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George Davis Hall in the fall.

Saxon Alvarez

El Paso, Texas

Major in Biology, Minor in Chemistry and Psychology

Saxon is a Knox student-athlete who plays multiple sports and plans on a career in the medical field.

Saxon stands on the basketball court with a black basketball uniform with 13 in purple letters and a yellow border. The Knox mascot, Blaze, an orange-yellow fox is presented on a large wall poster behind her.

During basketball season, Saxon is the starting point guard for the Prairie Fire. Saxon also runs for the cross country and track and field teams. During the outdoor track and field season, she races in the 800m and steeplechase. Saxon juggles all three sports at Knox in addition to her studies. 

How do you balance your academic and athletic interests?

I want to go into the medical field and I am in STEM. My professors are very supportive of me and work with me. A lot of my professors are sports fans so they have seen me in the games. I have also made it very clear that I have always prioritized academics over sports. The professors appreciate that and understand that I am willing to attend tutoring and meet with them outside of class. 

Are there faculty who make balancing these responsibilities easier for you?

Basketball is my main sport, so I make sure the track and cross country coaches are aware of that. The coaches are really good at working with me. If I have a big project or test, my coaches let me shift the workout times or leave a little bit early, so I can focus on my grades. I talk to my professors and they are also very supportive. For example, this past winter break I participated in an MCAT prep study program while starting the basketball season. My coaches understood that I also needed to dedicate my time to the course.

What piqued your interest in medicine? 

I experienced what it was like to be out in the medical field in high school, and I was really interested. I want to be a surgeon to help others. I find the body and the mind so intriguing … I find it all so fascinating. 

How has Knox prepared you for a career in medicine? 

At Knox, I am taking an EMT course this term at 7-11 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. I am getting my EMT certification through the course. It includes all the training and knowledge that goes into being an EMT. As part of the certification, I train with certified EMTs in Galesburg. We are learning health-related topics such as human anatomy and physiology, as well as how to properly care for someone in an emergency situation. During the MCAT study course, I learned about all the content that was going to be covered on the test. It also helped me plan more for my future and how I was going to go about attending classes and work my future jobs. It was an amazing experience that I would definitely recommend. 

Where do you see yourself after graduation?

I am hoping to start medical school and start my career path there. As much as I love sports, I don’t see myself continuing. I would rather have a future within my academics. That is where I feel really happy; that is what interests me the most. I plan on staying for the “Fifth Year for Free” Guarantee. I am planning on using this time to study and prepare for the MCAT and medical school. My goal is to be a surgeon in a hospital after I finish school. 

What advice would you give to prospective students who have interests similar to yours?

I would say that it is definitely possible to balance sports along with tough classes while still being able to have time for fun. Don’t be too stressed out and think “I don’t have time. I won’t be able to do it.” Or even “I can do sports and school, but I can’t have fun outside of it.” You definitely can. It is about learning to balance all the sports and classes. You will learn how to manage your time and also find a good, strong support system, like family and friends. I would just say keep working your hardest; anything is possible if you put your mind to it, and never give up. As cheesy as it sounds, it is true.

How does Knox make you proud? 

Knox does make me very proud. Even though we are a small school, a lot of people know Knox as a place where all the people here are very smart. The academics are excellent, and I love how much diversity we have here. It is not like everybody has to be the same; you can be whoever you want to be and you will always be supported. 

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Printed on Sunday, June 23, 2024