people's motivations. He learned just as much about what drives him, relying on his motivation to help others and succeed to get through hectic days.
Classes, Division I track meets and Student Government Association (SGA) are a lot to balance, so Lewis' busy days started before he even got out of bed.
"I make a mental list of what needs to be done as soon as I wake up,” says Lewis. “I don't always check it all off, but I shoot for the important 80 percent."
On the field, Lewis is motivated by records to break and titles to earn. He broke his own school record in the heptathlon, achieved All-American status and helped his teammates navigate the road from Division II to Division I. The harder competition and tighter schedules “just makes our wins more rewarding,” he says. Lewis’ efforts earned him the David J. Boutin Award, given to the top male student-athlete based on athletic and academic excellence as well as service to the university and/or surrounding community.
His involvement with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee led Lewis to the SGA, where he worked his way up to vice president. Running events, meeting with administrators and being a representative for students gave Lewis insight into life after college.
An aspiring early educator, Lewis got a chance to work with younger students through the Jumpstart summer program. He helped disadvantaged students get ready for kindergarten by teaching fundamental topics and getting them used to the patterns of a school day.
Lewis depended on his friends, teammates, coaches and professors to “keep him going on the tough days,” a support network he encourages all students to build.
“Get to know the people who will be able to connect you with challenges and opportunities that will be the most rewarding. The administration, department heads, coaches and faculty all want you to succeed, and when you need them, they’ll be there.”