Student Spotlights

Kimberly Vona

Kimberly Vona (Class of 2013)

Fun Fact:
Kimberly has been running cross country since the age of 10.

Please tell me about your involvement with Niagara University’s Cross Country Team?
I was recruited to come to Niagara University while I was at Lake Shore High School in Angola, NY. I was given an athletic scholarship and have been a member of the Division 1 Cross Country Team. I have been the top female runner for all 3 years that I have been on the team. My greatest athletic accomplishment so far is that I placed 11th out of 116 athletes at the MAAC Championship race this year, which is the highest finish by a female Niagara runner since 2007. I earned my first MAAC medal and 2 MAAC student-athlete of the week honors. I will also be on the new track team which will begin spring 2013.

Do you think being involved with sports affects other areas of your life in a positive way?
Definitely, being involved in a sport is a great way to network and meet new people. My best friends are my teammates. I have met athletes and coaches from other schools, and find that sports are a good way to start a conversation. Running is also an excellent way to relieve stress.

You also are involved in other extra-curricular activities such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Niagara University Marketing Association?
Yes, I became involved with the St. Vincent de Paul society through a “Learn and Serve” requirement in my social work class about understanding poverty. “Learn and Serve” is a program that requires students to have a specific amount of volunteer hours related to their coursework. The main goal is to help the underprivileged. I have participated in volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store and the soup kitchen both located in Niagara Falls, NY.

I joined the NU Marketing Association when I was a freshman and am currently the Vice-President. We have about 15 members mostly business and communication majors. The club aims to give students hands on experience with marketing in the community. More recently we have been focused becoming more involved with the local community. One of our recent projects included conducting surveys for the United Way focusing on the donation habits of students.

You also provide tutoring through the office of Academic Support on campus. How did you get started with tutoring?
I started tutoring when I was in high school. Currently I tutor for introductory accounting and economics courses and am currently working with over 10 students this semester. I recently became level two certified in tutoring which required written essays and extra training activities. I find that tutoring is a good outlet for helping other students outside of class.

On top of all these activities you also found the time to help a faculty member with research for a paper that was recently submitted for publication. Please tell us a little about that process.
I had taken Dr. Kristine Principe for both principles of macro and micro economics and really enjoyed the classes. I sent her an email offering to help with any possible research projects she might be working on. I ended up working on a research paper with her doing research, statistics and even some writing. The paper was titled, Perception versus Performance: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Personal Response Devices (PRDs) (Clickers) in a Principles of Microeconomics Course. The paper has been submitted to Niagara’s Committee on College Teaching and Learning (CCTL) conference to be held in January 2013. Dr. Principe said, “Kim was a pleasure to work with. Her work ethic is admirable. Many times I gave her a task to work on, expecting that it would take a week or two, and she would get it back to me the next day! She pushed me to work faster!”

What are your plans for the future?
I am scheduled to graduate one semester early in December of 2013. After graduating, I plan on continuing my education at Niagara University pursuing an MBA.