Meet a MSU Student Athlete | Victoria Merritt

Name: Victoria Merritt

Sport: Swimming and Diving

Event: 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly

Year in School: 5th-year senior, graduate student

Major: BA-Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy, MA- Public Relations

Hometown: Tecumseh, Mich.

Why did you choose Michigan State? I've wanted to be a Spartan since I was 11 years old. I came to swim camp and had a great time and loved the atmosphere. I have always gotten along well with Coach G (Matt Gianiodis), so that made the decision even easier. I also was very interested in the education James Madison had to offer and I've always wanted to wear the green and white.

How did you decide on your major? I greatly enjoyed my internship with the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs. I worked in Athlete Services and Program Management, so I got the chance to do a lot of writing, event management, program implementation and research. It was cool to see things from the administrative side and those aspects are a large part of public relation; and I like to talk, so it was a perfect fit.

Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy is fun to relay when people ask me what my undergrad degree is in. I love reading and analyzing the classic works from Plato to Rousseau, as well as writing and theoretical discussions, so PTCD and I worked out well. I was always challenged to think more deeply and my professors never let me take the easy way out. It has prepared me greatly for graduate work and for the "real world".

Favorite class and why? Media relations is my favorite class currently because it demonstrates the ability for people to spread important messages through honest, open and symmetrical communication. A lot of people look at public relations practitioners as people who "spin" the news and that is simply not true. PR can be used to do a lot of great things for all kinds of causes.

What are your career aspirations? I would love to work in athletic communications, compliance or event management for amateur sports, either Olympic or college. The impact of amateur sports is unparalleled and once my career as an athlete is done, I would like to help others experience and enjoy the same opportunities.

What living person do you admire the most? I admire my grandparents. They have all been through tough times, but they have remained strong and they rooted my parents and consequently, my sister and I, in a strong Christian faith.

What is your most marked characteristic? Honesty

What are some of the community service projects you have enjoyed most? I really enjoyed the Salvation Army Toy Shop and visiting elementary schools to speak and participate in school events.

What are some of your hobbies outside of your sport?I like to read, hike (thank you Colorado!), do yoga, write and eat. I really like to eat.

Name one thing most Spartan fans do not know about you? I really enjoy fencing! I took a few lessons in Colorado and I loved it!

Name one thing most Spartan fans do not know about your coach? He is really funny and does a great job of keeping practice fun, even when it is hard!

Three words that describe yourself...self-starter, kind, high energy

Three words that describe your coach...energetic, straight-forward, passionate

Three words to describe your team...hard-working, war-tested, fun

- 355 student-athletes maintain a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA

- 41 student-athletes had a 4.0 semester

- 388 student-athletes achieved a 3.0 or higher semester GPA

- 15 sports maintain a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA

- 15 sports had a 3.0 or higher semester GPA

- S-A Cumulative GPA: 2.9995

- S-A Semester GPA: 2.9785