Meredith Athletes Are Students First

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Meredith College is Going Strong and Meredith student-athletes support this mission both on and off the court.

Senior Avenging Angels Clarke Glendenning and Puja Patel represent the Meredith student-athlete combining outstanding performance in her sport with significant contributions in the classroom. Both women recently presented their academic work with excellence and finesse.

An art education major and four-year setter for the Avenging Angel volleyball team, Glendenning's senior art exhibition was on view in the Weems Gallery from November 17-December 3. She and her senior seminar classmate managed every aspect of creating, planning, selecting, marketing and designing the exhibit.

In addition to her major in art education, Glendenning will complete a K-12 licensure program with a semester of student teaching in the spring. She will also receive a minor in studio art.

Of her art Glendenning said, "I hope my work speaks to a broad audience; however, because of shared history, my work has special relevance for my close friends and family."

The pieces in her senior exhibition demonstrated her inspiration from "nostalgic items, memories and friends and family, as well as natural or organic objects, colors and patterns." Several pieces included images of horses, and Glendenning selected two self-portraits for the exhibit.

During a gallery talk for the senior exhibition, Glendenning spoke of the process involved with creating a self-portrait; one piece is sculpted and the other a painting. She had to consider what emotion and attributes to feature to best represent her individuality and character.

Glendenning completed her collegiate volleyball career second all-time at Meredith with 1594 assists. She ranks third in college history with 138 service aces and eighth with 477 total digs in her nearly 400 sets played.

A psychology major with a minor in sociology and No. 1 tennis player for the Avenging Angels, Patel's creativity flows from the sciences rather than the arts.

Most recently, Patel was one of two Meredith seniors selected to present at the 2013 State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium in Charlotte on November 16. The other three Meredith students reported research in a poster presentation.

Patel's topic for the psychology oral presentation was "Parent-Child Communication Amongst Asian American Families and Its Relationship to Bicultural Self-Efficacy in Young Adults." Students submitted an abstract for research and were selected to present in a variety of disciplines during the event, including biology, economics, psychology, sociology, etc.

As defined in the abstract of her research, Patel's project hoped to determine if "levels of bicultural self-efficacy in the young adult may be related to the parent’s degree of fluency in both the language of the native culture and the language of the adopted culture."

With help from 33 local Indian-American female student participants, Patel observed several significant relationships. From her research she determined the "ability to communicate with as well as attain knowledge from one's mother may affect sense of self and ability to navigate both cultures for the young adults."

Patel presented other research during Meredith's Celebrating Student Achievement Day last spring and followed with a presentation at the Carolina Psychology Conference held on campus last April. She applied to the Eastern Psychological Association for a spot in the presentation lineup for a regional conference in Boston next March.

With application deadlines fast approaching, Patel hopes to continue her education in a clinical psychology graduate program. Of the application process Patel said, "I have everything that a potentially good student has, but if someone shines a little more than I do, that could be a problem."

Patel will complete her fourth and final season of eligibility with the Meredith tennis team this spring. Undefeated at No. 1 singles in conference play, Patel earned USA South Women's Tennis Player of the Year honors each of her first three seasons and was selected as her sport's Rookie of the Year in 2011.

--Submitted by Wendy Jones, sports information director

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