Melisa Cagar '11 of Ridgewood, N.J., plays second base and has been the catalyst at the top of the order for Brandeis's softball team for the past three years, helping the Judges to their first NCAA bid as a junior. Learn more about how hard work has paid off as she heads into her senior season in an installment of Seven Questions.
1) What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?
So far the highlight of my career has been qualifying for NCAA’s this past season 2010 for the first time in program history. Our most competitive games are during our conference games in early March, but after making NCAA’s this past season, I can say that the atmosphere at this tournament was incredible. To be 1 of the 3 chosen teams of the independent group was a great honor and accomplishment for our program, and it was a thrilling experience.
2) What makes your team special?
Our team is unique because we have a variety of personalities that mesh well together to make us a fun, yet determined and vibrant team. Besides always being able to have a good time together, everyone is also able to rely on another teammate to help them out, whatever the situation may be. Our team is also comprised of very talented athletes; it does not matter where we are in the lineup or who is playing because of the depth that we have.
3) How do your experiences on the court (or pool or track) translate to the class room/world?
The one thing that I have taken away from the game to the classroom is that hard work pays off. As with anything in life that you want to accomplish, effort and hard work are the key ingredients to make sure that you are giving yourself the best opportunity to succeed. Participating on the team has also taught me how to manage my time more efficiently. Having a large chunk of my day being dedicated to practice and or games, ensuring that I plan ahead as well as work ahead gives me the best possibility to stay on track with my academics.
4) What is your favorite class (and the professor's name) and why?
My favorite class that I have taken is Sociology of Body and Health, with Professor Shostak. This was my first college level Sociology class and I really enjoyed the various themes and topics of the class such as obesity, female body image, personal identity, social stigma, and cosmetic surgery between different races.
5) What is your favorite non-athletic activity at Brandeis and why?
Brandeis does a great job of giving students an opportunity to go out and enjoy what our campus has to offer, such as the foam party, Pachanga, and the free movies that are played on campus.
6) What are your aspirations after Brandeis?
After I graduate I would love to land a job working in health administration. The healthcare field is a growing industry that will always be a main concern for our nation, so being involved with it would be very interesting and fulfilling.
7) What is something surprising we might not know about you?
I come from a large family…I have 7 sisters! I am in the middle with 4 older sisters and 3 younger sisters.