Samantha Kee epitomizes the ‘scholar athlete’
Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 11:02
While helping to lead the Pioneers to a 10-win season and a trip to the NEC Tournament for the first time in six years, Sacred Heart University senior Samantha Kee maintained a 4.0 GPA in her studies of biological sciences.
This combination of success on and off the field did not go unnoticed, as this sort of success, epitomizing the term student-athlete, warrants recognition.
Kee was named to the Capital One Academic All-District team and honored with the NEC Fall Scholar-Athlete Award.
"For me it was never an option not do well in school," Kee said. "My parents never tried to bribe or influence my high school career. They simply advised me do the best at whatever you do."
Kee took this advice and ran with it. Dedication to the game of soccer and to the world of academia has brought her much success. However, this success can only be achieved under the right circumstances. It all began with the college search.
Kee didn't want to migrate far from her hometown of Haskell, NJ., so she became interested in the opportunity to play Division I soccer at Sacred Heart.
"When I got here as a freshman and talked to the coach, she said I would have a good shot of walking on to the team," said Kee.
Understanding the difficulties of walking on a Division I team, Kee trained harder than ever before trying out and earning a spot.
"I walked on to the team that fall with the mindset to be in the best shape possible," said Kee. "I wanted to be the hardest working player on the field."
Off the field, she was also dedicated to being a hard worker in the classroom. A biological science major, she came to Sacred Heart intending to study physical therapy. After experiencing some of the biology classes, she quickly made the switch.
"Dr. Bartholomew encouraged me to do research and I realized physical therapy was not the career for me," she said. "In science, there is always a new question. You have to come up with a way to answer the question, which adds to a broader body of knowledge."
Kee plans to share her passion for science with generations to come.
"I would like to do research first, and then maybe get into teaching," she said.
She is currently in the process of applying to graduate school.
Balancing a busy schedule has always a part of her life. She has balanced school, soccer, and dance from the age of five years old until she graduated middle school.
"I danced three or four times a week and had soccer practice two or three times a week, as well as games and competitions on the weekends," Kee said.
When she reached high school, she joined the dance team, played soccer and participated in indoor and outdoor track for Lakeland High School.
"I have had to make a lot of sacrifices to get where I am today and at times I have not had the greatest social life," said Kee.
Although Kee is a hard worker she says maintaining close relationships helps her relax.
"I have a close group of friends from high school that I still keep in touch with," she said. "And I have been with my boyfriend for four years now."
Kee admits she is a very active person.
"Currently I play for an indoor soccer league and it's a blast. It isn't the typical way of relaxing, but it is my way of relaxing," she said.
Though she is very busy, her thirst for knowledge drives her to keep persevering.
"We are all here to learn how to learn," Kee said. "If you can master that, then you can do well in anything".
Applying ideals learned playing organized sports, Kee has used that drive to maintain a perfect 4.0.
"I have taken classes I am not interested in but my logic is I am going to get out of it whatever I put into it," Kee said.
Kee understands the key to success in college is having balance.
"You have to be willing to put in the time in school work to do well," she said. "You're going have fun when there is time for fun."