FAYETTEVILLE, Ark – The University of Arkansas Office of Student-Athlete Success recently welcomed the addition of four graduate assistants for the 2015-16 academic year.
Megan Pearson, Aquasia “Q” Thornhill, Andrea Swanson and Lauren Kirby will all work with Razorback Athletics teams assisting with student-athlete development.
Pearson is a recent graduate of the Arkansas softball program. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, she was a member of the Arkansas Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Razorback Leadership Academy. Pearson attended the 2014 NCAA Career in Sports Forum in Indianapolis as well as the SEC SAAC Conference in Birmingham. She held the secretary/treasurer position on SAAC during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 academic years. At the 2015 Hogspy’s, she was presented with the Leader of Distinction Award and the Brandon Burlsworth Award. Pearson was also named to the SEC Community Service team in both 2014 and 2015. Receiving an undergraduate degree in kinesiology, she will pursue a master’s degree in Higher Education.
Thornhill checks in from the Bronx, N.Y., after earning her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Alban. During her four years at Albany, Thornhill was a manager with the women’s basketball team, community service assistant for the Department of Residential Life, as well as a volunteer with Ronald McDonald House Charities. Thornhill appeared on the University’s Dean’s List in 2014 and 2015.
As a manager, Thornhill worked very closely with the Director of Basketball Operations, helping with day to day necessities. As a community service assistant, she was in charge of facilitating and organizing community service events for students. Her volunteer work with Ronald McDonald House Charities, helped her understand humility, responsibility, and time management. Throughout her undergraduate experience, Thornhill was involved with many student groups and extracurricular activities including Leader in Service, a student leadership group, and Prezicun, the school step team. She will be working with men’s golf and football teams.
Swanson is a native of Des Moines, Iowa, and attended Iowa State University earning her undergraduate degree in elementary education. While at Iowa State, she was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes leadership team and played soccer for the Cyclones. During her time as a student-athlete, Swanson received First-Team Academic All-Big 12 honors in 2012 and 2014, the Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award in 2013 and was on the Dean’s List from 2011-2015. Her experience mentoring youth through a local organization inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at the University of Arkansas. She will be working with the men’s tennis and football teams.
Kirby attended Wofford College in South Carolina. A Wofford, the Sherman, Texas, native earned a bachelor’s degree in English, along with a teaching certification in secondary education. Kirby was a member of the Wofford women’s basketball team, volunteered as a Young Life leader, and was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha during her four years. She was named to the First-Team Academic All Southern Conference from 2011-2014, was awarded the Southern Conference Commissioners Medal (2012-2014), was on the Dean’s List from 2011-2015, and was named to the NCAA Division I/District 4 Capitol One First-Team Academic All-District Women’s Basketball Team for 2013-14. Kirby will be working as a learning specialist in Educational Enrichment Services while pursuing a master’s degree in interpersonal communication.